Wednesday, August 31, 2022

3 Ways that Montessori Kindergarten Parents can Support Disciplinary Strategies

When children attend a Montessori private kindergarten, discipline is handled differently than in traditional school systems. Teachers do not criticize children in front of the class, for example, and Montessori utilizes intrinsic motivation instead of external or physical motivation. The thing is, this type of discipline only works when it is supported by the parents after the school day is done.

  1. Present a United Front

It is very important that your Montessori kindergarten children see your relationship with the school as a team effort. Any time that you pit yourself against the teachers in defense of your children, you are showing them that they can use one side as leverage against the other. Communicate regularly and accept what the staff tells you even when it may not coincide with your child's side of the story. Remember that the school's purpose is the development and education of children and they have nothing to gain from plotting against your children, no matter how it seems to the child.

  1. Consistency Counts

Be consistent between school and home. It benefits children to know that the consequences of actions will be the same whether they act out at school or at home. If a teacher observes a change in your child's behavior she will bring it to your attention and discuss ways to solve any issues that arise. Together, you can uncover the root causes of disruptions and address them rationally and without resorting to actions that use fear to coerce desired responses.

  1. Avoid Punishments and Rewards

Montessori works best when children are intrinsically motivated-- when the child wants to behave or perform in appropriate ways because they know and understand that the behavior is the best way to act or react. Traditional punishment and reward systems depend on fear, pain, and threats to be effective, whereas an internally motivated child wants to perform correctly for the benefit of the act itself. The first tenet of the Montessori Method is that children should be treated with respect and hitting someone to address their behavior is never a respectful response.

Children look up to adults and have closer bonds with their parents than they will have with anyone else for many years. Because of that, what they see and hear from their parents will be a large part of how they learn to interact with others. For Montessori-style disciplinary strategies to be effective they must be shared by parents and school staff alike.

Why is Montessori Preschool Important for Early Development?

Preschool is the most important period for children to gain the many personal tools needed for later education and eventually interacting in the community. This includes fine and gross motor skills, social etiquette, academic lessons, and learning to perform practical tasks such as measuring, pouring, and cutting.

Mixed Age Groups

The 3-year age group used in a Montessori preschool conforms to a natural order observed by Maria Montessori when watching a group of children. It allows children to spend more or less time learning specific lessons without "falling behind," and it helps children develop interactive skills and self-esteem by cycling through being the oldest-- thus more experienced-- children in the room.

Hands-On Activities

Authentic Montessori activities are designed to be apparently useful, self-correcting, and appealing. This is true of classroom activities such as the Pink Tower as well as nature and natural activities. Each activity is meant to be interesting so that children will take notice, engaging so that children want to use it repeatedly, and self-correcting so the child will know if the task was performed correctly without requiring affirmation from someone else.

Interactive Skills

Montessori children often work together to accomplish tasks, and the Montessori Method makes developing language and social skills one of the highest priorities for early education. Social etiquette is practiced constantly and consistently so that children absorb the rules of social behavior as they grow and without singling out courtesy and grace as a task rather than the natural means of interaction.

Nature in Education

Nature and our relationship with it is a primary tool of Montessori education. From playground games to learning about plants and frogs, children are encouraged to become immersed in learning about the world they live in. Getting outdoors was considered a vital part of early development, and Maria Montessori incorporated nature-based activities into the Montessori Method.

Learning Leadership

Montessori encourages and promotes self-esteem, critical thinking, and social interaction. As a result, children who attend Montessori schools develop the basic skills necessary for leadership activities concurrently with other education goals. And because of Montessori's mixed-age classes, all of the children spend a portion of their education among the oldest children in the class, instilling leadership skills as a natural progression of events.

Montessori promotes a more holistic style of teaching that instructs children on multiple levels and addresses all of the developmental milestones of early education. Children learn to read and write as they gain the skills needed to add and subtract, along with the critical thinking and social responsibility vital to peaceful interactions with other children and adults.