Independence is a cornerstone in a Montessori classroom. It is encouraged at every turn, whether it is putting on one’s own coat, choosing one’s own work, or cleaning up after oneself at the snack table. Each small step towards independence builds confidence, self-esteem, and a positive self-concept. As parents, when our children are very little, it is hard to imagine that they will one day be capable of doing so much for themselves. We have grown so accustomed to doing everything for them, that we forget to let go and allow them to do for themselves.
At Children’s House, we have years of experience with young children who are coming to us from a variety of circumstances. For many, this will be their first school experience and their first time spending time away from mom or dad. Some children come to us from small, home daycares, and others from larger centers. For children who have participated on the sidelines as an older brother or sister passed through our program, it’s finally their turn! All of these children will transition in their own way and with the loving guidance of our teaching staff.
As for their parents? We are here for you, too! We know that the decision to send your child to our school is a huge one and we appreciate the trust you are placing in us by sending your child into our care. One of the best ways to ease that transition for your child is to have confidence in our methods and trust our recommendations about those first few days and know that we have everyone’s best interests at heart.
A few quick Do’s and Don’ts
- Do keep your language about school upbeat and positive: School is fun, meeting new friends is exciting, and there’s lots to do.
- Don’t feed your child’s fears: Replace “I know you’re scared, but you’ll be fine” with “I can’t wait to hear about your day” or “Your teacher will help you with anything you need.” Words like scared, frightened, afraid, or worried, don’t help children feel the opposite!
- Do keep your conversations factual and brief and don’t overwhelm your child with too much information: “You’ll go into the classroom and do some activities with your teacher and I’ll pick you up after lunch.”
- Don’t make promises you can’t keep: “If you cry, I’ll come and get you.” Odds are, your child will shed a tear or two. Our teachers are there to comfort, distract, and help children adjust. Let the process unfold naturally, and by the end of the first week, your child will be a pro!
- Do keep your drop-off short and sweet: A quick hug and a kiss and “I’ll pick you up in a little while / later today” is perfect! If a child is upset at drop-off, a lingering parent doesn’t help! Please trust us on this one: your child will settle down and be well-taken care of. If we feel that he or she is not adjusting, we will contact you and make a plan.
- Don’t sneak out the door and peek in the window! When a child spots a parent they thought had left already, it doesn’t end well!
- Do join Cinthia and some other parents on the first Friday of school to celebrate with a cup of coffee! This is a big transition for YOU as well! Congrats! Your child is going to school!