Planning A Daily Routine at Home the Montessori Way
Updated: Jul 8, 2020
In our current climate, it is important to maintain as normal of a schedule as possible. Having a daily routine at home will help your child adjust to learning at home. Here are some tips with a Montessori lens to help you plan your daily routine at home with your children:
Include your child in your discussion and plan. The more they contribute up front, the more they will be willing to stick to the plan.
Write down the plan. If your child isn’t reading yet, use colors, stickers or symbols to represent the subject.
Include core subjects of language, math, practical life, sensorial and cultural for 1-6 year old students. 6-12 year old student core subjects should include language, math, history, and science.
Plan a “challenging work” before a “relaxing work” and alternate. In the Montessori classroom, children have the freedom to choose their work with specific guidelines. “Challenging work” is work that takes a lot of mental concentration and requires the child to focus for a long period of time. “Relaxing work” is work that does not require the mental focus but is still productive to a child’s development. After a child does a “challenging work” like the 100 Board, he/she will likely need a mental break and can do “relaxing work.”
Include a snack time but have the child prepare and clean up to practice “practical life skills.” If you have a placemat and napkin, store it in an area accessible to the child. When the child finished, have the child wipe the placemat, throw away the trash and wipe the table. The more the child can do independently, the more he/she will learn.
Include outdoor recess. Free play outdoors is important for a child to develop in a less structured environment. He/she will be able to explore the outdoors with their senses. It also provides the child time to develop his/her imagination and pretend to be anything he/she wants to be. If outdoor play is not feasible, there can hopefully be an area can be dedicated indoors to traditional “toys” like Legos and dolls.
Include other subject time like music, PE, Spanish/Mandarin, and art. You can get really creative here and go with your child’s interest. If he/she likes art, art can happen 3 times a week!
Include multiple reading times daily. In the classroom, children have the opportunity to go to the classroom library to read when they choose to. The classroom library is filled with different books of different levels and a comfortable chair. Additionally, teachers read to the children at least two other times during the day.
How does that look in practicality at home? Here is a sample day for a kindergartener:
8:30 – 9:30 am Read a phonetic book, answer comprehension questions on a worksheet (printed from online)
9:30 am – 10:00 am Prepare a snack (apple cutting/banana cutting, etc)
10:00 am – 10:30 am Eat snack and clean up
10:30 am – 11:00 am Math facts worksheet (printed from online, use Cheerios or beans as counters if needed)
11:00 am – 11:30 am Trace a map of a continent/color a flag
11:30 am – 12:00 pm Music time/sing songs/read a book in the library (child can be the teacher while stuffed animals or dolls can be children)
12:00 pm – 12:30 pm Lunch
12:30 – 1:00 pm Help clean up from lunch (stack or dry dishes)
1:00 – 1:30 pm Outdoor recess
1:30 – 2:00 pm Continue to trace map of a content/science experiment
2:00 – 2:30 pm Science experiment/Art project/Free art
2:30 – 3:00 pm Music time/sing songs/read a book
The good news for parents is that children need to repeat activities to learn them. If you plan activities for one day, you can bring them back 2 or 3 days later and your child will enjoy doing it again. Or you can vary the look of the activity but focus on the same subject so the child will feel like he/she is doing something new. For example, a math facts worksheet can be done on different colored paper, have a different cartoon character on it, or can use Cheerios instead of dried beans to count. Whatever you choose to use, the goal is to keep your child interested.
As a final note, Montessori believes in following the child. That means that if a child does not follow the plan completely, do not get frustrated. If a child is tracing a map of a continent and is completely focused and working independently, let him/her continue even if the 30 minutes of time has passed. If a child is struggling with a work, it might help to give the child a timer to see how fast he/she can finish something. Make it fun! If a child is still struggling, it is ok sometimes to take a break with the understanding that he/she will need to go back and finish later. But as a parent, you will need to be ready to follow through or the child will know that “later” means “never.”
Stay tuned for more activities to help your child at home the Montessori way!