The term "prepared environment" is frequently used to describe a Montessori classroom. The environment here has been designed as a learning laboratory where children are encouraged to explore, learn, and be creative. A setting that is prepared is one where a group of kids can learn as they become independent individuals, increasing their social and academic skills. Maria Montessori understood the idea of a child's absorbent mind and the particular method that youngsters learn.
The abundance of order, attractiveness, accessibility, and availability of genuine items rather than toys are characteristics of the prepared environment. The Montessori resources, which make up the great variety of sequential learning activities in a Montessori classroom, are everywhere. Each item has a function and a special place, and they are all arranged in order on open shelves without any clutter. Children become more independent from the structured surroundings as they wander around, selecting their own work and exercising independent judgment.
What to keep in mind while creating a prepared environment at home?
Freedom: Freedom of choice is one of the main goals of a Montessori prepared environment.
Social Environment: The prepared environment ought to encourage freedom of interaction in order to support social development.
Structure and Order
Creating a Prepared Environment at Home
It's simpler than you might imagine to create a Montessori classroom at home!
Your home should be set up gradually. Many people are suddenly compelled to make several modifications to their homes after discovering Montessori and feel incredibly inspired. Some people might feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start as a result.
A young child (0–6) seeks structure. Even when changes are for the best, numerous significant ones can upset a child's desire for order and lead to meltdowns.
Consider your surroundings through the eyes of a child. Do they possess all that they require? Can they access every area? Are there any items that need to be guarded because they could be dangerous? Often, all you actually need to do is consider minor adjustments: furniture that has been moved to be better positioned, a hook here, a basket there, etc. This is accomplished by providing the child with the freedom to explore, move freely, interact socially, and not be hampered by other people. We think it's important to give our kids enough freedom to choose their own routines. In the meantime, as mentors, we will closely monitor them and make any necessary corrections. It enhances the cognitive skill, which is the ability to know, think, learn, and judge.
Don’t feel pressured to go all out and buy the most expensive equipment and materials! Great if you can and want to, but I’ve found you can hack your Montessori prepared environment at home just as well and get the same result.
Setting up an area where the youngster can "work" while having everything they need nearby is the first step in creating a prepared environment. In light of this, it is expected that the child is able to ACCESS EVERYTHING (art supplies, paper, glue, scissors, etc.) INDEPENDENTLY and knows WHERE EVERYTHING IS! Once you ensure that the principles are kept in mind, and you use all the available materials, voila, you have gotten your prepared environment!
The effectiveness of the experience for both parent and child will depend on how much effort the parent invests into creating a Montessori-prepared environment at home. The child is better able to learn to their full potential, feel more successful in preschool, and grow in confidence and independence in the prepared setting.