With schools closed all over the world due to the Coronavirus pandemic, parents have found themselves in a new reality at home with their kids. Since most schools ended classes abruptly, children’s learning either came to a sudden halt or an improvised version of homeschooling began. But if you practice and adapt the Montessori learning method, you should not worry about your child losing out on any learning while at home. More parents turn to the Montessori homeschooling concept to facilitate learning using non-conventional methods.
The Benefits of Montessori Homeschooling
Montessori homeschooling puts emphasis on learning based on key developmental stages. These key developmental milestones of a child are at ages three to five-years-old. Three-year-olds are taught to hone larger muscles to move through space, as they simultaneously pick up their language skills. At four, they work on their motor skills and completing daily tasks, such as arts, crafts, and even cooking. Older preschoolers are trained to broaden their learning experience outside the classroom through educational trips or from the community.
Students in Montessori Method learning, whether in classrooms or homeschooled, use a curriculum designed around their specific abilities and needs. This will help them enjoy the learning process by doing it at their own pace, at their own terms.
Encourages cooperation through play
You as a parent/teacher will not “run” your home/classroom. Rather, you will guide your child through the activities. This encourages your child to explore the different ways to do and finish a task, and work with you through play.
Children are taught self-discipline
As your child’s teacher, you will lay down the ground rules for the daily classes. However, you will give your child the freedom to choose which activity he/she wants to work on, and for how long. This kind of method teaches children self-discipline, as they simultaneously refine some of the most important skills in learning – concentration, motivation, and self-control.
Parents facilitate the learning experience
As said earlier, you lay down the ground rule as the parent/teacher of your child. These rules, however, are more like “guides” to facilitate the learning experience. You will take the lead, ensure the guides are observed, and encourage your child to perform the task, again at his/her own pace. The idea is to facilitate their learning and not become obtrusive of your child’s ways.
Your home teaches order
All learning objects and activities inside your home must be placed in their specific locations. When your child is done with the activity, he/she would have to put it back into their appropriate places. This is not only a good way to teach your child a sense of order and self-discipline, but importantly develop an orderly environment. When children work, play, and learn while the area is tidy and organized, they don’t feel distracted and they can focus and unleash their creativity.
Individualized and hands-on learning, without pressure or stress
The learning materials used for Montessori Method are catered specifically for your child’s needs. Your child will explore activities and learn concepts at his/her own comfortable pace. The idea is to encourage children to try on more challenging areas, which will accelerate their learning.
Also, the curriculum is more on hands-on learning. This is probably the biggest advantage of the Montessori Method, as it puts heavy emphasis on tangible things, rather than abstract ideas. Children are encouraged to finish and master tasks, be it about mathematics, language, or practical life lessons.
Types of Homeschooling Activities
Structured, but child-led learning
Parents are expected to have a deeper knowledge of their child’s abilities. You can do this through interaction and observation. The Montessori homeschooling method not only supports, but also amplifies your child’s natural development through prescribed activities and materials.
Children are curious about and receptive to particular things (be it knowledge or skill). Thus, the method gives children all the opportunity to do things themselves. Participation of daily activities is encouraged. This includes doing chores, using tools, and teaching by demonstrating the task to them. Simple tasks like washing their own dishes or cleaning up after eating are just some of the examples.
The most basic idea of Montessori learning is to help children do things themselves. That is why activities focus on promoting self-sufficiency, critical thinking, development of fine motor, and independence. They are tailored not just to the developmental needs of the children, but to their interest as well. Here are some of the types of activities often used in Montessori learning.
What better way to teach your child than to complete daily tasks with his/her hands? Often, these are practical life activities. These things may seem simple but they are important for the motor development of a child. Some activities include:
– Opening bottle caps
– Watering flowers
– Pouring and scooping
– Washing and wiping windows
Some of the activities for the kitchen include:
– Pouring water
– Cutting apples
– Squeezing orange juice
– Peeling and cutting bananas
– Washing the dishes
Arts and crafts
Art classes are an integral part of Montessori homeschool schedules. It is vital for developing a child’s creativity, and imagination. Some fun arts and crafts activities are:
– Drawing and painting
– Clay sculpting
Language and Reading – Learning using the movable alphabet
Most kids learn to read between ages four to seven years old. For them to feel comfortable with reading, they first need to learn the alphabet and how these letters are read and pronounced in words. This is where the movable alphabet pieces come into play. Rather than just seeing the letters in a piece of paper, it is best to use three-dimensional letters that your child can hold and move with his/her hand. The idea is to keep learning interactive.
Puzzles and maps
Puzzles are great tools for critical thinking development of a child. There are lots of choices out there – from word puzzles to hands-on strategy games.
Puzzle maps are also great. Looking at a map is difficult enough. With wooden maps, children can learn geography by moving and arranging different continents, countries, and states.
This is usually linear counting, basic mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Montessori Homeschooling for different age groups
In Montessori schools, children are taught in a mixed age group. Preschoolers and kindergarteners are grouped together. This means putting children together not just at different ages, but also those in different stages in their development levels. They don’t use grade levels; instead children are placed in clusters.
Benefits of mixed age groups
Putting children in a mixed age group environment boosts their learning is so many ways.
- It eliminates competition and encourages a sense of community among children.
- It encourages kids to build strong relationships with children of other ages (older and younger).
- It encourages peer-to-peer interaction, which is crucial for a child’s social skill development.
- Older kids become good role models to younger kids.
- Older kids learn how to become mentors (assist younger kids in their activities).
- Older kids learn leadership skills.
- It gives older kids a stronger sense of self-worth through helping others.
- It teaches children to be sensitive around other people and recognize the help they need.
Rather than grouping children based on their age, mixed group learning in Montessori Method exposes children to the different areas of human interaction, much like in real life.
Are you interested in earning your Montessori certification? Explore your options with the Academy of Montessori today.