3 Keys to an At Home Toddler Montessori Morning I Hill Country Homestead Texas
3 Hour Work Period
The 3 hour work period is classic Montessori and for valid reason. Working thorough activities and lessons they enjoy for this length of time leads them to longer concentration periods and attention spans. A 3 hour work period in the Montessori classroom begins when the child enters the classroom and begins to work. An at-home Toddler morning starts as soon as the children wake up because so much of the Montessori Method is Practical Life activities.
So as long as the home is being engineered to be accessible by the child, the environment is making strides toward the Montessori Method. If the children wake up at 7 AM, then they are being guided through pouring small jars of milk for cereal, grooming themselves with tiny combs and personal mirrors, dressing themselves and guiding them toward more purposeful work once they are prepared for their day. Sometimes they may help with sweeping or washing dishes as a normal part of the home community and they are eager to do so. This means, potentially the ‘work’ period can be over by 10 AM and off to more adventurous things.
More Purposeful Work
For a Toddler, Practical life is everything. Learning, practicing and mastering vital life skills sets the child on a platform of self-confidence that allows them to achieve greater goals. Once the child is self-sufficient in a few areas the child will start to express more interest in any particular thing. It’s the adult's job to follow, observe and perceive the child’s need and meet it with lesson or exercise. This should be fluid with other morning activities and the adult should be able to introduce something to the child and leave the child to explore or practice it. This morning, Lincoln came to me with a quarter and a nickel and we talked about what they were and I asked if he would like to trace them on paper. I showed him how to trace once and let him sit and try it on his own while I did some dishes. He loved it and will remember the conversation we had about the money because of the exercise.
The Basics are a Big Deal
Incorporate numbers and letters wherever you can. Letters should be taught phonetically whenever possible and numbers in order first, then quantity. If the child is speaking and misses a sound or part of a word, kindly slow them down and speak the word slowly to them at eye level. If the child thinks it’s fun ask them to repeat the word back or allow them to finish speaking. Encourage counting out loud often, in the car, waiting in lines, and to pass the time. Extra eye and facial drama help children this age pay attention to lessons more closely so put some effort into expressions.
In conclusion, practicing the Montessori Method at home can be done easily and by anyone who looks at their child through a creative lens, almost as if you were their peer but gently guiding them.