Having your child enrolled in a quality Montessori school (one where they can get a great start in life) is immensely important when considering preschool. These years become the foundation for your child’s entire education. However, did you know that what you do at home with your child can be just as important to their schooling? Here are 7 things you can do in your own home to supplement your child’s Montessori education:
1. Read to your child. Purchase classic books that you and your child will enjoy over and over again. If you set aside time each day to read, you will be amazed at how many wonderful books you will get through each year. Try to create a bookshelf or space for books that your child can reach. Fill it with books just for them; this gives them the ability to look at books on their own as well. This article talks about how early reading increases motivation, curiosity, memory, and vocabulary.
2. Keep it simple. Your child doesn’t need hundreds of toys to keep them happy. A play space with easily accessible toys is better than one filled with things your kids can never get to. Rotate toys on a monthly basis to keep things new and interesting if you want, but don’t put every toy out all at once.
3. Take advantage of the weather. When you have the opportunity, visit parks, public gardens, zoos, or take walks around your neighborhood and talk about what you see. Explore nature together; you never know what you can discover with your child.
4. Let them help. Preschoolers can do many things either on their own or with your guidance. Let them tear lettuce leaves for salad, measure flour for biscuits, whisk eggs, pump soap for washing hands, fold washcloths, or anything else you can think of that will help foster independence and confidence in their abilities.
5. Let them chase butterflies. Or watch bees, or pick fruit if you have access to trees, or watch the clouds and talk about what you see in them. Time spent in nature is time that is never wasted time.
6. Compare, contrast, sort. Talk to your child about how things are alike, different, and how we group things. You can practice these skills with snacks, toys, rocks you find outside – anything really.
7. Have fun and keep learning. Remember that your child is going to see you learning, reading, enjoying nature, writing, and living your life. They are more likely to copy you then they are to obey what you say only. Make learning an adventure for your whole family, and don’t stop having fun!
If you are looking for a quality preschool (and elementary school) in DC, please contact us for information about Shining Stars Montessori Academy. We would love to talk to you about our approach to education and how you can play a part in your child’s learning as well.
- R. Rodriguez