Your children are away from the Montessori classroom, and we miss them already! And I'm sure we all miss the beautiful prepared environment too. We know you want your child to have a successful learning experience at home, and we want to help you set them up for that success.
Independently Accessible Materials
The Montessori classroom fosters the children's independence by making the materials they need independently accessible to them, without needing an adult to get something off a high shelf or open a locked cabinet.
This may seem obvious to some, but it may be contrary to how many of our homes were growing up, so it's very reasonable if this has slipped our minds and it will do wonders for both you and your children!
The first step is to make sure you have a shelf, table, desk, or any other surface that is accessible to your children, so that they can get what they need without you having to get things for them.
It can really be as simple as a low shelf, with jars full of what your child may need throughout the day, i.e. crayons, markers, colored pencils, brushes, chalk, glue, scissors, as well as stacks of construction paper and blank white paper.
Independently Accessible Work Space
Just as we don't want the children to be dependent on us to get what they're working with, we don't want them to be dependent on us to work.
Depending on your circumstances, you may have a work space that's a dining room table, a coffee table in the living room, a desk in the playroom, etc. Whatever it is, just be sure your child can come and go to that area (or areas) as they please so that neither of you have to interrupt one another. We want to foster everyone's independence.
Having Work "Rugs"
One last tip would be allowing your child to use work "rugs" for some activities such as building blocks on. This could simply be a towel that you don't mind designating for this purpose (and possibly never using to clean anything again) or a blanket, that they can roll/fold up when they're done, and get whenever they need. This will come in handy if you're child wants to work in an area they typically might not work in, that has higher traffic and would cause problems if things were spread all over the floor, it wouldn't hurt to them know they can work in different places of the house if they keep their materials and work on the rug. That way it's a win-win so they can freely move about the house, but not make huge messes, and you guys can keep each other company while doing your own thing.
Putting Things Away It's important to have the children be responsible for putting back whatever they get out. Got the glue out? Great! When you're done with it, you put it back, and then you can do whatever else it is that you were going to do! After all, why have things that are accessible, if they aren't going to be responsible for putting things back? This logic can be applied to toys too, if you want to get the trains out, that's fine, so long as you don't leave a pile of other toys out that you are no longer playing with. If you're going to combine them, awesome! Just put back that which is no longer being used.