Our Montessori classroom is set up for children to be extremely independent, explore and learn with minimal guidance from the Directress. Hence, it is a good idea to encourage your children with similar settings at home to ease the transition.
Here are some simple ways to integrate Montessori in your home to ease your child’s transition to our school a smooth one:
Set up plates, cutlery, and cups in a cupboard accessible to them.
Ensure a healthy snack is available to them (other than during meal times) in a drawer accessible by them.
Set up a small table and chair for them to use as a snack or activity table.
Ask children to always tidy up after they are done with their meals or activities. Ensure they put away their things or toys before they access another.
A coat hook, shoe rack at their height will help them to be independent in dressing themselves.
Ensure they wear comfortable clothing that they can pull up or down without an adult’s help when they use the washroom. Encourage them to use the washroom without help. We are always there to help should they need help. However, it increases their confidence when they are able to do some of this on their own.
Buy them shoes with velcro straps as opposed to shoes with laces. Encourage them to put on and take off their shoes by themselves.
Ensure they are comfortable using washrooms at places other than at home so that they are not shy to use the washrooms at school as, understandably, it is a common issue we face with new children.
Ensure weather-appropriate clothing is at a level accessible by them. Encourage them to pick their clothes for the following day and set it out the previous night. This will save a lot of hassle while getting ready for school in the mornings.
Engage them in a conversation about what they think should be packed in for lunch.
Before starting school, talk to your child about coming to school. Drive by the school a few times so that the child is aware and the first day is not overwhelming. And once they start attending school, engage them in short, meaningful conversations about school. Ask them what they did at school, if they made any new friends, and about the teachers, etc.
Freedom, independence, and self-learning are important elements of a Montessori classroom.
Above all, give us a lot of feedback and let us know their preferences and dislikes. It is important for us to know if there are changes in the home environment – e.g. mom or dad is away on a business trip, someone is ill, or whatever else that could affect the mood of the child so we can provide better care.
Please remember, we care for each child individually. So, the more we understand your child and the changes in his/her environment, the better we are able to help him/her comfortably adjust to the school and focus them on learning.
Kalpana Gananathan, Founder, Administrator, and Directress, KinderHaus Montessori