When the school year draws to an end, parents often ask us how they can continue giving their children practical opportunities for learning until school resumes in September.
Here are our top six Montessori tips for engaging your child over the summer months. Enjoy!
1. Have fun!
Make learning fun! Learning opportunities are all around us. Remember that to teach a skill you don’t need to purchase anything new. We encourage you to use what you have at home and enjoy the little things – after all, the roots of the Practical Life area are with the familiar, found in one’s surroundings.
2. Set Your Child up to Succeed
Having child-sized objects empowers children to try and to explore with a greater chance of being able to use things well. This practice fosters the independence and confidence that are the building blocks of the innate drive to do things for oneself!
3. Have Realistic Expectations
Rest is important in learning skills; the inquisitive mind needs time to absorb new things. Even ten minutes of an activity builds confidence without needing too much structure.
We suggest snuggling up and reading a book together under a tree or including your child in cooking and baking – have them do the measuring and gathering the ingredients and you’ll see how fun a simple recipe can be for a child.
4. Follow the Child
Tailor your activities based on what your child shows an interest in. Try “going out” into your neighborhood and exploring your community and let your child lead the way!
5. Stand Back and Observe
Observation is a key tool for Montessori educators in learning about each individual child. Watch how your child moves, their range of motion, what they can and cannot do.
6. Keep It Light
It’s always good to keep the counting and phonetic sounds skills fresh. Let these come naturally in your day to day – counting trees, going for a “c” walk and identifying things along the way with that sound, “I see a cactus!”
We wish all families a restful and fun summer. We hope you find many opportunities to learn with your child over the coming weeks and make some new memories along the way.
About the Authors:
Bettina Tioseco and Victoria Wedgbury are educators at Westside Montessori School in Vancouver, BC. 🇨🇦
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