You’ve enrolled your child in a Montessori school, brushed up on the core tenets of the Montessori education, and are now ready to see your little one off. At Fishtown Montessori, you can expect your child to develop in bounding leaps, because they have hundreds of opportunities in the classroom to explore their interests and expand upon lifelong skills. But what can you, as the parent or guardian, do to supplement your child’s success?
There are three ways to help your child succeed in a Montessori school. Let’s discuss.
So much of your child’s success at school depends on their own individual motivations. This stems from independence—something that many parents are hesitant to give a young child. After all, it’s natural to worry about your child’s safety. However, it’s also important to leave your child to work on difficult tasks. Provide support when needed but don’t rush to the rescue whenever they look frustrated.
In a Philadelphia Montessori school, the classroom is designed to empower students and give them the ability to explore possibilities. There are things like child-sized tools and furnishings to help them gain independence.
Here are some ways for your and your child to work towards their independence at home:
- If you see your child faced with a challenge, give them a chance to solve it by themselves before you go to assist them.
- Help your child think critically and solve problems by asking them questions.
- Rather than controlling the situation, ask if your child wants help first or how you can assist.
- Encourage your child to do what they can for themselves, such as putting away their clothes or toys, or making themselves a healthy snack, or choosing their school outfit.
- Have you child do household chores.
One of the things a child wants is to feel as if they belong. Whether it’s at school, during group work, or at home among family, children want to know they are playing a role—that they are contributing to the whole.
In a Montessori education, life activities are built into the curriculum to help empower children. For example, if the children are asked to clean up the classroom at the end of the day, they will happily do it because they know it’s contributing to something greater.
At home, there are plenty of ways to empower your child. Let them help you throughout the day. Ask them to set the table for dinner, clean up the kitchen with a small dustpan and brush, or load the washing machine. It might not feel like playtime to you, but your child will be just as entertained and even more fulfilled when helping out.
Childhood is a time in life when anything seems possible and there are few limits, because everything has yet to be discovered. Yet, we can’t forget that children do grow up into adults who need to know how to take care of themselves. One of the foundations every adult should have is respect.
A Montessori teacher will begin by teaching respect as greetings in the morning. Students are welcomed to the classroom with a handshake and a warm word or two. It’s a way to teach students about certain adult rituals while setting a pleasant tone.
Parents often believe that children are too young to show respect or to be courteous, but that isn’t true. With the right role models, even very young children can be respectful.
In other words, treat your child how you would like to be treated. Be respectful to others while in front of them to be a role model of behavior. Don’t forget to show your child respect too. Listen to what they have to say after class. Greet them when you drop them off and pick them up. Keep your promise when you tell them you’ll pick them up at a certain time.
All these things help a child feel valued and show them how to behave towards others as well.
There are many things you can do before and after school that will help your child succeed. Most of those things are related to giving your child independence and showing them respect. But there are other elements to success that blend into independence, empowerment, and respect, like a nutritious diet, proper sleep, and a solid routine that your child can rely upon. These things will help your child grow physically, while feelings of fulfillment help them emotionally and mentally.