Creating a Montessori Home School Environment

By Ina Woolcott

Carefully consider all the family activities and the materials used, in
all areas of the home, and arrange the environment to include the child.

By the front door have a hook(s) to hang coat(s) easily within your
child’s reach, and have a low stool for your child so they can more easily put
on their shoes.

Play Areas and Toys

Children should have
a “main” play area, that is attractive and safe. Also have small areas in other
rooms where your child’s belongings are and where they can play.

The Young Child
– Should have low shelves, a selection of toys and books in easy to manage amounts.
– Books should be arranged so that the front cover can be viewed.
– Instead of storing things in large toy chests or boxes, it is suggested you use trays/ baskets, small boxes, hooks and shelves into which the child’s belonging can be arranged. These can be sorted into types of clothing e.g. trousers and t-shirts, soft/wooden toys, puzzles/games, art material, kitchen utensils, etc. This can make tidying up more enjoyable and logical, as well as simpler.
– Finding a toy will be easier
– Pictures on the wall can be framed art prints or simple posters. Children actually prefer proper paintings to cartoons.
– Containers can be labelled with photos or drawn pictures to show what toy is contained therein.
– Show your child how to tidy up, encourage them to clean with a damp cloth, perhaps, the shelves and toys. It is also a good idea to rotate toys so interest is not lost.

The Emergent Reader

These should have the same as above with the variation of:
– Pictures with word labels.
– An increase in the quantity of toys and educational items.
– The child should help to organise, label and sort toys.
– Have a rota showing when toys and shelving should be cleaned.
– Supply a study area, a desk with a lamp.
– Add a clock to their bedroom- a digital anda regular clock face.


The Older Student

– If needed label toys and games.
– Game pieces may be stored in small containers that are labelled.
– A study area that is quiet and encourages good study habits needs to be added. There should be no interference of TV or Computer games.

In the Kitchen
Don’t forget here that you are encouraging your child to be as independent as possible.

The Young Child
– Have a low cupboard or shelf with their supplies – muesli in a container they can dispense themselves, snacks they are allowed to have, their crockery, cutlery and a glass/cup/beaker to drink from.
– In the fridge on a low shelf have whatever it is they drink such as a small jug of water, milk etc and also any refrigerated foods they can help themselves to.
– Maybe have a low childs table with chair where they can prepare their drinks and sit and eat their snacks.
– Allow your child(ren) to help choose what they want to eat for lunch .

The Emergent Reader .
– Now is the time to allow your child to gain more freedom in the kitchen but keep a similar routine of storing their foods and supplies within reach.
– Children can start to read labels at home or the store to determine nutritional values of the food they choose.
– They can help with the cooking and preparing of food. This applies to breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is important.
– They could also plan a weeks lunch menu ahead of time to help teach them how to plan ahead.
– Your child can stand on a stool and help you wash up and dry up.
– They can clean the kitchen floor with a wet cloth or a child size mop.

The Older Students
– At this age children are ready to start cooking projects in the home with less supervision. However supervision is required when using sharp instruments such as knives or the cooker.
– It is now an excellent opportunity to invite friends round for a party where your child can prepare food, pick the decoration and lay the table for instance.

Clothes and Washing

The Young Child
– They can help to fold washing and sort dirty clothes into colours.
– can tidy away their clothes in the drawers and shelves within reach, with help. Labelling drawers and shelves with pictures where things belong such as socks and trousers can help.

The Emergent Reader
– can take aboard more responsibility for tidying away and sorting dirty washing.

The Older Student
– By the age of 10 children can learn how to use the washing machine – under supervision – and do their own washing. When they are older this can help with the problem “MUM..! Where is my..(insert clothe item name).


// In the Bathroom

The Young Child
– Should have a stool so they can reach the toilet and sink with their toothbrush and toothpaste in easy reach.
– Perhaps they can have a small basket/tray with essential items for simple hygiene can be put on a shelf for a them to use.
– They should help clean the bathroom. This is essential for the child to take ownership in what belongs to them.
– Bath toys should be sorted in containers so they can easily be taken out or put away.

The Emergent Reader
Keep going with and expand on the above (young child in the bathroom) to give the child increasing independence in the bathroom.
– A daily checklist of hygienic care such as have a shower/bath, wash face/hair,
brush teeth etc can be added

The Older Student
As children approach puberty lessons in proper hygienic care are needed and they should be able to take care of themselves when having a shower/bath etc. You may need to add additional things to their stuff such as deodorants, sanitary pad etc. a checklist can still be helpful at this age to ensure all hygiene routines are fulfilled.

Allowing Children to make Choice

Giving choices is very important to make your child feel like an equal. Offer them the opportunity to make decisions without negative consequences. This shows that you have confidence in her/his ability to make choices and gives them the experience in expressing preferences.

The Young Child
– Limit choices e.g.
– giving a child the chance to choose gives them a sense of control and can be a good way to avoid power struggles.
But remember if there is a dangerous situation then there is no time for choice.

The Emergent Reader
– Choices can be given more freely. For instance, you may have a discussion about bedtime. ‘Do you want to go to bed now or shall I read you a story first?’
– Another example of choice ‘do you want to wear the pink or the purple top?’
– The opportunity to choose helps a child assume responsibility of a situation when questions arise.
– Imagine a 2 year old who is just starting to be able to function independently on many physical and mental levels. They are not interested in being told what to do, but very interested in being given choices and trying things for themselves. Imagine a mother shouting at her child because she wont allow her to put her shoes on. How about giving that 2 year old the choice of them doing it themselves or you helping.

The Older Student
Having choice continues to be a good building block in parenting and trust, There are situations and things when there can be no choice and these must be determined and you must ensure your child understands that there are limits. Giving freedom in choices builds trust for later years. It also shows your respect for your child, whatever their age.
In general there should be a place in each room where a child can have their personal belongings. Shelves should not be over cluttered as this can cause a cluttered mind. Whatever is visible affects the mind. Nothing helps create beauty more than providing beauty from the youngest age. This doesn’t mean shelves etc should be overly expensive they
should just be neat and tidy at most. The same is true with sounds in a child’s environment. A child is always aware of the sounds of TV or radio, adults have already learned to block this out over time, and children may become upset if they become over stimulated by things of which adults are no longer even aware!

Semangat Bunda..

Better Late than Never ^_^