Montessori at Home while attending mainstream preschool
If you take a quick look at Instagram and social media in general, you'll notice that a vast majority of preschool aged kids with Montessori homes either go to a Montessori preschool OR do Montessori preschool at home.
Here we are, the minority without access to Montessori preschool so our littles go to mainstream preschool. How does Montessori at home work when your child attends a mainstream preschool?
One of the main things that most, if not all, Montessori educators will say is leave the Montessori materials for the classroom. But if your child isn't attending a Montessori preschool, those materials aren't available "in the classroom" so where do we go in this grey area?
Personally, I do have Montessori materials at home, BUT, the environment and materials are not prepared to be a home school environment. And for me, this is where the balance lies for kids in mainstream preschool.
Being able to access those materials that aid concrete learning if they have an interest is a fantastic supplement to their preschool learning. However, it is not ONLY classroom materials that are available. And I have no objections to the Montessori materials being ignored.
Montessori in the home isn't about any kind of curriculum or even academics for the most part. The focus is on respecting the child, nurturing their independence, grace and courtesy and LOTS of practical life. Of course we want to have a language rich environment, and build those early math skills when the child's development and interests call for it. But those are not the focus for your home if your child is attending preschool.
Children of preschool age still have this wonderful sponge like absorbent mind, and it wont last very much longer! There is far more benefits to be had from learning to cook, and respect their peers than being able to read or write before school. There is no need to force this agenda, or any other agenda on preschool children.
The one tool that will help you keep this balance in your Montessori home when your child is attending mainstream preschool is the art of observation. So often we see beautiful themed shelves on social media, but if their not based on the child's interests and developmental stage from observation, they don't serve the child any purpose.
And the same goes for your Montessori home. Focus on observing your child's interests and capabilities and prepare their environment accordingly. Sometimes they will have a huge interest in letters and bringing in the sandpaper letters or sound games etc is a great way to go. Other times they may be super intrigued by some kinetic sand and the physics of it so just grabbing some random tools for their sand is the way to go.
It does not matter what their interests are, what matters is observing their interests, meeting them there and preparing the environment for them to explore their interests and develop. Sometimes it will call for Montessori materials, other times it will not. And wherever you are currently, IT'S OKAY!
I believe Montessori is for everybody, I want to help everyone bring a little more Montessori into their homes and lives.
Montessoraus mama. x