Montessori’s ideas need not be limited to the classroom, however. Parents can implement the Montessori principles of child development and education at home, too. First, you must look at your home through your child's perspective. Let your son or daughter experience as much as possible; by participating fully in everyday routines, he or she gains a sense of belonging and of being needed.
Toddlers and preschoolers often plead for parents to "Let me do it by myself.” While allowing them to accomplish things on their own often means more time to get each task done, by listening and allowing the child the freedom, you foster independence and creativity. For example, by finding ways to let your child participate in meal preparation, cleaning, gardening, and caring for clothes, shoes, and toys, you can help build your child's self-esteem.
For young children, creativity often involves new ways of doing things or using familiar objects. Yet in today’s society, this is often discouraged. “It is striking to note certain changes in toys over the years, vehicles, or other objects based on the child's imagination,” Dr. Shiller explains.
“For example, LEGO sets now often contain the blocks for specific objects, so that children put them together in a pre-determined way. In the past, LEGOS were used by children to construct buildings. While educational toys that teach children math skills or geography facts have their value, these kinds of toys don't encourage children to be creative,” she adds.
Creativity is fostered by taking the pressure off children to acquire skills and by encouraging them to do what children are inclined to do naturally—to play in imaginative ways. “Fostering children's creativity is very important. Having the confidence and experience of thinking and playing creatively can not only help growing children develop hobbies that provide pleasure, but also can prepare children for a world that will rapidly change during their lifetime. Computers will be doing much of society's ‘thinking’ in coming years, but computers aren't especially good at being creative! New ideas will help the next generation adapt to the many changes they are likely to encounter,” says Dr. Shiller.