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Monday, February 17, 2020

Montessori Bedroom in the Second Plane

It's been a hot minute since I've shared any of my bigger kid spaces. Part of that is because Henry typically chooses not to participate in my social media/ blogging activities and part of it is because they just don't look that different from a traditional kid bedroom. 

A look at a Montessori bedroom for an older child in the second plane of development. An 8-year-olds Montessori bedroom.

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But after Henry agreed that I could share, I decided it was valuable to show that Montessori for older kids doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, Montessori in the second plane (ages 6 to 12) is so much about what can't be shown in pictures, and far less about how "cute" spaces are. That's true in the first plane (birth to 6) too but the spaces are more distinctive. 

Anyway, Henry's room! Henry moved to his own room this past summer before Theodore was born. His room is extremely small and used to be my old office. In the process of moving to this new room, Henry got to make some key decisions about how the room would look and feel. If you have been reading awhile then you know that Henry LOVES the color yellow, so we worked together to find the perfect shade. He also decided he wanted white furniture and to keep his blankets that he had in his old bedroom. 


Now, we originally had a different bed, which you might have seen on Instagram. But, I'm not going to link it here or share what it was. It was awful. We took the risk of buying something online and the quality was dangerously bad. Since it was a loft bed, we didn't feel comfortable with Henry sleeping in it anymore. We ended up switching it out for our Sprout Kids floor bed frame that Teddy had been using. We love it so much that we ordered a white version for Henry but it will take a few weeks to get to us. Until then, this bed has worked great for him! 


Otherwise, we keep the room very minimal. He has a small IKEA Besta shelf for his nightstand, and a larger Besta for his main shelf.  The nightstand includes whatever tiny precious things are important to him in the moment and is constantly changing. It also includes his alarm clock and often his Echo Dot which he uses to listen to audiobooks and music. 

We keep the things in his room very minimal for a couple reasons. One, the room is just so so small that too much stuff makes it feel like a cave. Then, during that second plane of development that sense of order disappears and it's been very tough to keep an orderly clean space if he has too much available. 

Everything out is his choice and he controls when he wants something else. Unlike smaller children, rotating is very much on him - although we guide him to keep the amount smaller. Right now he has a small collection of rocks and minerals that he has polished himself or has found along with a book about them (similar). Then he has a small amount of Lego. He has a much larger quantity of Lego but it was too much to store them all in here. Henry can access the others when he feels like it, otherwise he just keeps his current favorites available. 


The room also includes Harold, Henry's parakeet. Harold is an excellent example of practical life for an older child - providing Henry with opportunities for practical participation and responsibility. His room also includes a small basket of books and a chair for reading (both from IKEA.) 


Henry's closet is simple, providing access to his wardrobe on a cube shelf. A dresser would have been fine, but we had the cube shelf already so we went with it. He isn't quite tall enough to reach the bar so that is something he will grow into over time. The basket is for his dirty laundry. It also provides storage for his new hobby - playing the violin! 


And, that's it! It's a super simple space that provides freedom and responsibility but within manageable limits. Do you have an older child in your Montessori home? How does this compare with their space? 

A look at a Montessori bedroom for an older child in the second plane of development. An 8-year-olds Montessori bedroom.

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Would you like to comment?

Shirley said...

Oh dear, my 6 year old's second plane hit without warning it feels. I didn't even know much about the developmental differences for awhile, just thought she was so messy! So her room is still a bit of a black hole. I'm working on helping her to minimize (luckily she's not a hoarder) but organizing doesn't seem to happen at all! It's nice to see what you've done here... It seems like there's so little in there but that makes so much sense.

Clare C said...

That yellow colour is perfect, so bright and happy!

This room is very inspiring. Lots of child agency and just the essentials

I'd love to hear more about your experience with Henry in the 2nd plane (as much as he is willing to share)

carine said...

I wonder: Do you have storage outside the bedroom for toys that he uses less? Or is it his whole collection? Obviously you have the playroom so I guess some of what he uses is there too.