The early childhood years are a time when children make rapid leaps in their development that influence their personality. From entering the world as a helpless infant to becoming an active part of the classroom community and your family, your child is making tremendous strides every day.
As a parent, one of your biggest goals is to cultivate an independent mindset that helps your child mature into a successful adult. Partnering with your child’s Montessori teacher is a great way to make sure your child’s developmental needs are met.
As you prepare to enroll your child in a Montessori program, you can look forward to watching your child thrive as their teacher uses these strategies to promote his/her independence.
Promote Language Development
The Montessori philosophy recognizes that young children instinctively understand their needs and possess a natural desire to learn. In the earliest stages of life, your child is a silent observer who takes in cues from their environment to stimulate their learning.
As your child matures, they naturally begin to want to become more involved in the world around them by engaging in communication. Montessori teachers are trained to recognize the importance of language development for young children, and they encourage children to develop the language skills they need to express their needs.
In the classroom, you will hear teachers using positive language when they speak with children. For instance, they may avoid saying no to a child by instead presenting them with acceptable options, such as putting together a puzzle rather than running in the classroom.
Teachers also avoid talking down to children with baby talk. Although your child’s teacher always maintains a soothing voice, they use rich vocabulary to expose children to new words that expand their language skills. Your child’s efforts at speech are also rewarded with prompt responses that demonstrate respect for their opinions.
Encourage Self-Help Skills
Children are naturally eager to learn how to begin performing the tasks that they have observed others doing during their early years of life. For instance, your child may ask to help set the table or insist on putting on their own clothes.
Montessori classrooms are set up to support a child’s desire to do things independently. For instance, you will notice that your child learns and eats at child-sized tables, and that the shelves are at an appropriate height allowing your child to put away their learning materials independently.
Montessori teachers are also sensitive to a child’s abilities and provide age-appropriate activities that help them develop the skills they need to manage tasks with minimal frustration.
Lessons are given in step-by-step increments until a child is able to master an entire procedure. For instance, your child may begin by learning to put his/her coat in their cubby. Then, they will progress to learning how to put the coat on by themselves. Finally, they will learn how to fasten their buttons or zip it coat up by themselves.
Be Attentive to the Child’s Needs
Every child is recognized as a unique individual in his/her classroom who may at times prefer to play alone or in a group. For this reason, classrooms include lots of space for children to make choices during their day with plenty of time to complete every activity.
A day in your child’s Montessori program is designed to be unhurried. This way, your child can practice his/her new skills without feeling rushed. Whether the child needs a few extra moments to help wipe up a spill or they need a new activity because they mastered the first one quickly, a teacher is always ready to guide your child with sensitivity.
Our staff at Joyous Montessori is always ready to give parents ideas on ways to promote independence at home as well. Contact us today to find out how our program can enhance your child’s development.