Montessori has classrooms which are starkly different from the conventional, structured ones you may be more familiar with. It encourages and supports hands-on learning, which is arguably the main reason behind its track record of producing independent learners and achievers.
With this, you may be considering enrolling your child into a Montessori school. However, you may have fears and worries about him joining the mixed-age primary room at age four.
Since kids enter the Montessori program as early as the age of three, will your little one be able to catch up with the others? How well will he do with the self-led activities? It is too late for him to join a Montessori program?
To respond to that question once and for all: no, it’s not too late for your child!
While starting at three years old definitely gives children the best opportunity to ease into the Montessori environment, four is still a great age. Furthermore, some kids aged four have been able to acclimate to the classroom setup and enjoy the tasks fairly quickly.
On that note, there are steps you can take to make this adjustment stage easier for your child. In the sections below, you will find three of the many ways you can help:
1. Let Him Attend for Five Full Days Every Week
While this may seem like a big leap for your child, this will allow him to ease into Montessori’s spontaneous learning process successfully. The consistent schedule will help him feel safer and more relaxed in the classroom. It will also give him more time to work through the materials and learn from the teacher at his own pace.
Ultimately, sending your child to school for five full days will give him the luxury of time to observe, process the new environment, and become acclimated to it.
2. Help Your Child Practice Independence at Home
One of the guiding principles of the Montessori approach is to help the children do things on their own.
It is for this reason that Montessori classrooms are designed to be a safe environment for children to practice independence. They are encouraged to take on fundamental tasks on their own such as pouring liquids, washing basins, tying shoelaces, and so on.
You can help your child adjust to this way of learning faster and easier by continuing the training at home. Your little one will be excited at this new-found independence, so it’s a great idea to support this whenever possible. For example, you may let him fix his own bed, get dressed without help, and prepare his snacks.
3. Introduce the Habit of Reading
At this stage, you may feel like you need to introduce other academics to your child. However, there’s no need to hurry; in reality, doing so may even overwhelm your little one. What you can do, however, is to introduce the habit and love for reading to him. This is the best way to support your child’s academic development at this stage.
You may read with him or to him—you’ll have to find the best activity for their mood or energy level. Regardless of the activity he chooses, strive to read as often as you can. Then, discuss what you have read and ask questions about the story.
This simple habit will certainly foster his literacy and help him move along with his lessons at school easier.
Montessori education may be starkly different from traditional schools—and hence a little intimidating—but there’s nothing to worry about! The teacher will be there to guide your child through the learning activities and help him adjust to the mixed-age setup. Ultimately, remember that your enthusiastic support and encouragement can also give your child the boost they need to thrive in this new environment. Are you looking for Montessori schools in Springville, NY? Consider enrolling him at St. Aloysius Regional School! We are the only school in the region to offer a Montessori Pre-Kindergarten Program. Get in touch with us today and we’ll be glad to answer any inquiries you may have.