One of many primary questions Montessori homeschoolers ask is how to homeschool when there’s a child or toddler in the home. Not solely is it troublesome to do classes when a child or toddler needs consideration or is making an attempt to seize every part, however how do you put together the surroundings? How are you able to safely have a Montessori setting with small objects when there’s a child or toddler who needs to mouth all the things?
There’s no easy answer for everybody. It takes a lot of statement and creativity to discover one of the best answer for every distinctive household. However it’s potential!
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In a earlier publish, I shared plenty of concepts for stopping choking in infants and toddlers with older siblings. Most of the concepts are from Montessori homeschoolers and are useful for any Montessori homeschoolers with infants or toddlers in addition to older youngsters.
My Montessori Homeschool Surroundings for Babies through Kindergartner
I homeschooled my very own two youngsters through highschool utilizing Montessori rules. Now I’m on the Montessori homeschool workforce for my grandkids.
My son’s daughter’s, Zoey (4½) and Sophia (8½ months) aren’t technically homeschooled. Zoey will attend kindergarten at a personal faculty this yr. It isn’t a Montessori faculty, however it works properly location-wise and is a wonderful faculty. It’s very suitable with the Montessori actions I do with Zoey at my home after faculty some days and on Saturdays. So I’m kind of homeschooling Zoey in that I’m doing her Montessori schooling. I’ll almost certainly be the homeschool instructor for Sophia till she begins attending faculty at age four. And I’m on the homeschool staff for 5½-month-old Caleb (and any future siblings), since my daughter, Christina, and her husband, Tom, plan to homeschool their youngsters.
So my Montessori residence surroundings has studying actions for infants through a kindergartner. It’s simply adaptable through first grade as nicely. Older youngsters sometimes want fewer hands-on supplies and may extra simply use adult-size furnishings, to allow them to be even simpler to match right into a homeschool with infants and toddlers.
I’ll share how my residence setting is altering proper now.
At the beginning of our mind and progress mindset unit, I had the supplies on cabinets designed for a preschooler or kindergartner. As Sophia expanded her crawling distances and Caleb rolled round and crept round extra, I wanted to change the setting to make it extra child protected.
I nonetheless have my prime shelf a lot the identical as a result of Sophia doesn’t stand at that one but. She loves to stand by her child shelf or by the child-size desk in entrance of my Montessori language and cultural shelf. When she begins standing and grabbing issues from the highest white cabinets, I’ll want to change these as wanted.
Proper now, my primary modifications are with the center and backside cabinets, that are those Sophia makes use of. On the center shelf of our themed shelf, I put child toys:
On the underside shelf, I used GlassLock meals storage containers to hold small elements and small cardstock playing cards protected from the infants. They’re on the underside shelf so the infants can use them with out worrying about them being dropped. The GlassLock containers appear a bit stronger than Pyrex, though I nonetheless maintain them on the underside shelf and don’t wash them within the dishwasher or use them within the microwave. I simply use them on the Montessori cabinets to maintain them as robust as attainable. They’re nice as a result of they’re interesting to infants and permit infants to see what’s inside with out damaging the supplies or choking on a small object. In fact, if the glass containers are used too roughly or develop into unsafe in any approach, I’ll instantly change to non-breakable containers till a later time once I reintroduce glass containers.
The sand writing tray and different actions with small objects at the moment are in cupboards with baby-safe latches. Zoey can open them, however the infants can’t. I’ve moved lots of Zoey’s actions into two kitchen cupboards. I’m within the strategy of cleansing out a front room cupboard with a baby-safe latch for Zoey as properly. I additionally put 8½x11″ printables that Zoey makes use of within the cupboards with latches to maintain them protected from infants, who like to crunch and chew papers.
In case you’re questioning what’s in every GlassLock container on the underside shelf, listed here are the supplies from left to proper (from this submit):
- felt mat and mind addition exercise with miniature brains and bead bars
- ai phonogram card and booklet together with movable alphabet letters for spelling the phrase “brain”
- mind puzzle and labeling items (besides for the massive elements of the mind web page, which is in a tray within the kitchen cupboard that has all Zoey’s bigger printables)
- playing cards for the features of the mind format
I additionally moved the pink tower that was between the 2 white cabinets. The small cubes aren’t protected for infants or toddlers who mouth objects, and infants would simply have a tendency to knock down the tower. I would like the pink tower to be used rigorously, so I solely need towers with constructing blocks for infants to use.
