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3 min read

I wanted to clear up 3 common Montessori myths.

These misconceptions can make parents feel like they're "doing it wrong" and it just puts unnecessary pressure on families to do everything perfectly.

Hopefully this short email will make you feel like Montessori at home is easily achievable, no matter how much time you have, where you live, and was resources you have access to.

Because the benefits can be amazing for your child (and your whole family):
  • love of learning
  • deepened concentration
  • development of the growth mindset
  • more confidence

To name just a few of the biggest benefits.

1. Montessori Is Expensive šŸ’°

Montessori schools are often more expensive than other childcare options. This is because of the smaller class sizes, additional teacher training, and use of high quality, natural materials.

However, Montessori at home does NOT have to be expensive.

At its core, Montessori at home is really a mindset.

It's about:

1. Following the child - allowing them the time and freedom to follow their interests and development of skills. We meet the child where they're at, offering opportunities to work on areas of interest without interruption.

For example, a child interested in repeating the same puzzle over and over is given the freedom to that. They are then offered a more challenging puzzle when they have mastered the first. A child deeply driven to climb is given daily opportunity to move their body, climb, and engage in risky play.

2. Simplifying their space - Keep a limited number of developmentally appropriate and interesting materials available. This will make it easier for your child to choose an activity without feeling overwhelmed.

3. Allowing independence - Observe your child, watch for their interest in independence and allow it/guide it whenever possible.

Place their items - clothes, self-care, kitchen tools, toys, etc - in places that they are able to independently access, like low shelves and cupboards. This will boost their confidence and enjoyment of learning to become independent. More on this below.

2. Forced Independence

Social media might have you believe that two year olds raised in a Montessori family are capable of completely dressing themselves, preparing their own breakfast, and then cleaning up afterwards.

While some two years can do some of those things, that's certainly not the expectation or purpose of Montessori.

Montessori is simply about following the child (have I said that enough times šŸ˜‚).

Do they have an interest in being independent in certain a task, like putting on their shoes, zipping their jacket, or helping to prep their snack? Can you include them when they want to join in?

If they're not showing an interest around a particular skill and they're still young, there's no reason to push for it. It will come.

3. Avoid Cartoon Images and Fantasy

I recently shared this post 8 Fun Activities You Can Do With Family Photos where I talked about how young children are usually more interested in real life images rather than cartoons.

While that's true, that doesn't mean you can never read books with cartoon images.

The emphasis is on real life AND images of things that are meaningful to your child's life - things they can experience.

Books like Everyone Poops, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, or Ada Twist, Scientist are all Montessori-aligned and help children to learn about the world around them.

Books like Little Blue Truck or Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site are not Montessori aligned, because of the talking trucks, but can enjoyable too. Most toddlers love simple rhyming books like these and they're great for early language development.

It's all about balance. It's good to focus on the tangible but you'd be missing out on a lot of great books if you limited your library to only books with real photos.

More Misconceptions...

For more common Montessori myths and how to make is easier to implement at home, check out Katie's video, 5 Common Misconceptions about Montessori, here:Ā https://youtu.be/LWuxMIfH6h8

She goes into more detail than I did on the three points above and covers two more myths.

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