Fall is here, which means that school is in full gear. Here are 5 tips to start the year off right, Montessori style:
1. Build Confidence by Helping Children Help Themselves
Allowing children to do things for themselves encourages independence and a sense of achievement. It is a good idea to teach your child how to do everyday tasks and then let them do those tasks by themselves.
2. Allow Children the Freedom to Make Mistakes
In order to thoroughly learn a "lesson", children should have time to experiment, make mistakes, and repeat tasks without interruption. Of course, it is important to keep kids safe during this process, but do so from a little distance. Give the child a chance to grow, out from under a shadow.
3. Allow Time for Concentration and Cut Out Distractions
When a child is working on a project, turn off the TV and other distractions. This will help to grow their attention span and teach them courtesy and respect. When you must stop a child mid-activity, leave the project out and untouched; then allow the child to return to it at the next possible occasion.
4. Provide a Sense of Order
Starting from a very young age, let children know that everything has its place, and encourage them to return things properly before moving on to another activity. This will require that shelves and drawers be accessible and sized appropriately for little people. Schedules can also be orderly. Children are more comfortable when they know what to expect. Obviously, life does not always fit neatly into an agenda, but having some daily routines can give children a sense of harmony. For starters, try establishing consistent morning, evening and/or mealtime customs.
5. Learn from Nature
Go outside with your children. Take walks, go to the park, sit and watch birds, or draw pictures. Let your child take photos or collect leaves and flowers, or whatever might strike their fancy. Talk to them about what they find and research the names of plants or animals you have seen together. Perhaps your little ones will want to share some of their summer discoveries in the classroom this fall!