The Ordered Environment ...

I love the montessori approach to teaching but applying some of techniques has been challenging. Every time I read anything about montessori the term "the ordered environment" always sends chills up and down my spine.  True confession time: I am not a tidy person.  I do not always put things in there proper place.  I am not proud of it, and I am, of coarse, on a voyage of self improvement on that front. I sometimes leave the dishes until after I get the kiddos to bed, fall asleep myself before getting to them and wake up to the treatury that is a sink full of crusty dishes.  Yes, I understand that my day would get off to a better start if I hadn't left the dishes.  I worry about the bad example and all of that.  But somedays I'm just exhausted, energy zapped and prioritize my shower over the dishes. 

One of my main challenges is that our "learning space" is smack dab in the middle of our house.  On good weeks this actually makes it easier to keep up with things.  But on days when I or the littles or the whole family is behind the 8 ball ... it is horrific.  When I look at pictures of montessori pre schools they are calm,open and well ordered.  My environment tends to be well a little less serine.  :)  Here are my top 3 tips that help keep me on track and help me to right the ship when it all goes wong.

  1. Open Bins, Baskets and Trays: I can't believe I'm saying this because it's a concept that I found very annoying when I started implementing Montessori curriclumn in our home. But when displayed in a lovely way toys can be quite lovely.  I have also found that having visable open items reduces dumping and digging.  When they can see what it is they tend to only go for it when they want to play with item.  My favorite change was taking our twigs out of the
  2. Creating environmental freedom doesn't mean EVERYTHING needs to be out all the time.  Especially in a small space having ALL of our materials accessible to small hands creates a cluttered environment. 
  3. Montessori Mats: I LOVE THESE THINGS!  I made some faux montesorri mats until we can afford an upgrade.  I was inspired by Montesorri At Home to make them out of soft shelf liner.  They have been fantastic.  I use them everytime I teach a 3 part lesson.  My oldest son and niece use them all the time when they want to create space for themselves to work on something.  They love the process of rolling and un-rolling them!  :)

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The Wasting Nothing Philosophy

Playing, cooking, reading, exploring, loving, laughing, and making a mess with your little one is NEVER a waste of time! It is priority one! It's not just about getting to know your little one. It's about letting your little one get to know you!