As your family has come together and grown, you've made choices along the way that affect how the family interacts with each other, and the degree to which the children are capable of being a part of the family unit. Each family is unique, with a different set of circumstances. But there are many common components to a Montessori home - and it's not about the materials you see in Montessori classrooms.
What is a Montessori home
Simply put - it's a home that has been created with the needs of the children in mind. It is a home that allows for children to touch and explore, and to use and master the common objects found in everyday life. The adults have stepped back and looked at the home through the eyes of a child. They've used this vision to help them create a home that fully involves the children.
Why a Montessori home
"Teach me to do it myself!" is the call most often heard from children. They are desperate to fulfill their deep inner desire to understand and be a part of their environment. In their early years, the home is most often the center of their world. There are so many tasks children can learn to do within their own home. There isn't a better place to help young children grow and learn than in the home.
How to make a Montessori home
Ensure the furniture and spaces that you create are inviting to your children. If possible, make them size appropriate. This is not to say that you have to replace all your home furniture! You can make adjustments to the furniture you already have, or consider adding a few pieces.
Kitchen: children can help prepare food (adapt your kitchen and recipes for children), set the table, clear the dishes, wash the dishes, load the dishwasher, sweep the floor. Add a weaning table and chair for little ones so that they can become more independent in their eating habits.
Bathroom: make a small platform stool available for use with the toilet and sink. Use smaller towels that are hung low enough for the child to manage. Make a drawer available for personal hygiene items that are easily accessible. Allow enough time for self-care tasks.
Bedroom: consider a floor bed or add a platform stool so that young children can easily maneuver out of bed. Lower cupboard shelves, and a low rod in the closet means they can hang up their own clothes. A dresser at the child's height, with drawers that can be easily reached and opened allows for independence in selecting their clothing. Shelves, baskets and drawers help a child to keep their toys organized - in return, they can learn to clean up their belongings.
Good habits in a Montessori home
It is important for young children to start helping around the home as soon as you have the appropriate materials/furniture for them to manage with. No task is too small and it's never to early to start including children in the care and cleaning of the family home.
"These experiences form good habits of contributing to the household. They are excellent for developing muscle strength and coordination, visual and spatial awareness, independence, and responsibility. Young children love doing these activities right alongside you. Children seek out and work toward independence whether we help them or not. By involving your child in these regular home activities, you can help create your child's self-image to be that of a competent, confident person." John Bowman