The prepared environment

The prepared environment

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There is a plasticity of mind that up to 6 years need careful stimulation within a prepared environment.  This prepared environment could be your home, the garden, the nursery, childminding setting, and school: but, it must be prepared with the child’s needs in focus, their need to continually create themselves.

The environment should lead the child into self-discovery of the skills they possess, towards new skills to develop.  In the home this could be simply making sure the floor is free for rolling, crawling, or pulling oneself up on the furniture.

In a nursery setting there could be pull bars on a mirror, (similar to those used by ballet dancers but for little ones) that the child can pull themselves up with while they watch themselves.  Or perhaps with an older child it could be a simple task such as peeling potatoes, how to polish a table or making a cake.  All these skills quickly develop and lead to a kind of global learning pattern in the brain.  These global learning patterns provide the foundation for more learning and the more stimuli that are provided early on the more secure the foundation for further learning.

That’s what Montessori tries to provide.  We provide a prepared environment, in which the child is in charge of their own creation, they become themselves by working with the materials and stimuli we provide, and this stimuli continues for as long as is needed, right up to 12 or beyond.  Amazing!

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