For our younger students, the prepared learning environment is your home and surroundings. This means finding ways to support your child’s independence and engagement in meaningful tasks.
A big part of setting your child up to “work” independently at home is to set up a physical place that meets all of their needs.
You can invest in your child’s space in a way that will enable your child to be engaged (not over or under stimulated) and that will maximize her independence.
External order creates internal order
Having a place for everything, on a child-friendly scale, means that children know where to find what they need, and have a place to put things when they’re done. Order will calm your child, build trust, and encourage them to try new things independently.
Set up a clearly defined space for your child to work
Whether it is a child-sized table, or a small towel on the floor, set up a defined space for your child to work.
Set up a shelf/shelves accessible to your child where he or she can find needed learning activities and supplies.
Place each activity on the shelf, in its own box or basket containing all of the necessary pieces present. The fewer the options, the easier it is for your child to concentrate. Children become more interested in activities if there are only a few of them spaced out on the shelf. Choosing is easier when the options are not overwhelming or hard to understand.
Set-Up Accessible, Self-Service Snack and Water
Provide your child with the opportunity to manage independently.
Include the natural world
Dr. Montessori believed that nature should be used to inspire children. Provide opportunities for your child to get out into nature and explore. Bring nature inside and explore further. Teach your child to take care of plants and animals in your house.
Sit down in the middle of your child’s space and look around to see how it looks from your child’s perspective. Does your child have what they need to complete learning activities?