Your child beginning preschool is an exciting time of transition. Attending Montessori preschool may be an easier adjustment than most since Montessori schools are deliberately designed to be calm environments where children are encouraged to engage in their natural independence and creativity. When you take the time to prepare your child in these ways so they know what to expect, the transition will be even easier.
- Incorporate Montessori at Home
It’s simple yet helpful to incorporate Montessori classroom principles at home, especially in your child’s bedroom. In a Montessori classroom, anything your child plays with or uses on a daily basis is designed to be child-sized and placed where your child can see it, reach it, or easily use it.
For example, your child should have a table and chair in their size, as well as artwork hung on the walls where they can actually see and enjoy it. Toys and books should go in bins or baskets that are neatly organized but also easy for your child to access. In Montessori, everything has its place, and tidiness is emphasized to promote a feeling of calmness.
- Practice Independence
Nurturing your child’s independence is one of the key facets of Montessori education. You can help your child get a head start by finding ways to encourage their independence at home. Instead of doing everything for your child, find ways to teach them how to do things for themselves.
This step can be as simple as letting them pick out their outfit for the day or the pajamas they’re going to sleep in at night. Teach them to put their toys away when they’re done playing, and praise them for being so responsible. Have them help you make dinner, and let them make decisions — with some guidance — about ingredients. These small steps toward independence will increase their confidence and sense of self.
- Give Your Child Breaks From Mom and Dad
For some children, the hardest thing about transitioning to preschool is that they are away from Mom and Dad on a regular basis for the first time. You can help prevent separation anxiety and make spending time with other children, as well as teachers, feel natural by practicing before preschool starts.
This practice may mean enrolling your child in drop-off toddler art, tumbling, or music classes, or bringing them to a playgroup once or twice a week. Be sure to keep the experience positive and cheerful. Let your child know they are going to have fun and learn new things and that you will be back to pick them up as soon as the class is over. By the time preschool starts, they will know it is nothing to be afraid of.
- Create a Predictable Routine
Montessori classrooms allow for a lot of imaginative, play-based learning but within a predictable and structured routine and environment that small children find reassuring. You can do the same thing at home by creating a routine for your child that remains the same day after day, even if the specific daily outings and activities change.
For example, create a bedtime ritual that your child can count on, perhaps involving brushing their teeth, then changing into pajamas, then reading a story together, and finally listening to soothing music as they get comfy in their bed. During the day, consider having set times for meals, naps, playing outside, and outings. This schedule will make settling into the preschool routine much easier.
By taking the time to make sure your child is prepared for preschool in these ways, you’ll help them have a fun, easy, and low-stress start to their Montessori education. Contact us at Miniapple International Montessori Schools to learn more.