Thursday, January 9, 2020

The Montessori Theory on Sleep

Montessori Theory on Sleep - Montessori preschool - Montessori West

Montessori preschools have learned how important sleep is by experience. Children can become irritable or restless when they are tired, and research shows that well-rested children learn better. Even though Maria Montessori did not set guidelines for sleep, she made it clear that meeting the needs of young children is a priority for early education.

How Much Sleep

The amount of sleep a child requires differs as they grow. Infants and toddlers may need as much as 10 hours a day, while Montessori preschool children and older may do fine with the traditional 8 hours. It is also widely accepted that children have individual sleep requirements that do not always match the suggested norms. As a general example, Montessori daycare children usually take 2 naps during the day but preschool kids typically only take one.

Setting Schedules

Children need a sense of order in their lives, and sleep is a natural pattern for all people. Getting ready for bed at the same time, waking at a regular time, and following a rhythmic evening and morning schedule give young children a sense of familiarity they can count on. Even if going to bed at the same time every night isn’t always practical, sticking to nighttime and morning rituals will maintain a sense of order.

The Floor Bed

In keeping with the concept of freedom-of-movement and freedom to choose, a floor bed makes it easier for young children to transition into a more self-regulatory role as they get older. Floor beds are typically crib-sized mattresses placed directly on the floor and may be used from infancy upward. This avoids the enclosed feeling of a crib and allows the child to move about without fear of falling. A floor bed allows children more flexibility, giving them the ability to get into bed when they are tired or out of it when they are rested. Along with a balanced diet and a stimulating environment, sleep is one of the critical aspects of learning and brain normal brain function. Setting sleep routines and providing a child-centered bedroom environment promotes academic, social, and physical development.