My 2..5-year-old hopped off his chair and walked over to a cabinet. He pulled out dishes and glasses, then ran over to the kitchen table and began setting places for himself and his brothers. This scenario is an example of Montessori parenting within the context of Maria Montessori's Theory.
Montessori embodies this act. Respecting the child. Giving him space and time gives him the opportunity to grow and to develop in a healthy and productive way.
Montessori is a lifestyle. Dr. Montessori, although she wrote extensively about Montessori as an educational approach, did not intend for this approach to guiding children to be limited to the classroom. Quite the contrary, Montessori, with the focus on the development of the whole child, should embrace the child’s life as a whole, including his time in the classroom and outside the classroom, whether with Mother Nature or at home with family.
What is Montessori Parenting?
Montessori parenting? Ahh. Yes, it is a thing. Sitting at my laptop one early morning as my oldest son (then a toddler) and my husband slept, I breathed in the silence and began to read an article introducing Montessori. I stopped and laughed out loud. You see, my family embraced Montessori, only we never knew “it” – my mom's parenting style – had a name. I was drawn to Montessori immediately and deeply.
The moment I read the quote “Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed,” I felt an immediate kindred spirit with Dr. Montessori. Everything I continued to read about the Montessori philosophy resonated with me as an individual, a teacher, and as a parent.
How to Define Montessori at Home and Montessori Parenting
Montessori parenting is a big part of the Montessori philosophy. Bridging the gap between home and school is critical to raising a Montessori child. Work with your child's teachers to make that happen.
Related Post: 12 Ways to Integrate Montessori at Home
Life offers moments to guide children. Let them put on their own shoes. Offer them support without doing it for them. Don’t assume you have the answer or can solve their problem. Children are capable of doing and being so much. Respecting the potential of our kids to grow and develop based on their own instincts and tendencies is just as much a part of the Montessori classroom as it is a part of the Montessori home environment.
Related Post: Your Child is a Killer Communicator
Opening up our eyes to that possibility is key with integrating Montessori at home. At the risk of sounding cliche, the world is our classroom. What Dr. Montessori emphasized included an approach to communicating with children, disciplining children, guiding children, and preparing the environment to ensure success in a child’s development.
75 Ways to Montessori Parenting
- Read Montessori: a Modern approach
- Embrace the idea that Montessori is a lifestyle and not simply an approach that begins and ends at classroom doors
- Invest in stools so the child can reach the sink, cabinets, and shelves
- Use real dishware; Avoid plastic toys, cups, dishes
- Embrace the Montessori Coat Flip
- Practice simplicity
- Be a model of behavior no matter what you're doing in life
- Help a child with scientific thinking
- Think about history not in dates to remember but instead as a sense of duration and passage of time (which typically isn't cognitively possibly to comprehend until 7 or 8 years old). Teaching kids about time can be fun!
- Use REAL images (aka AVOID cartoons)
- Hang a coat rack at your child's level
- Allow kids to be creative
- Consider a faucet extender
- Create a culture basket
- Wait for your child to put his coat on
- Give your child space and time to put on his shoes
- Practice Letter Writing
- Explore the outdoors with these books about rocks, ants, bears, and seeds.
- Teach kids to code (Maria Montessori would approve of moving along with the times)
- Focus on sounds, not memorization, of letters
- Use concrete objects that kids can get their hands on while learning
- Teach children about what it means to be courageous
- Read up on positive discipline and respectful parenting
- Learn about ways to encourages children with writing
- Create the environment for discovery of reading and writing
- Practice observing your child for at least five minutes a day
- Don't intervene in conflict or struggle
- Remember practical life activities are about focus, completion of a work cycle, preparation for writing, and independence.
- Cook with your kids
- Put together an easy Letter Sound Work for your kids
- Always move left to right
- Allow your child to zip up on his own
- Make smelling bottles
- Don't talk down to your child.
- Speak in a kind, firm tone.
- Have a Family Reading Time
- Travel with your Kids
- Learn photography with your kids
- Subscribe to one of these amazing monthly kits
- Read (a lot) with your child
- Establish a routine with kids
- Commit to these 5 Rock Star Responses to Kids during Challenging Moments
- Create a music basket
- Learn about Electricity with Kids
- Learn the 3 Period Lesson
- Create object boxes
- Expect a lot from your child because she is capable
- Take Sensorial Activities outside
- Leave her room to develop at her pace
- Allow him to make his discoveries because then he will be a lover of learning for life
- Go and be outside
- Practice Mindfulness
- Implement yoga into your daily routine with your kids
- Listen to your kids
- Kneel down at the child's eye level when speaking with him
- Use phrases other than “What's Wrong?”
- Learn math outside
- Better communicate with your child with these rock star tips
- Don't be afraid of insects
- Take Language activities outside
- Help create a sense of awe and wonder in a child by using questions to lead learning
- Garden with Kids
- Make time for dinner & family time
- Practice grace & courtesy
- Create a peace table in your home
- Accept that all children exist on the education spectrum.
- No two children are alike
- Children crave a gentle, calm leader
- Focus on developing a child's emotional intelligence
- Be a role model in your relationship with your partner
- Do listening activities with kids
- Take Practical Life Outside
- Purchase garden tools for kids
- Practice inquiry-based learning
- Read Madeline Levine's book “Teach Children Well” about redefining success
What are your biggest struggles with being (or wanting to be) a Montessori parent? If you didn't already get enough, check out 15 of the Best Montessori Quotes for Parents.