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Quick Start Guide to doing Montessori at home

Parents using the Montessori At Home! eBook often ask about getting started, choosing appropriate materials, and when to switch materials out on their child’s shelves. A few features in the eBook that parents find useful for this are the Quick Start Guide, the Ages and Activities Chart, and the suggested first activities. These tools help parents get off to a great start, with an organized plan for continuing on. Getting started quickly is always fun, and these resources help parents be successful right from the start.

I based the Quick Start Guide on what we did in our Montessori schools when starting with a new class in a new program. It doesn’t work to turn 25 new three to six year old children loose in a classroom full of Montessori equipment without preparation and a plan! Using a guided process gave the children structure at the start when they needed it the most. They came to school each day expectantly wondering what new material(s) would be demonstrated and added to the shelves. By the time the shelves were full, the children were totally comfortable making free choices and doing their thing the Montessori way. The sequence shown in the eBook Quick Start Guide can be repeated with every new material so that your child gets familiar with the process. Pretty soon, her shelves will be full and you will have a great home preschool!

 

The Ages and Activities Chart gives parents a rough idea of what materials are likely to appeal the most in each area to different ages of children. It is just a general guide, and children may be ready earlier or later for different activities than shown on the chart. Like the Quick Start Guide, though, it gives parents a jumping off point. It also offers a suggested sequence for the activities when your child is ready for a new challenge. The page with pictures of suggested activities (shown) groups materials by three age groups to further help parents decide what to do first.

 

 

In addition to these tools in the eBook, it helps to keep a few core points in mind:

Try new materials often, looking for those that arouse your child’s spontaneous, focused attention. Follow your child’s interests.

Make these materials available on low shelves. Allow as much uninterrupted time to work with them as possible.

When your child no longer uses a material, switch it out with something a bit more challenging. You can also try the material again at a later date if it was a bit too difficult for your child at first.

Following these principles will keep your home Montessori activities and materials on track. It also helps to remember that the real goals of Montessori are not mastery of skills and early reading, writing, and math. These are wonderful byproducts of a child’s development of excellent brain architecture, the ability to concentrate, a positive self-image, and a true love of learning. Adults tend to be results-oriented, and that’s fine. Montessori materials and activities, while also helping children achieve tangible skills at a young age, have a positive effect on children throughout their entire lives.

 

 

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