4 Practical Tips for Implementing Montessori at Home

By Heather White

Montessori principles and practices can easily be brought into the home setting. Parents, caregivers, and educators can make a Montessori environment at home. Here are a few practical tips to help you embrace the Montessori philosophy and way of life for your little one.

1. Create a Prepared Environment

One of the hallmarks of the Montessori Method is the creation of a carefully Prepared Environment. The home should be arranged in a way that provides the child the freedom to explore and to establish their independence. From the kitchen to the bathroom and from the bedroom to the living room, the child should have access to the items they need to fulfill tasks of daily living such as dressing themselves, washing their hands, and preparing a snack. Incorporate the use of real, child-sized materials. Each space of the home should be designed in a way that is calming, cozy, visually appealing, and inviting where everything has a place and remains in its place. As Dr. Montessori said, “To assist a child, we must provide him with an environment which will enable him to develop freely.”

2. Become the Prepared Adult

Dr. Montessori described the role of the educator, parent, or caregiver as the Prepared Adult. She indicated that it was the adult’s responsibility to observe the child and to connect them meaningfully to the carefully prepared environment. Find time to step back and watch your little one to determine their interests and to recognize growth and development. Model how to complete everyday activities, how to solve problems, and how to engage with other family members; children are always watching. The primary difference between other styles of parenting and parenting the Montessori way involves taking more of a backseat approach; instead of teaching the child things you think they should learn, follow their lead and empower them to explore things they’re genuinely curious to learn more about. Accept that mistakes happen and use them as teachable moments with the child.

3. Provide opportunities for the child to be involved

Children want to be involved in the tasks of everyday life from a very young age. Allow them to participate in these activities. Welcome them into the kitchen where they can help pour, mix, and measure. They can wash dishes and set the table. Show them how to put clothes in the washing machine and how to fold them and put them away once they’re clean and dry. Introduce child-sized tools so they can help with gardening, feeding family pets, and cleaning the house (sweeping, dusting, mopping, washing windows – the options are endless!).

Explore the fundamentals of Montessori parenting with this free video by Sylvia Arotin, offering insights and strategies to empower and educate your child.

4. Demonstrate respect for the child

Dr. Montessori believed that children should be recognized as confident, capable members of their environments and should be respected as such. Respect is shown for children by trusting in them, not interrupting their concentration, and allowing them the freedom to make choices and to demonstrate their independence. Try to view children as equals, considering their needs and desires and valuing their input. Accept your child for who they are. Allow all feelings. Be present with your child, and most importantly, relish in those small moments together.

Montessori isn’t just for the classroom. You can easily follow these practical tips to allow you to bring its principles into your home, fostering positive, meaningful connections between you and your child for a lifetime.

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