Moving up from preschool to the more structured environment of Montessori elementary school can be stressful for your children because it involves unfamiliar changes in location, interactions, and routines. To make the transition easier, you can take some steps to remove some of the apprehension from the equation.
Orientation / Open HouseAttend the orientation before school starts so your child will be more familiar with what to expect. Tour the classroom, talk to the staff, and meet the other students and their parents. Give your child a preview of what Montessori elementary school will be like, pointing out the similarities and letting your child investigate the possibilities.
Talk About the TransitionDiscuss your child’s feelings about moving up to “big kids school” including her reservations and expectations. Answer her questions and try to alleviate her fears. Praise her transition as a sign of growing up, and help her develop some excitement about the advances she has made to get there.
Meet the TeacherEven if you do not get a chance to do so at Open House, make a point of scheduling a meeting between your child and his teachers. Give him a chance to get to know them a little, and share some of your insight into his interests with them. The first days of school will be full of strange new things, but the figures of authority should not be part of them.
Parent InvolvementAttend Parent/Teacher meetings, student evaluations, and school functions. Show your children that you and the school staff are both on the same team and focused on helping your children succeed. Ask your daughter about her day, and check the kids’ bookbags for notes or assignments sent home by the school. You are your children's role model, so showing interest in their school encourages them to be interested as well.
Montessori elementary school is typically more similar to the structure of preschool than traditional education. The Montessori Method puts an emphasis on play-based learning and children progressing at their own pace, and keeping them enrolled in the same system increases familiarity and personal confidence when the school year starts.