Parent’s often ask the question, “What can we do at home to support what is happening in the classroom?”. The answer to this question is probably not what you think!
Because Montessori children do not receive homework, it is common for parents to feel a bit lost on how to support their child at home. At Fiore, children work hard during their school day. The nature of the Montessori method often means that concepts are most likely taught in a way that differs from how most parents experienced their learning. When parents create academic work at home, we often observe confusion or disinterest from the child at school. Confusion often occurs because concepts may be explained or practiced differently at school versus how they were done at home. Disinterest occurs because children (and adults) only have so much capacity to work on and practice a skill at any given time. When they are asked to practice at school and then asked to practice again at home, this can cause frustration and fatigue.
So what can you do? Building responsibility and connection are the best ways to support your child’s learning at home. Below we have listed some examples of “Montessori Homework”.
Involve your child in the care and running of the household. This is one of the most fundamental ways you can implement the Montessori philosophy at home. Children are a part of their family and the family works together to take care of the home and one another. Depending on your child’s age, responsibilities could include watering plants, helping to prepare meals and snacks, loading or unloading the dishwasher, folding laundry, sweeping and mopping the floor, making their bed, putting away groceries, or raking leaves.
Offer opportunities for independence. When it is safe and appropriate to do so, allow your child the opportunity to complete a task (or part of a task) on their own. You’d be surprised how capable they are! Ask your child’s guide if you are unsure of where to start with your child.
Have conversations. Talk together, ask questions, have discussions, and give your child the space and time to connect.
Read! Don’t feel the need to interrupt the flow of reading to “test” your child. Let them enjoy listening to you read and hear the proper flow of the sentences. Children that are able, can read on their own or out loud to a parent or sibling. It’s also just as important that your child sees you read! Whether it’s reading a novel, a recipe, or a research paper for work, showing your child why reading is so important, will help build their interest and motivation.
Spend time in nature. Spending time exploring the outdoors is an integral part of a child's development. Aim for your child to spend some time outside everyday!