A child’s early years form the basis of their future development, and they form the base for lifelong learning and cognitive and social development. Therefore, the attitude that a child has towards the various stages of early education such as preschool and elementary school can affect their future performance. This is why it is vital to create a smooth and seamless transition from Montessori Preschool to Montessori Elementary School.
The change in environment, exposure to new classmates, and new teachers can hamper the transition to the next learning stage. Thus, as a parent or guardian, you need to take actionable measures the transition fun for your preschooler. With this in mind, here are five ways to make your child look forward to elementary school!
Talk to Your Child About the Transition
Before you enroll your child into a new school, talk to them about the transition. Let them know that they will be going to a new school and gauge their reaction. Ask them questions such as the following:
Are you excited about going to a new school and making new friends?
What are you looking forward to the most?
What don’t you like about going to a new school?
Is there anything you would like me/us to do for you?
Doing this will not only help you understand how your child feels about the transition, but it will also ensure that they voice their fears. You will know what to do to make the child comfortable as they prepare for the new learning stage.
Interact With Other Parents and Classmates
There’s nothing that causes more anxiety in kids than being stuck in a new environment with new faces. If your child doesn’t see any familiar face in elementary school, they will take a long time to adjust. One way you can help is by interacting with other classmates and their parents. You can organize a playdate at the park and let your child get to make new friends in the new school.
With new friends to go to school with, your child will be more receptive to the changes. What’s more, this also allows you to make friends with new parents as well!
Organize a Visit to the Elementary School
When enrolling a child in a new Montessori Elementary School, it is vital to make them familiar with the new environment. In preschool, your child knew their way around, and this created some level of familiarity with the surroundings. A new environment can make kids anxious and unreceptive. Thus, consider organizing a visit or tour to the elementary school before the opening date.
If possible, you can ask the parents of your child’s classmates to tag along with their children. Ask your child’s elementary school teacher to be present for the tour as well. This allows the kids to familiarize themselves with the new learning environment before the opening date. You will be surprised how much the trip can help in creating a smooth transition to the new school.
Involve Your Child in the Preparations
If you want your child to be a better eater, you involve them in the food preparation process. Similarly, if you want them to love elementary school, involve them in the preparations. Take the child along for shopping. Let them pick out a backpack, lunchbox, and school binder. Allow them to select the clothes they will wear on their first and subsequent days in the new school. You can even allow them to choose what to have in their lunchbox. These small involvements get kids excited about school, and they can make the transition easy and painless.
Watch Out for Signs of Stress
An inadequate transition from preschool to elementary school can cause high levels of stress in kids. According to studies, stressed children have more trouble learning in school. Additionally, stress creates trust issues in children and prevents them from making healthy relationships. Therefore, be on the lookout for indications of stress, and these include the following:
- Crying or throwing tantrums when school is mentioned
- Sudden signs of separation anxiety
- Repeatedly refusing to go to school
- Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
If you notice any of the above signs, your child isn’t happy about going to a new school. Take the measures mentioned above to create a smooth transition. Listen to them and don’t overburden them any further with new routines and activities. Try to stick to the old routine and engage in activities they love to give them some stability in an already-changing environment.
Not all children are receptive to new environments. Therefore, as you transition from Montessori Preschool to Montessori Elementary School, take these steps to ensure your child enjoys the new settings. Provide the necessary emotional support to prevent and manage stress and anxiety in your little one!