We feel the learning environment that best illustrates a positive atmosphere for instruction and study is a properly equipped Montessori classroom. Not only do they have correctly proportioned furniture, they use some of the best hands-on equipment and lessons for children of any school we've seen. This is a picture of a typical Montessori classroom.
Ideas for Your Learning Environment
1. According to Maria Montessori, the learning environment at school or home should be sparse but housed with carefully chosen materials which encourage the child to work, stay concentrated and happy. A crowded or chaotic environment can cause stress and dissipate a child's energy. Too many materials, or inappropriate materials can be worse than too few. It's important to keep games and lessons fresh and interesting. Simple is better.
2. Have a mix of ages if possible. This is beneficial because it helps the older children take leadership roles by helping younger students. Ages 3 - 6, for example, is a good range of ages.
3. Provide children with segments of uninterrupted time to do their work. Three hours is good.
4. Children should be free to move around the classroom.
5. Try not to use colors that are harsh or strong. These can become over stimulating and distract from study. Pastel colors are best.
6. For Furniture in the learning environment, try to use soft furniture and buy flat surfaced areas like tables with rounded edges.
7. Have a defined location in the room for individual lessons like a 3 x 2 foot swatch of carpet on the floor. Older children may be using a table.
8. Keep unwanted odors out of this area as well as TV or other noises that can disturb attention and concentration. (Read our article on sensory stimulation)
9. Bond with your children through love and closeness. Love is probably the most important element to the success of your child's education. Love makes children feel safe, comfortable and calm. Love itself can make almost any home or school the best learning environment for your children.
For more information about the Montessori Education, click here.