Each New Year is welcomed by a familiar annual ritual, one in which we reflect on the past and enthusiastically look toward the year before us. It is a time for planning, setting goals and visualizing future successes. This January, Kendalwood Montessori invites you to take a moment to consider your hopes for your children in the coming year. What would you like them to strive toward? What character traits do you want to cultivate? Are there specific values you would like to nurture?
As a parent who has chosen a Montessori path for your children, you are already providing an environment which aims to help them learn and grow to the very best of their ability, while allowing them to take the lead role in their development and success. If you have 2015 goals based on the growth and development of your children, read on for some helpful ideas!
He who is served is limited in his independence.
– Maria Montessori
Parents often ask us how they can bring Montessori principles into their home and family environment to further support their children using a consistent approach. We have put together a few suggestions that are simple to work into your interactions with your children:
Provide opportunities for your children to do as much for themselves as possible, such as getting dressed, making their bed and packing their bag for school. This may require some patience! The benefits of enabling children to do for themselves are great and cannot be overemphasized. Independence is an aid to life – we want to develop young people who are self-aware and confident, with strong decision making skills.
Help your children learn how to fail successfully. When your child is presented with a challenge, help them to think through more than one approach to solving the problem. Problems are rarely solved with our first attempt and children need to practice the art of problem solving. This can be done in playful situations (how are we going to fix the Lego tower that fell apart?) or in more challenging obstacles that require research and more complex thinking (an advanced homework assignment for an older child).
Cultivate critical thinking skills through play. A fun and easy way to do this is to turn off the technology and sit down together for a family game night! Choose card games or board games that your children enjoy which also require age appropriate reasoning and logic.
Put your children in charge of household tasks! Even very young toddlers are capable of helping with cleaning, sorting the recycling and making meals. Contributing to the daily work of family life helps children develop self-esteem and cultivates appreciation and respect for family members and your home.
Inspire their inner drive to learn at every opportunity. Periodically encourage your child to plan a family activity based on their interests and have regular conversations centered on the topics that appeal to them. You will see the spark in their eyes!
It can be all too easy to lose sight of our larger goals for our children in the midst of our busy days. Taking a moment to reflect and look ahead helps us to reset and focus on the things that matter most – our hopes and dreams. This year, Kendalwood promises to encourage your children to dream big and support them in attainment of their goals!
Happy New Year