As the beginning of the school year rolls around, parents often wonder how best to help their children transition from summer days to the school routine. With all the free time your family has enjoyed, it may seem as though it will be difficult to coax them back into a classroom. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Whether your child is starting Montessori classes for the first time or coming back to a Montessori school he or she is familiar with, there are many ways you can make it easy to return to his or her studies. Here are seven back-to-school tips that can help you and your child resume school with ease.
Understand what Montessori teaches.
The best way to help your son or daughter every day with their Montessori education is to understand yourself how it works. We can help you by answering any questions you have about Maria Montessori and the Montessori method. And our online resources offer many tips about making the most of your child’s education.
Encourage independence and self-reliance at home.
Maria Montessori believed that it is vital to allow children to become independent at a young age. This doesn’t mean asking them to do too much, but it does mean encouraging them to learn to master life skills every day. Look for opportunities to allow your child to practice new skills, such as mixing ingredients in the kitchen or watering the plants. Teach your son or daughter how to accomplish the task rather than doing it for them. And be patient when he or she makes mistakes — it’s part of the learning process.
Encourage a sense of order.
All children, especially those who are in preschool and elementary school, thrive in environments that allow them freedom within well-defined boundaries. So, while you want your child to be able to explore what interests them and to learn at their own pace, it’s also important to offer them structure. At home, that means establishing routines that are consistent from day to day. You might develop a good morning ritual with your son or daughter, such as a song or other regular activities, to help him or her transition from home to school.
Read with your child.
One of the most powerful ways to encourage your child’s academic growth is to read with them at home. Spend time reading books together every day, such as after dinner or at bedtime. Read a variety of books, and invite a discussion about what you have both read. Ask questions about the book. As you read aloud, follow the text with your finger so your child can associate sounds and words with written letters. If they don’t know a word, define it for them.
Don’t use competing academic materials at home.
Though it can be tempting to help your son or daughter along by doing academics at home, don’t introduce anything that contradicts what is happening in the Montessori classroom. Rather than using store-bought workbooks or methods from various tutoring businesses, review the Montessori curriculum and ask your school’s Montessori teachers for activities that will complement what the students are learning in class. And make time for play too!
Learn from nature.
Another part of an effective Montessori education is embracing and learning from the natural world. Children are explorers, and they love studying bugs, plants, and other elements of the outdoor landscape. Foster that curiosity by taking walks with your young student, visiting the park, watching birds, turtles and other animals, collecting leaves, or anything else out of doors that intrigues them.
Take a long-term perspective.
Every person is unique, and the beauty of the Montessori method is that each child can work at his or her own pace, learning in the way and timing that is best for them. We won’t compare your son or daughter to other children in the class, and we encourage you not to do so either. Remember that no matter what they are working on, he or she is learning foundational principles that will aid them in school and in life. Be patient, and celebrate their successes.
Schedule a tour today.
We invite you to see for yourself the benefits of a Montessori education for your child. Call us today to schedule a tour, where you’ll see the setup of our classrooms, meet teachers and staff and get a feel how Primary Montessori keeps the education of their students as their focus.