Montessori offers many benefits — it can be a great place for children to interact with peers and learn valuable life lessons such as how to identify and regulate their social emotional selves; how to develop their own interest and how to become a citizen of the world. It also can prepare them for kindergarten and beyond.
But transitioning into a Montessori 3-6 year old environment does come with its fair share of emotions, for both the parent and the child. For a new student, entering a new environment filled with unfamiliar teachers and children can cause both anxiety and anticipation. Parents might have mixed emotions about whether their child is ready for this new Montessori (preschool) environment.
The more comfortable you are about your decision and the more familiar the setting can be made for your child, the fewer problems you and your little one will encounter. Here are some tips that might help ease the transition:
• Spend time talking with your child about their classroom even before or after it starts.
• Keep in contact with your child’s teacher. While you will no longer get daily reports (toddler parents), you still will receive updated and important information about how your child is moving through the classroom. Bloomz, MCH’s Website (teacher Blogs) and personal emails are just a few of the ways that the teachers will reach out to you!
• Be an advocate for your child, if you feel that there is information that you would like to know, communicate these needs to your child’s teacher.
• Become familiar with new systems/routine and schedules such as napping, toiling etc. This will help you have an informed conversation with your child and your child’s teacher about the school day.
• Come to parent education nights when possible. This is a great opportunity to become more familiar with Montessori Education and get to know the entire Early Childhood (EC) Lead teaching team.
While acknowledging this important step your child is taking and providing support, too much emphasis on the change could make any anxiety worse. Young children can pick up on their parents' nonverbal cues. When parents feel guilty or worried about leaving their child at school, the children will probably sense that. The calmer and assured you are about your choice to send your child to school, the more confident your child will be.