Though summer can be a time of relaxation and rest for a Montessori student, for a parent, summer can be daunting! As a parent of a Montessori student, it is important to find the balance between the freedom and bliss of summer without losing the routines and knowledge for which you and your child worked so hard during the school year.
Of course it is acceptable to ease up on schedules and routines during the summer months. Bedtimes and rising times can be moved around and numerous opportunities for spontaneous activities can present themselves. Simply remember to start easing back into your school year schedule and other transitions a couple of weeks before Montessori school starts again in the fall. Read on for a list of great ideas that the Montessori family can enjoy together over Summer vacation.
Summer Vacation Ideas for Montessori Families
Visit a bookstore as a family on the first day of summer vacation.Help your children select a blank book or journal. Encourage them to record something in this book every day during the summer. This helps with literacy skills and creative writing. It also has the potential to serve as a keepsake your children will cherish for years to come. As summer sets in and siblings begin to squabble, redirecting your Montessori children toward journaling their feelings can also aid with conflict resolution. A summer journal can be an annual tradition for your family.
Explore local resources and places of interest.Historic homes, farms, zoos, walking trails and many other interesting opportunities that are close to home can be fun and educational adventures. Take small field trips throughout the summer and include your Montessori child in the planning.
Include your Montessori children in your daily household activities.If they aren’t doing so already, summer is the perfect time to encourage their assistance with planning meals for the week, grocery shopping, and meal preparation. Tending to (or starting) a family garden is work that will see delicious rewards. Do you have a clothesline? If not, install one immediately. Your children will love snapping wet laundry, hanging it on the line, and wagering how quickly it will dry in the summer sunshine.
Start a family book club.Ask everyone to suggest one or two book titles that they have not read. Debate the titles as a family and vote on one that everyone will read and then discuss at a later date. Are some members of your family too young to read? In lieu of television, end every evening by taking turns reading a book aloud. The anticipation of knowing what will happen next will keep everyone coming back for more.
Put together a scavenger hunt for your Montessori children.This can be a great option for a rainy day, but on a sunny day you can include biology and botany related clues outdoors. The hunt can be fun and educational in origin, testing your children’s knowledge or research skills (via the internet, books, etc.). Another possibility is a work-related scavenger hunt. Maybe a clue is at the bottom of a bowl of potatoes that need to be peeled. Another clue may appear on the washing machine when the cycle is complete. The possibilities are endless; a scavenger hunt is something that may be done just once or several times throughout the summer.
Challenge your Montessori children to solve a problem that exists for your family or home.Want to be more environmentally conscious but can’t decide what to do? Is there constant conflict over one particular game, toy, or activity? Your children will surely have ideas for what needs improving and ideas for solutions. Ask them to present their findings to the family, where a discussion and vote can take place on the solution that will be implemented.
For specific academic skills that may need work or refreshing over the summer, do not hesitate to ask your child’s Montessori teacher, or your child himself, to identify what could be practiced, and create an easy routine that makes practice time enjoyable and fun.
Be creative, have fun, and enjoy summer with your child!
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, June 16, 2010.