For every child, moving from one school to another can be a challenging experience. It can also feel particularly difficult when that change is not just in the new classrooms, teachers, and peers, but also in the method of education, such as when a child transitions from a traditional educational setting to a Montessori educational setting. The good news is that this is a transition that many families have made, and there are several helpful things parents can do to support their child in that process.
Explore what Montessori education means
One of the strongest foundational steps parents can take in supporting their child as they begin their schooling at their Montessori school is to educate themselves about the Montessori Method and the eight principles that govern the learning environment. Familiarity with these concepts can then expand to include knowledge of the learning tools and language used in the classroom. There are many resources that are available to parents who wish to learn more about Montessori, such as books, blogs, and videos, and some schools may provide workshops or seminars for new families. Additionally, teachers or other parents of Montessori students can be a source of information on Montessori fundamentals, as well as the practices and norms of that particular school and classroom.
Bring Montessori techniques home
Another helpful strategy for supporting a child as they attend Montessori school is to model and practice the Montessori methods of learning from the classroom in the home. Independence, self-motivation, curiosity, and choice are all important components of the Montessori style of education. Parents can help their child to practice these traits in small ways, like having their child choose which household responsibility they would like to help with for the week, or having them create a plan for the family’s weekend outing, or simply following along when their curiosity leads them to ask “How?” and “Why?”
Learn from your child
Lastly, unlike in traditional school settings, in Montessori schools, skills are not demonstrated through a test or grades, but through the student’s ability to use it both inside the classroom and out. Instead of bringing home a report card that can be hung on the refrigerator, children are encouraged to work collaboratively with their peers or their teachers utilizing the new material to problem solve or create a project. Importantly, children are also encouraged to mentor or teach other students who have not yet mastered the material, a role which further solidifies their grasp of the information or skill. Outside the classroom, parents can also occupy the position of mentee and have their child not only show, but teach them what they’ve learned.
If you are interested in learning more about Montessori education, we invite you and your child to visit the classrooms and speak with the teachers at the Montessori School of Fremont. You will be able to experience the Montessori difference firsthand and see how students work together to enhance their learning. Contact us today to schedule a tour!