Towards Independence: How to prepare your child for back to school.

Primary & Growing Primary Communities: Drop Off and Pick Up edition.

One of the most critical learning outcomes in a Montessori environment is independence and confidence. Here are our top 7 tips for Drop Off/Pick Up that encourage independence:

TIP 1: Send positive vibes. Before going to school, remind your child that school is an exciting new experience. Include a friendly note (if your child can read) or a familiar picture in their lunch bag.  Drive by before the first day and talk about what will happen.  We have our Meet and Greet coming up!

TIP 2: Model social graces.  It is important to say goodbye and hello to your child during drop off/pick up. These pleasantries mark a transition from home to school as well as model good social behaviors. We will prompt your child to do the same as part of our Grace and Courtesy Lessons in our Montessori Peace Curriculum.  Our culture of community and caring will help you support this as well.

TIP 3: Try to arrive on time. Tardiness can create anxiety for children. Late arrival hampers a child’s ability to establish a constructive cycle of activity and can interrupt the flow of the classroom.  They also miss opportunities for leadership in the classroom. If you are running late, please let us know. Our academic day begins at 9am.

TIP 4: Be quick and cheerful. We recommend a prompt drop off and pick up. Lengthy drop off/pick up can cause confusion and anxiety and disrupt other children in the classroom. Allow your child to walk independently into their classroom.

TIP 5: Do not walk into the classroom unless necessary. Our primary classrooms are designed for independence building, we want your child to feel confident that they can do it themselves. Have your child, when able, carry his/her belongs into the classroom.  This may take a few weeks, but it is our goal to see your child confidently do this.

TIP 6: Greet your child respectfully. We recommend giving your child your full/undivided attention. Phones can be a distraction when greeting your child. Meet your child’s enthusiasm to see you with a calm voice.  The magic of the Montessori classroom as well as our culture curriculum covers respectful communication within our community.

TIP 7: Engage your child about their school. Help your child open up about learning by asking good questions.  Avoid open-ended questions like: What did you do in school today? Ask specific questions requiring reflection such as: What made you laugh today?; Did anyone wear a funny t-shirt?; What is a good thing that happened at school today?; What did you learn in practical life today?  Use tadpoles – our communication tool  to see photos as a window into their day.

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