Montessori Discipline for the Home

Montessori Discipline for the Home

Watch on YouTube | Subscribe on YouTube

This webinar provides parents with strategies for implementing Montessori discipline and connection in the home. Led by Tamara Sheesley Balis, Head of School at Greenspring Montessori School, this webinar draws on strategies from the book No-Drama Discipline by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson, psychologist Ross Greene, and Hand in Hand Parenting.

If you have questions or would like to suggest topics for future events, please contact us at learn@greenspringmontessori.org. To learn more about the Montessori Method, please visit our Research and Resources page.

Recommended Reading

Throughout the webinar, we recommend several books also listed below.


No-Drama Discipline by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson


Listen by Patty Wipfler and Tosha Schore


The Power of Showing Up by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson


How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Greenspring Montessori School will earn a commission if you click through and purchase an affiliate resource. We take special care to recommend resources that worked well for us or came highly recommended. If you would like to increase the amount your purchase impacts our school, please make sure to select the Montessori Society of Central MD Inc. as the charity you are supporting when using Amazon Smile.

Raising Toddlers with Montessori Discipline

Raising Toddlers with Montessori Discipline

Watch on YouTube | Subscribe on YouTube

Greenspring Montessori School Toddler Guides, Danuta Wilson and Kim McCaslin, discuss strategies to encourage your child to self-regulate their behaviors and emotions at home. They provide simple strategies that can be implemented at home today, all based off of their Montessori training, 15+ years combined classroom experience, and their own experiences as parents.

If you have questions or would like to suggest topics for future events, please contact us at learn@greenspringmontessori.org.

Supporting Your Toddler’s Independence

Supporting Your Toddler’s Independence

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Greenspring Montessori School will earn a commission if you click through and purchase an affiliate resource. We take special care to recommend resources that worked well for us or came highly recommended. If you would like to increase the amount your purchase impacts our school, please make sure to select the Montessori Society of Central MD Inc. as the charity you are supporting when using Amazon Smile.

Watch on YouTube  |  Subscribe to us on YouTube

If you are interested in learning more about how to support your toddler’s growing independence at home, take a moment to watch this webinar with Greenspring Montessori School Toddler Guides, Allie Alexander and Michelle Donohue. Allie and Michelle have over twenty years combined teaching experience and they both have Montessori toddlers at home. They offer practical advice that is easy to impliment, as well as suggested products to aid in your child’s independence.

For a full list of products for your child, please take a look below:

Drinkware

We recommend that you wean children off of bottles and pacifiers once they are twelve months old. Current research suggests that bottles and sippy cups can be damaging to your child’s oral development, so we recommend starting with an open mouth cup, or if you are on the go, a straw cup with a lid or a child’s water bottle.
Cups with Straws
Children’s Water Bottles
Most water bottles found in the children’s section (not the baby section) will work well.
Ikea is also a great place to find inexpensive child-sized open cups, silverware, plates, etc. for when you are eating at the table. We recommend that parents avoid plates and bowls that suction to the table after 18 months.

Footwear

Soft-soled shoes are best for children learning to walk. Once your child’s dexterity begins to improve, we recommend shoes and boots that are also easy to pull on and off.

Target, Carter’s, and Kohl’s have soft-soled booties as well.
Many of these items can be purchased used on sites like Facebook Marketplace or at your local consignment shop if you are looking for some less expensive options.

We also recommend searching the For Small Hands website if you are looking for something specific for your child. They have a variety of child-sized materials for every area of the home.

 


Take a look at our Montessori in the Home series for more tips for toddlers and infants:

Empowering and Partnering with your Child Through Adolescence

Empowering and Partnering with your Child Through Adolescence

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Greenspring Montessori School will earn a commission if you click through and purchase an affiliate resource. We take special care to recommend resources that worked well for us or came highly recommended. If you would like to increase the amount your purchase impacts our school, please make sure to select the Montessori Society of Central MD Inc. as the charity you are supporting when using Amazon Smile.

Watch on YouTube

Whether you have a five-year-old or a fifteen-year-old, you can find easy ways to create partnerships at home. During this webinar, you will learn steps to implement structures around family meetings, active listening, and allowances – all designed to support you and your child or adolescent in your partnership at home.

Resources for Empowering and Partnering with your Child

Active Listening Worksheet

Empowering and Partnering with your Child Through the Adolescent Years Powerpoint

Family Meeting Album from positivediscipline.com

Recommended Reading

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World by Kristen Welch

The Opposite of Spoiled

The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money by Ron Lieber

Duct Tape Parenting

Duct Tape Parenting by Vick Hoefle

Have Questions? Suggestions? Let us know!

If you have any questions about this webinar or suggestions for future topics, please let us know! You can email us at learn@greenspringmontessori.org or comment below.

Introducing your Family to the Idea of Independence

Introducing your Family to the Idea of Independence

“Never help a child at a task which he feels can succeed.” -Dr. Maria Montessori

If you are lucky, your family members – especially those proud grandparents! – are excited and eager to learn more about your child’s Montessori journey. While we can’t expect our extended family to completely rearrange their homes or lifestyles, there are some simple ways that they can support your child in building independence.

Simple ways for family members to help your child’s growing independence

Allow the child to make decisions with limited choices
You can allow a child opportunities to make decisions without giving up all control. Consider offering two choices – both of which you are happy with. “Would you like a grilled cheese sandwich or chicken noodle soup for lunch?”

