In the blink of an eye, time off from school seems to disappear. For parents, preparing to head back to school can be a challenge, especially when summertime routines are far different from what happens on school days. In order to make your transition back to school pleasant and smooth, here are some back to school tips for Montessori students, both new and returning.
Learn About The Montessori Philosophy
If you want to help your child prepare for Montessori school, the best way to do that is to learn a little bit about the Montessori philosophy. Knowing how Montessori works will inspire you to try some facets for yourself. For example, you may decide to create a workstation for your child that has utensils and furniture sized specially for them. Furthermore, reading up on what to expect in your child’s school class can give you ideas for tasks at home that will prepare them for school.
For instance, if your child is learning how to read and write, you might want to give them word stencils or provide books based on their interests. Furnish your home with some Montessori materials, too!
Set Up a Routine
As adults, our routines are often useful for getting us up in the morning and out the door. For children, routines are more. Studies have found that a consistent routine is key in helping children become independent and confident. Routine assists children with staying focused and feeling less stressed out.
In the Montessori classroom, routine is critical throughout the day. While children are always at work or enjoying time outside, they also have a set schedule. Do the same at home. Set a consistent schedule for waking, eating, sleeping, playing, and working. If possible, avoid any late nights and make your child go to bed at the same time, even on weekends.
Help Your Child Help Themselves
Maria Montessori makes a good point: “Beyond a certain point every help given to a child is an obstacle to its development.” In other words, you can only teach your child how to be confident and independent by letting them do things on their own. In a Montessori school, your child is allowed to choose their own materials and work on a task for hours on end, giving them time to self-assess and correct their mistakes. Over time, they master many important skills.
You can give your child the same opportunities at home. Give your child everyday tasks, such as washing dishes, taking out the trash, or cleaning up after the dog. They will be empowered by the responsibility but also achieve a sense of fulfillment in doing these things without assistance.
Let your child try different things. From helping you chop vegetables for dinner to reading the instructions for constructing furniture, there are dozens of at-home tasks that children can do.
Build a Montessori-Friendly Home
Much of Montessori philosophy puts an emphasis on the environment. The classroom, for instance, has child-sized tables, chairs, and shelving so that the students can use the space without limitations. You can use some elements of Montessori classrooms for your home, too. For example, in the kitchen, you can put all child-sized utensils, cups, and plates on a lower shelf for your child to reach. In the bathroom, you may have a stool that enables them to reach the sink without assistance. Even a coat rack with a hook at your child’s height goes a long way.
Don’t worry. You don’t have to rearrange your entire home to make this work. Just a few touches will do the trick.
Give Your Child Time to Concentrate
Is your home full of distractions? TV programs and music on at full volume can make it difficult for children to concentrate. You may also interrupt your child while they are involved in an activity, breaking their focus.
Try to give your child periods of uninterrupted work. This may mean scheduling a period in the day when everyone in the house comes to the reading room and settles down. You may also want to avoid interrupting your child when something has to be done. If they are concentrating hard on something, let them. In the event that you have to interrupt their work, do not move the project. Leave the work out and untouched, so they can return to it later.
Looking for a Montessori School in Philadelphia?
Whether you are looking for a new Montessori program or have a returning student, the best way to get ready to go back to school is to be proactive. Set up your home to give your child a chance to work in a prepared environment; offer freedom within limits. And if you want to see a Montessori classroom in action, consider scheduling a virtual tour with Fishtown Montessori. We invite you to see what makes our school an incredible place to learn!