I am about a year into my Montessori learning. The journey has been wonderful for so many reasons. One big result is the effort to bring more simplicity into our home. In addition we want to create an environment that fosters develop of a child's whole self from basic skills like writing and reading to reasoning to life skills like independence.
Here is a list of our goal in creating a peaceful space for our boys so they can play and learn to their potential.
Rotation – I didn't get rid of every item we own in order to create simplicity. For me, it is about organization. One way to achieve simplicity without limited the materials for your children is to rotate. We rotate books, writing materials, art materials, blocks, puzzles and a variety of other items about once every 3 weeks. You will be amazed at the response from your children. There is more peace and there is greater interest in materials that have been removed from their environment. They are familiar with the materials but have a new way of exploring them.
Designated Learning Areas – In our play area we have a pretend kitchen for all sorts of imaginary play, shelves divided by movement, logic, practical life, geography, culture and manipulatives, a writing center, a reading corner, a puzzle corner and a music wall. There is also a designated area for a few varieties of building blocks.
Simple Presentation – This idea gets back to the importance of rotation and minimizing clutter. Present materials in a way that is not over stimulating to the eye.
Accessibility – Everything in our boys play and learning space is accessible to them including lights. I want them to feel a sense of control and ownership of their space. I want them to feel independent. You will be amazed at the results of giving young children the ability to access and then care for their environment. In my view, young children crave order and accept the concept of “everything has a place” better than most adults. So, my goal is to create an environment for them to feed into this desire.
Integrate Nature – Nature grounds us. Our nature basket reminds us of places we've been and experienced we've had together. Bringing nature into the space brightens it and makes it easier to breathe (figuratively and in reality!). A plant also provides a practical life opportunity for your child to work on caring for their environment and for other living things.
Integrate Art – Display your children's art, art of great artists and book covers at your child's eye level. I love this simple, wonderful way of displaying her children's art work Allie of No Time for Flashcards presents in this post. This Etsy shop and this one has some adorable items to help display kid's artwork.
This list represents a piece of what we're trying to achieve for our boys. I look forward to sharing more ideas as we integrate them into our home.
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