Charlotte Montessori Blog

Independence at Home

Now that you know a little bit about what we do in the classroom to promote independence….what can you do at home (or outside of school)? First of all, know that Montessori is not just a educational philoposy…it’s not jumping on that roller coaster a few times and then being done. It can be a way of life. How you treat your child, how you set things up, how you approach situations all can be done in a Montessori way.

When you think about independence….take a step back and access “how can I help my child do xxxx on his own?” Here is a quick list of actions YOU can take to help move him into independence. Have your child:

• Carry his own belongings
• Walk into school (rather than carry him)
• Struggle with tasks….give him the opportunity to problem solve and figure out things on his own
• Be responsible for his belonging at home (lunch box, dirty clothes, toys, shoes)
• Think through what needs to be done. (Sarah has mentioned in her Positive Discipline class, instead of barking orders at your child, ask him what needs to be done….”What do you need to do next?”)
• Meet your expectations. (He is capable of a lot of tasks!)
• Get lessons on new things (loading the dishwasher, putting away clothes)
• Open containers, packages, drinks
• Time to complete tasks on his own (yes, you can do it in half the time….but build in more time for him to do things on his own)
• Dress himself (if it’s backwards…it’s okay)
• Wipe his own face (give him a mirror to see where the food is)

Now a list of things in your house to promote independence:

• Stools to reach high places (the sink, light switches, drawers)
• Hamper for dirty clothes
• Low dresser drawers to put clothes away and get them out
• Low hooks in the bathroom for bath towels (rather than a towel bar)
• Snacks, dishes, cups in a low cupboard for easy access
• A tall chair for sitting up to the regular table (not one that he is strapped into)
• Bed that he can get in and out of on his own
• Dust pan, sweeper and clothes at an accessible spot for spills
• Tissues at his height
• Toys in baskets, containers, on low shelves (not a giant toy box with everything)
• A place for his belongings…lunch box, jacket, shoes…that he can easily get to. Again, low hooks

May Montessori be with you!!