Allow the child to do things for herself
It is the natural instinct of a loving family member to make life “easier” for a child. But when we take away opportunities to overcome worthy challenges, we inhibit them from learning new skills and building self-esteem. For example, it may take much longer for a young child to zip up her own coat, but when time allows, give her the opportunity to try. If she begins to get frustrated, provide the minimal amount of help needed (such as holding the bottom of the coat to create tension, while the child pulls up the zipper).

Prepare the environment for independence 
Allowing a child to do things for herself may require some support. Consider providing a stool at the bathroom sink so the child can reach the faucet to wash her hands. Consider putting out a small pitcher of water and a small glass so she can help herself when she is thirsty. If dishes, napkins, and silverware are placed in a lower cabinet, the child can help set the table for a meal.

Involve the child in activities of daily life
Not every visit with Grandma and Grandpa needs to involve a trip to the zoo. Children want to do what you do! Invite them to join you peeling vegetables, feeding pets, watering the flowers, etc. You may need to provide child-size tools for some of these activities, such as a small watering can or acrylic knife, so that your child can participate fully.

Create order in the environment
Instead of piling toys in a basket, consider setting up a small open bookshelf where only a few toys are accessible. This helps the child make independent choices and give more focused attention to the chosen activity. (Toys can be rotated in and out to keep the child’s interest.) A minimal, organized toy area will also help the child clean up independently because there is a clear place for everything.

Be careful of praise
Dr. Montessori found that praise can inhibit children from gaining independence because they begin to rely on the judgement of others. As an alternative, encouragement can be empowering. So instead of “Good job!” “Good girl,” or “You are so smart,” you can try, “You did it!” “Thank you for your help,” or “I can tell you worked really hard on this.”

How to help family members get on board

Model rather than preach!
Most family members won’t appreciate being given a list of rules about how to behave around your child. But you can provide a powerful example by modeling these approaches in front of your family.

Gentle reminders
Feel free to give family members gentle reminders, such as “Please don’t help him; he can do it himself” You can also make it clear what the child is capable of, such as “Lila likes to choose her own clothing. She can get dressed herself but she might need help if her arms get stuck. Please don’t worry if she puts things on the wrong way.”

Provide resources
If a family member seems receptive, you might share an article with a brief introduction to Montessori at Home, such as this one. For those who wish to know more, a nice introductory book is How to Raise an Amazing Kid the Montessori Way by Tim Seldin. Though not all of it will apply to extended family, it’s a quick read with lots of beautiful photos that provides a nice overview of Montessori for families. If you would like to help family members find child-size tools or suggest gifts that would be appreciated, you can give them a copy of the For Small Hands catalog or share a link to their website. You may also consider creating an Amazon wish list.

“The greatest gifts we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” -Dr. Maria Montessori

With a little help from family, we can create even more consistency between school and home and provide more opportunities for the child to build independence.

 

Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius

Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius

Dr. Angeline Lillard, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, has been studying Montessori’s methods for more than two decades. Dr. Lillard asserts that traditional American schooling is in constant crisis because it is based on two poor models for children’s learning: the school as a factory and the child as a blank slate. As an alternative, Dr. Maria Montessori, the first female physician in Italy, devised a very different method of educating children, based on her observations of how they naturally learn. Though Dr. Montessori developed her methodology over 100 years ago, Dr. Lillard shows that science has finally caught up with her groundbreaking work.


                                1st edition                                                    3rd edition, now available

In her book Montessori: The Science behind the Genius, Dr. Lillard presents scientific studies that show how children learn best, makes clear why many traditional practices come up short, and explains why Montessori methods work. One such study is “Montessori Education Provides Better Outcomes Than Traditional Methods,” published in the September 29, 2006 issue of the journal Science. Among the findings were that 5-year-old Montessori students proved to be significantly better prepared for elementary school in reading and math skills than the non-Montessori children. They also tested better on “executive function,” the ability to adapt to changing and more complex problems, an indicator of future school and life success. Montessori children also displayed better abilities on the social and behavioral tests, demonstrating a greater sense of justice and fairness. And on the playground they were much more likely to engage in emotionally positive play with peers, and less likely to engage in rough play. You can read the full article reporting on this study here.

Dr. Lillard presents the research concerning eight insights that are foundational to Montessori education and describes how each of these insights is applied in the Montessori classroom. These insights are:

  • Movement and Cognition – movement and cognition are closely entwined, and movement can enhance thinking and learning;
  • Choice – learning and well-being are improved when people have a sense of control over their lives;
  • Interest – people learn better when they are interested in what they are learning;
  • Extrinsic Rewards are Avoided – tying extrinsic rewards to an activity, like gold starts for reading or money for high grades for tests, negatively impacts motivation to engage in that activity when the reward is withdrawn;
  • Learning with and from Peers – collaborative arrangements can be very conductive to learning;
  • Learning in Context – learning situated in meaningful contexts is often deeper and richer than learning in abstract contexts;
  • Teacher Ways and Child Ways – particular forms of adult interaction (such as “freedom with responsibility”) are associated with more optimal child outcomes;
  • Order in Environment and Mind – order in the environment helps children build internal order of the mind.

In reading this book, parents and teachers alike will develop a clear understanding of what happens in a Montessori classroom and, more importantly, why it happens and why it works. A third edition of this groundbreaking work is now available!