I love the start of a new school year. Less than one full week in the books and already the classrooms are humming with that electric energy found only in the Montessori environment. New relationships are forming and old relationships are strengthening. For some of our students, even those we haven’t seen all Summer, it is as if they never left! In truth, if we have done our jobs, Montessori will remain with each child for the rest of his life.
I hope you are enjoying these early days of school as much as the children. Your children will be bringing home so many new ideas beyond the tangible work in their backpacks. Sometimes, the learning is subtle and takes a keen parenting eye just to notice it. Here are a few things you can do to ensure that you won’t miss a thing.
- Pickup and drop-off times represent excellent opportunities to chat with your child about his or her day. Make sure your cell phone is off during these times, whether you are in the carpool line or inside the school building. Even though you may be running late, this is a time to slow down. Always allow your child the time he or she needs to prepare himself for the day both before and after school.
- Read up on Montessori. There is a wealth of information on our website in “The Cubby” as well as in our parent library, which includes books, audio CDs, magazines and videos. The more you know about the philosophy and materials, the easier it will be to discuss and reinforce these concepts at home.
- Visit your child’s classroom. Most of the classrooms will be offering observation times as well as various classroom events which will allow you to share the room with your child. Observation is an excellent way to learn about Montessori and acquaint yourself with the daily routine. Check with your teacher to schedule a visit.
- For the first few weeks, forget about academics. Your child is likely being exposed to language and math lessons, particularly if he or she is older, but success in these areas stems directly from the development of social/emotional and executive functioning. This is where your parenting focus should lie. Look for increased patience, concentration, confidence and curiosity. Because of the independence afforded to your child in the classroom, it is likely that you will hear “I can do it myself” a few times at home. Be sure to use these moments as an opportunity to empower your child to develop confidence and experience the same success at home as he or she is experiencing in school.
- Spend quiet time with your child. Observe with no agenda other than to understand all of the myriad little things happening behind the scenes in that magical mind and body. If you can, write about what you see -you’ll want to remember this stuff!
Thanks again for joining us. We look forward to sharing these amazing and important years with you and your child.
Head if School, Administration