Observe: I don’t advocate the pink tower or cylinder blocks designed for toddlers. I all the time advocate getting the full-size materials and adapting that as wanted. If you’d like 5 pink tower cubes for a toddler, take them from the unique pink tower. The miniature cylinder blocks don’t give the identical sensory expertise because the full-size cylinder blocks. Additionally they have even smaller cylinders than the traditional ones and aren’t as protected.
Proper now, solely Zoey can entry the pink tower. I’ve the brown stair and purple rods out there as a result of they aren’t an issue. I even have colour field three on the underside shelf for Zoey. The colour tablets aren’t an issue for the infants. I supervise and observe the infants all the time and take away and substitute any supplies that develop into an issue till they’re a bit older. I’ll be shifting the cylinder blocks and knobless cylinders which have items which are too small as quickly because the infants attempt to play with them and put them of their mouths. The geometric solids are large enough that they aren’t an issue.
In fact, any time the infants begin to hit any of the Montessori supplies collectively, these supplies want to be faraway from the surroundings. I’ll merely give the infant a musical instrument, kitchen treasure basket, or one other materials for hitting collectively whereas I put the Montessori materials away.
The Montessori child shelf now has:
As I stated, Sophia and Caleb aren’t within the prime cabinets but, so I haven’t modified these. Proper now, the highest shelf of our language and cultural shelf has a few of Zoey’s favourite progress mindset books: Bubble Gum Mind, Your Implausible Elastic Mind, and Howdy, Mind?: A Ebook about Speaking to Your Mind.
Sophia sometimes will get distracted by the desk and likes to stand by it, so she doesn’t sometimes hassle the supplies on the shelf but. I’ve moved the coloured pencils and markers to a storage container on my counter the place Zoey can simply entry them.
The desk is definitely a Montessori weaning desk with Montessori child chair that Sophia makes use of (and Caleb will quickly use) and small slatted chair that Zoey doesn’t thoughts nonetheless utilizing.
Our couch and loveseat divide the lounge from the eating room, which has a big picket desk for household dinners. When Zoey is working with small objects whereas the infants are awake, I’ve her work on the eating room desk. No, it isn’t baby measurement, nevertheless it retains the infants protected. And Zoey doesn’t actually thoughts.
For Christmas annually, I like to get a particular Montessori-friendly current for our house setting. Final Christmas, I received a bigger current than regular – a Schleich farm with animals and equipment to use for a grammar farm in addition to playset for quite a lot of ages. Thus far, we’ve used it as a farm for dramatic play. This fall, I’ll begin utilizing it as a grammar farm with Montessori grammar supplies for Zoey. I’m regularly buying extra Schleich animals for the farm.
Zoey’s farm with quite a lot of Schleich animals and equipment, together with small figures, is on one finish of our eating room desk. It’s on a stunning 44×44″ Nook Farm Pond Playsilk. On a Schleich farm life playmat on the ground are a number of the greater Schleich farm figures for the infants. These are lovely Montessori-friendly supplies that can be utilized for a few years after which handed on to my great-grandchildren!
My Favourite Ideas for Together with Babies and Toddlers in a Montessori Homeschool Setting
- Observe, observe, observe! Remark is admittedly crucial method for protecting a protected surroundings that meets the wants of all the youngsters utilizing the surroundings.
- Do massive tasks and actions that shall be an issue for infants and toddlers throughout naptime every time attainable.
- Don’t be afraid to put some supplies on excessive cabinets or wherever they’re out of infants’ and toddlers’ attain.
- Distraction and redirection can alleviate plenty of issues. I like to use mild redirection each time wanted. For instance, if a child tries to take a paperback e-book that would get crunched from the common guide basket, I’ll redirect the infant to one among my child ebook baskets.
- Discover methods to embrace the infants and toddlers each time attainable. An older sibling studying a ebook to a child or toddler or appearing as a instructor is fantastic for each youngsters!
Getting ready Montessori Spaces in Your Residence
See “How to Create a Montessori-Friendly Home” for concepts for a lot of ranges. Listed here are a few of my foremost residence surroundings posts:
Jo Ebisujima and I’ve a free Montessori at house webinar and introduction to our Montessori Crash Course.
2018 Montessori Collection – Homeschool/Child Spaces
This publish is a part of the 2018 Montessori Collection with the theme of homeschool/child areas. See the homeschool/child areas of some fabulous bloggers under:
Do you have got some favourite methods to embrace a child or toddler in your Montessori homeschool?
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