Feng Shui for Families: How To Create a Montessori-Inspired Home
"The child must live in an environment of beauty."
Before I became a parent I swore that I would never let my house become a messy and cluttered "kid zone" like I had seen in the transformation of so many of my peers and relatives. I wanted to always have a space that felt like a safe-haven and reflected my energy and my ideals.
Well, looking back on that now, not only was that was incredibly naive, but it was also just plain inconsiderate! I now realize that our children should be treated as equals in the home (and the rest of the world). Kids deserve to feel calm, comfortable and inspired in their space just like everyone else in the family!
Two things opened my eyes to the life-changing realization that I could have both a beautiful. peace home AND children:
1) Feng Shui Philosophies
2) Montessori Education
It was a lightbulb moment for me to realize that Montessori and Feng Shui go hand-in-hand and share many of the same core values and that both of these historical concepts still have so much relevance in today's modern world.
“The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the earth.” ✍️Maria Montessori
As the quote above demonstrates, Dr. Montessori advocated for the principles of feng shui without even realizing it!
My Montessori Home
My daughter has been enrolled in a Montessori preschool from the time she could walk. The school's philosophies and principles have done wonders for her, our family, and our home - inspiring a lifelong love of learning AND .miraculously making our lives as parents easier too.
I can confidently say now that Montessori is not just an educational philosophy... it's a way of life!
When I stopped resisting the inevitable messes that pop up, our home naturally evolved to have more "yes spaces". These are intentionally accessible areas for our daughter to live and learn to her fullest.
Over the years we created a home where everything she needs is easily within her reach/at her height, so she has the ability to focus, decide and exist independently - yes, even as a 2.5 year old!
This is the foundation of a Montessori / Feng Shui lifestyle: creating a holistic environment that sets up the child (and therefore the rest of the family) for success and freedom, building constructive and uplifting energy which allows them to do their best work.
Rest assured, with a little time and effort your home can be an equal reflection of your personal energy AND your family.
Montessori History & Principles
The Montessori curriculum originated in the early 1900s from an Italian physician and early childhood educator named Maria Montessori . Dr. Montessori passionately believed that the role of adults is to GUIDE children, not lead them. Her method is so remarkably simple and intuitive, that it is no wonder that it is one of the most popular educational movements in the world.
Learn more about the values of Montessori education and you'll see many of the same themes are common across the ancient teachings of Feng Shui too.
Sensibility: Freedom of choice, expression and movement, Developing autonomy and independence in decision-making, child-led play and discovery, respect for the child -learning at the child's pace, honoring their feelings and emotions, setting healthy boundaries, establishing a culture of inclusion, acceptance and belonging.
Simplicity: Minimalist and natural aesthetics to create an environment of harmony, strong sense of order, structure in space and systems, clear frameworks for the universe so that the child can make sense of the world around them, Promoting children's autonomy through practical life skills development accessible tools and design
Sustainability: Natural cycles, the interconnectedness of humans with each other and the earth, The interrelatednesss of systems - working from the whole down to its parts, age-appropriate learning: Understanding the four stages/planes of growth/development from birth to adulthood and each of the corresponding sensitive periods, observing social, cognitive, moral, and biological changes in a holistic way.
The outcome: Enthusiastic, self-directed learners with real-life skills (communication, creativity and problem solving) who are ready to face the challenges of their communities. Can you think of anything that the world needs more than that?
The Prepared Environment
How do you feel when you enter a room that is cluttered, busy or chaotic? Do you feel calm and focused? Probably not. Well, your child is likely having those same sensory experiences too.
It is unclear when or where in our society it became normal or expected for children's spaces to be brightly colored, loud, and constantly brimming with activity and distractions. In reality, our children's spaces should be the opposite of such.