Continuing Montessori Education At Home: Setting Up A Learning Space
Montessori schools give children the chance to learn by discovering and participating in a hands-on approach to learning. While your preschooler or school-aged child might not get traditional homework, there are ways you can continue the Montessori-style of learning at home. Here are a few things you can do to create a learning space in your home.
Dramatic Play Station
Let your little ones learn by pretending with a dramatic play station. Wood play sets, such as kitchen sets or puppet stages give your children a chance to act out different scenarios, encouraging them to engage in pretend play. Stock this area with costumes, toy food, puppets, dolls, and other toys that can spark the imagination.
Sensory tables give children the chance to learn by using their sense of touch. These tables often come with plastic liners, making them ideal for use with water or sand. For a sand table, add toys that can be used to dig and explore. Place a few small "treasures" underneath the sand to encourage your little ones to make fascinating discoveries. If you choose to use water in the table, add a variety of toys, both those that float and those that don't. This gives your children a chance to discover different properties of water. Consider adding food coloring to the water so they can watch as the water is transformed.
Musical instruments engage auditory learners, and they can be just plain fun for anyone. Look for wooden tambourines, drums, and other small instruments, and place them in a bucket or storage container. Your children can choose the instruments they want to explore, and you can watch as they come up with innovative ways to use the instruments. Place a few small chairs or floor pillows in this corner so they can sit comfortably as they work on their new sounds. Another addition to the music corner might be a CD player with a selection of different types of CDs to choose from. Be sure to offer a variety of different types of music, such as nursery rhymes, classical music, jazz, and piano. You may find that they enjoy dancing as well as creating music, which gives them a multi-faceted learning experience.
With Montessori materials for your home, you can encourage your children to learn without them even realizing they are doing it. You can continue to reinforce the principles they learn in school while giving them a fun and wholesome way to spend time at home.