Going Back to School Montessori Style

an apple on a stack of books on a classroom desk with colored pencils and alphabet blocks

It’s no surprise that going to preschool can feel like a big transition for children. From waking up earlier and having more structure in their day to diving head-first into the preschool Montessori curriculum, some children can have a more challenging time adjusting than others.

At North American Montessori Child Care, we want to help students have a positive start to preschool so they can begin a fun year of learning, growing, and thriving. Getting into the swing of things can take time — and that’s normal! Following our tips below can help make the process go more smoothly and feel less hectic.

Here are some back-to-school tips for Montessori preschoolers and families:

Encourage Independence

Independence is a key principle in the Montessori Method. We believe it is pertinent to a child’s development to become independent at a young age, so we encourage our Montessori preschool students to take initiative in and out of the classroom. You can help nurture your child’s independence outside preschool and help grow their self-confidence by providing opportunities for your child to accomplish tasks for themselves.

Some tasks and activities you may want to encourage your child to complete include:

  • Putting toys and books away
  • Feeding themselves
  • Cleaning up after themselves
  • Helping with household chores
  • Mixing ingredients in the kitchen
  • Feeding the family pet
  • Watering the house plants

Just remember to be patient when they make mistakes — it’s all part of the learning process!

Incorporate Montessori Into Your Home’s Setup

One of the best ways to help your preschooler with their Montessori education is to understand the philosophy yourself. When you do, you can easily incorporate it into your home environment. Don’t worry; you won’t need to redesign your entire house! A few simple adjustments will be able to help.

Some ways to create a Montessori-friendly home include:

  • Organization – A chaotic environment will likely produce chaotic behavior. By taking the “a place for everything and everything in its place” approach, your child will learn the responsibility of returning things to where they belong and cleaning up any messes they may make.
  • Accessibility – Ensure items are within reach at the right height for your child so they can be more independent. Get down on the floor and look from your child’s perspective. You can store their clothes in low drawers or baskets, place step stools in the kitchen and bathroom, and arrange their toys and books on low shelves.
  • Rotate materials – Have different sets of toys and books (some available and some stored) and swap them out every few weeks to encourage curiosity, exploration, and creativity. You can easily cater this to your child’s interests and help prevent boredom.

Begin a Routine

Our Montessori classrooms allow your preschooler to explore what interests them and to learn at their own pace while simultaneously providing them with structure. While adults may think routine is dull, young children thrive in consistent environments. Children are more comfortable when they know what to expect. Following a routine helps them feel more relaxed — a relaxed child will be more independent and confident! Routine also helps children stay more focused, have less stress, and master self-control.

Ways to help your family establish a morning, evening, and mealtime routine include:

  • Waking up around the same time each day, including on weekends
  • Eating breakfast together
  • Doing a morning activity together (read, yoga, meditate, etc.) each day
  • Doing an evening activity together (puzzle, draw board game, etc.) each day
  • Eating dinner together
  • Taking the dog for a walk together after dinner each evening
  • Turning off electronics (phones, TV, tablets, etc.) around the same time each night
  • Having your child help with house chores on Saturday or Sunday each weekend (clean, laundry, etc.)

Embrace Nature

Another fundamental principle of Montessori education is learning from the natural world. It provides an excellent opportunity to slow down a bit, even if it is only for a half-hour a day.

Some outdoor activities that you and your little explorer can take part in include:

  • Take walks
  • Go to the park
  • Study bugs and plants
  • Collect leaves, flowers, or rocks
  • Sit and watch birds

Contact Our Montessori Preschool and Child Care Center

At North American Montessori Child Care, we are always ready to help parents and guardians fully understand the Montessori Method, how it can help their child thrive, and how they can better incorporate the Montessori philosophy at home. If you have questions or want to learn more about Montessori preschool education and child care, we welcome you to contact us!

Schedule a visit today!