Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Prepared environment

Rachel here. Our home is not large by any stretch of the imagination, but I won't lie to you, it's pretty adorable. One of the main ideas in Montessori is everything has a place in order to respect your environment (please remember I'm still learning... A LOT, but we're all really trying to understand this whole process). That's definitely something we struggle with. There is not nearly enough time/space in the day to make sure our home is spotless, and honestly I've given up trying to be perfect. HOWEVER... I'm trying. I'm trying to organize and make sure things are in their proper home before bedtime. One thing I've really tried to work on is the girls' stuff. And by stuff... I mean everything they own. Because our home is two levels, the girls have NO toys in their rooms. Reese has her ponies and Mr. Potato Head up in hers because the pieces are too small for Emma Grace, but in general they are still too young to be out of earshot/eyesight from me while playing. This by default means all toys are downstairs. Oy. This is our main living area... and Emma Grace's playground.

I've taken some nesting baskets we got for Christmas a few years back and turned them into "shelving" for EG's Montessori-like toys. She has more m. toys in that latchable basket and "regular" toys in the trunk in the top picture. She can see what everything is and can reach it on her own, which makes my life a lot easier. Much less grunting around here.
This is her music nook.

And some blocks. Under the blocks are her bracelets (which she is gaga over), and her tub of fabric. I nixed the basket of fabric because she was leaving it all over the place. I instead put them in the babywipe box and made the slits larger, so she could get her hand in it. She LOVES it! She loves putting the fabric in the slot as much as she likes taking it out and playing.
I hoped that by making EG's prepared area, she would stay out of one that I wanted to do for Reese. Sometimes she does, sometimes she doesn't. This shelf used to be in the playroom, then got moved to the garage, and now it's home is in the dining room. The more "dangerous" items are on the top shelf.
We also dragged this out of the garage. It's a sweet little table and chairs a la Nana and Pop. It's Reese's little working spot. She does some of the larger puzzles/projects on the dining room table still, but she LOVES this little work area.
Getting their lives in gear has inspired me to do the same for us. As Reese learns to do more of the practical learning type things, she can begin really cleaning up after herself and putting her belongings where they go, and she'll by default be teaching Emma to do the same. Yay for positive change! :)