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Preparing the Home Environment

Why is it important to prepare an environment?

The first aim of the prepared environment is, as far as it is possible, to render the growing child independent of the adult. That is, it is a place where he can do things for himself – live his own life – without the immediate help of adults (Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work)

This does not mean that your child doesn’t need you – simply that they can be independent without relying on you for basic self-care and aspects of daily living. They are free to create important human characteristics through being active within your home life.

One of the most important parts of Montessori education is the prepared environment. As your child passes through each period of human development they have specific needs.

I help you adjust your home environment to support this process and remove any obstacles to natural development.

I believe that there are three kinds of activities that children can, no must, do by themselves. They are: 1. sleeping, the question of the bed; 2. mastering the environment, that is the question of furniture; 3. being self-sufficient, to do everything that he can do. (Maria Montessori: AMI Communications)

The home is the first, and most important, environment for your child; and the human environment is equally as important as the physical environment (especially from birth to 3 years). At the end of the first 3 years, your child will have mastered the fundamental human characteristics of your family and cultural society. Their personality is created based on their daily role models – that’s you!

A strong emotional bond and attachment is vitally important, as well as the respect you show your child’s natural drives for development (especially from 0-3 years).

What will we need to consider and change?

Some of the aspects we will consider during home consultations are:

  • The behaviour of all adults within the home (movements, emotions and language).
  • The emotional atmosphere (acceptance, trust and respect).
  • How to accurately observe your child and respond to their needs.
  • Keeping a sense of order, consistency and routine to provide security.
  • The best use of space to allow free movement and independence.
  • Using beautiful materials, toys and art to entice your child towards independence and optimal development.
  • Understanding and offering freedom within appropriate limits.

How will these changes benefit my child and our family?

Dr Montessori was very vocal about the impact of the human and physical environment on children’s development:

The preparation of the environment, and of things or objects in the environment, is the first external act of a deeper transformation which consists in leaving the child free to act according to his or her natural tendencies. (Maria Montessori: The Manual of Scientific Pedagogy)

A prepared environment plays a vital role in your child’s development – it means your child can follow their inner drives and create their personality, coordination, language and self-esteem, without being dependent on you all the time.

It means you will have more time to do what you need, while your child plays and learns independently. Each day, there will be times you share and other times when you are each focused on something important to you. In this way, your child can develop their natural capacity for concentration, which leads on to self-belief and a quiet confidence in their own abilities.

When talking of the ‘freedom of the child’, people always think of naughtiness, but it is all about giving the child the opportunity to develop himself by imitating that which he sees adults do, but reduced to his own size… we have seen that our children can only be happy when they are working or in an environment which can satisfy the needs of their growing psyche, where there is human dignity, where we can give them a peaceful, pleasant life. (Maria Montessori: Communications)

Click here to see all the home support packages currently available to help your family achieve these goals.