What exactly is a "Prepared Environment"?
It's one of those Montessori jargons, but simply put...
It's a "space" that allows children freedom of movement and choice, and they in turn become active, curious, and hardworking people.
Personally, I find it helpful to focus on these 2 aspects of a prepared environment:
1. The space contains activities which are individualized and aligned to our children's current interests and abilities. They will be interested to learn if it's something interesting and challenging to them (not too easy, but not too hard either - the point is to set-up the child for success). Plain and simple, right?
2. It is also about respecting the child and not forcing them to do things for your convenience - the point is to give them opportunities to move freely and safely (make the home child-friendly vs. child-proof).
Here is a simple way we apply this. Both Kara and Andy love to paint so we have pump bottles to help them get their paint on their own and they also got to learn how to use a pump bottle. This is also less messy versus the twist-cap version which they used to have. Plus, it's less wasteful - they just get the right amount because they can visually see if they're putting too much paint in the tray.
Anyway, truth is it is not easy to make the whole home child-friendly so what we do (as I said in a previous post) is to dedicate "Montessori corners" at home. We all have unique situations after all and the good thing with Montessori is that you can decide how to best apply it based on the needs of your family. ❤️❤️❤️