Starting off the Montessori preschool year with confidence and positivity is a great way to prepare your child to excel as they progress through the Montessori Curriculum. Below are five practical phrases you can use at home to help reiterate what your little one is learning in the Montessori classroom that will help them to develop a Montessori mindset.
1. “You are making great progress.”
Montessori education is focused on intrinsic motivation and developing a growth mindset. Instead of praising how quickly your child completed their work, or how easy it was for them, comment instead on how they concentrated for a long time and persevered despite challenges. By praising your child’s efforts over the result, you will help them to learn that anything is possible if they put their mind to it.
Result Focus: “You are doing such a great job.”
Effort Focus: “I can see that you have been concentrating so hard on your work.”
2. “That’s a great question, do you think you can work it out?”
Encouraging independence is an important Montessori concept that will lead your child to develop a strong sense of self. When your child asks you a question, encourage them to find the solution, and persevere until they discover the answer. By showing your child that they are capable of seeking out answers, they will learn to trust in themselves, and their ability to problem solve.
Child’s Question: “Do you know where my shoe is?”
Parent’s Answer: “Where was the last place you left it? You could begin searching there.”
3. “What do you think about your work?”
Self-analysis is a big part of Montessori education. It teaches your child to become their own guide, and their own teacher, through the power of self-discovery. To encourage your child to develop the skills of self-analysis, invite them to evaluate their own work, rather than look to others for approval.
Approval Focus: “Your picture is beautiful.”
Self-Analysis Focus: “What do you think about your picture? How did you decide what to draw and what colours to use?”
4. “Tell me a way that you would like me to help.”
Taking on responsibilities are important to the development of the child and their understanding of how communities function. In a Montessori classroom, children are responsible for taking care of their environment, and take great pride in watering the plants, packing away, and keeping their classroom tidy. It is important for children to learn to take on new responsibilities, but also to know that they can ask for help, when they need it. If your child is getting overwhelmed with the size of a task, encourage them to ask for help to make the task more manageable, without offering to ‘save the day.’
Taking Control: “Let me do that for you.”
Encouraging Independence: “What part would you like help with?”
5. “It looks like you are really enjoying your work.”
Encouraging your child to persevere in the face of adversity is an important skill that will empower them to value the process, and overcoming challenges, as well as progress. With some activities and tasks, your child may be tempted to give up, especially if they don’t find it easy. Encourage them to value the process, reflect on what they enjoyed about completing their work, and the lessons they learned.
Praising Results: “You completed your work perfectly.”
Encouraging Resilience: “Tell me about your work. What was your favourite part?”