Few people revel in change. Most of us cling to the familiar and resent life’s gentle prodding to try something new. But change is a great thing, and it’s an essential part of growth! So much of your child’s journey toward adulthood is marked by milestones and growth, and environment transitions are no different.
As a guardian, it can be heartwarming to watch your toddler blossom into a curious, inquisitive member of the primary environment. The child may not verbalize it, but this transition can be simultaneously exciting and stressful for them. Preparation is one way to support a smooth transition, and we have a few recommendations to help you prepare!
Instill your child with confidence as they’re transitioning environments
When compared to traditional educational systems, the Montessori environment has several advantages that support confident transitions. First, remind your child that they have been in class with many of their peers before! Because Montessori classrooms are mixed-age, your child will likely recognize a few friendly faces from their previous years in the toddler environment. Then, remind them that the classroom is there for them to explore. There aren’t expectations for knowing or understanding the environment on day one. Rather, this is a new opportunity to explore, learn and discover. By simply being curious, they will quickly learn about their environment!
Practice at home
If the option is available at your school, talk with the primary guides about classroom expectations and life skills your child will learn in the environment. Use this information to talk with your child about these changes and slowly incorporate them into your home. For example, if students in the primary environment at your school are responsible for wiping down their tables after use, supply your child with an appropriate cloth to wipe their surfaces down at home. By familiarizing them with the activities in a setting they already know, they’ll feel more prepared to take them on in a classroom that may feel unfamiliar.
Keep your emotions in check
Some children enter the schoolhouse without so much as a second thought. Others will look to you for reassurance. They might be nervous or even sad to leave you. While you may be emotional yourself, try to keep your emotions even and use reassuring language. Remind your child that you will be there to pick them up at the end of the day, and share how excited you are for them to enter this new environment.
The Montessori Method mirrors the child’s biological development. Parents can rest easy – by simply being a growing child, they are perfectly equipped to progress into the next environment. While they may feel uneasy about new guides, a new classroom and a different group of peers, they are resilient. With your support and the support of your school’s leadership, your child will quickly adjust!