Montessori-style independence is unique, in that it follows the child’s lead and respects the child as a capable and whole individual. You don’t even need to know what Montessori IS to be a Montessori-style parent, or to implement the ideas encompassed in the following posts.
In our home, Montessori-style independence ranges from cooking on the stove, to dressing ourselves, to using our peace corner to calm ourselves, and respectful sleep routines. This all boils down to a mantra that I have repeated to my daughter since she was 4 months old:
“I am confident and I am capable.”
10 Ways to Nurture Montessori-style Independence:
- Get in the Mindset.
Living Montessori Now shares some great tips on how to get into the mindset of Montessori independence. Montessori Mischief shares about how it looks when your children start exploring their independence (and what to expect from well-meaning bystanders), and one from Milkweed Montessori about blossoming independence in a toddler.
- Empower your toddler and preschooler to dress themselves.
Preschool Toolbox has 6 Tips for Helping Preschoolers Get Dressed Independently. And if you want some great suggestions for a Toddler Closet, check out the Kavanaugh Report. This can even start with diapering, and can also be used for getting out the door.
- Set-up their environment…
Vibrant Wanderings is always an amazing resource for Montessori, and her post on Fostering Toddler Independence via a thoughtful environmental set-up is no exception; Racheous shares a room-by-room list of tips to make your home more accessible and supportive of independence.
- …Especially the kitchen.
I would be remiss if I didn’t include a post from Counting Coconuts, whose list of activities and ideas for an independent snack corner inspired my own! Marie Mack also has a great post about this.
- Let them make cake (or quiche).
How We Montessori shows some child-safe food preparation ideas, and Making Montessori Ours shows how kids can cook anything – even a quiche!
- Set up invitations.
Natural Homeschool shares the simplicity of a practical life invitation for peeling a carrot,and there are so many beautiful invitations at Trillium that its hard to pick just one. The beauty is in the simplicity.
- Toilet Learn rather than Train.
How to incorporate Montessori-style respect into toilet learning.
- A routine is key to confidence and independence.
Mama Happy Hive has some great tips for instilling independence in her 16 month old’s routine. I shared Ella’s routine around the same age here.
- Indulge in unstructured play.
Betsy Finn shares about some fun in the snow, and ruminates about how unstructured play can nurture independence. Slowing down is key.
- Have an inner life, and model that for your child.
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