About this time every year in Montessori schools all over the country, parents may begin to feel a little anxious. Your children are leaving the Montessori “nest” and moving into the big wide world. The question on everyone’s mind is “Will they be ready?”
I’ve got great news. We’ve been working toward this day from the moment your child first entered the classroom, but so have you. In fact, you’ve been fanning that little flame from moment they entered the world. Let’s take a look at all you’ve done.
As the parent of a graduating Montessori student, you have put in years of hard work. Maybe more than you can even recall. You have taken the time to learn all about your child -the whole child. You have adjusted your home to allow for independence and self-directed learning. You have given your child time to grow (even when it seemed like there was no time). You have stepped back when other parents mistakenly step forward. You always placed effort over result. You have learned that the most important work your child will bring home cannot be held in your hand. You have given ownership, responsibility and trust to your child. You have done all of this and more.
You (almost) never took the easy way out. You try to use positive words even when behavior is not. You have limited screen time in exchange for a connection with nature and hands-on work. You have resisted forcing extra academics on your child because you understand the value of self-directed learning. You have answered questions with questions. You have attended as many of our parent workshops as your schedule would allow. You know what the golden beads are as well as the metal insets. You have seen how the pink tower prepares a child for math and how washing dishes prepares a child for handwriting. You know why we seek to slow children down in a world where everything seems to be speeding up.
You have learned that peace is not just a word we throw around, but something that all children have the capacity to build. You encourage your child to have opinions, speak up and think differently. You reinforce gratitude and never miss an opportunity to demonstrate generosity toward others. You teach that true leadership comes from service. You realize the importance of patience and that it is a learned trait. You read with your child and let them see you reading for your own enjoyment. You’ve stepped outside your comfort zone, travelled to new places and learned from different cultures. You visit museums, libraries and historic sites. You have discussed what it means to be a friend and why that is important. You teach your child to protect ALL life and never to judge a book by its cover.
You know that even though grades are a part of the coming reality, they have little relevance to a worthwhile education. Your Montessori years have taught you that there are some things which cannot be quantified. Things like; patience, empathy, leadership, creativity, problem solving, generosity, responsibility, decision making, a love of learning and the knowledge that mistakes are opportunities. These are words and ideas that we share with the children so they, too, will know their importance. This is what Montessori is all about and we are all about Montessori. Whether you realize it or not, so are you and so is your child. This will always be the case, because even though you and your child may be leaving Montessori, Montessori will never leave you.
Yes. Your child is ready, and furthermore, so are you.