It was wonderful seeing so many of you at our Transitioning Toddler meeting last month. As we begin to think about what the next chapter in their Montessori journey may look like, I am reminded about the importance of being prepared and preparing our children and how preparation is a key component in how we “Montessori.”
Montessori education has given me many gifts over the years. And with each passing day, I feel like I get the opportunity to see how the philosophy and teaching method foster respect, competence, and perseverance, for all of that, I am thankful.
This past month, I had an even deeper level of gratitude emerge for Montessori as my youngest child had to undergo two separate procedures under anesthesia. I wanted to share my experience, because not only did it solidify my absolute love for Montessori, but it also reminded me, that as parents, we can all be ‘Montessorians’ if we focus on preparation, respect, and honesty with our children.
I was scared, but I chose not to tell her that. We chose to be as calm as possible, as real as possible, as respectful as possible. And she responded with strength that we didn’t realize she had in her. To read the full story, click here.
As the school year draws to an end and summer approaches, there will be transitions, changes, and new experiences in your child’s life. We can help prepare them by sharing factual information about the event, resulting in them feeling included and respected. We suggest not waiting to the last minute but also not over preparing them months and weeks ahead of time, instead share information when relevant and close to the change. “School starts this week and you will have new teachers and some new friends,” or “we need to pack today because we will be traveling on a plane tomorrow.” Time is not a concept they can quantify just yet, so this way, your children are neither shocked at the newness of the event nor are they so far removed from when it will actually take place.
Janet Lansbury and Magda Gerber are authors who write about Respectful Parenting ( RIE- Resources for Infant Educarers). Their philosophy goes hand in hand with Montessori and I highly recommend their work to help guide your interactions and your understanding of our youngest children and how we can help them on their paths. (Janetlansbury.com)
Life is full of change. Remember to use your Montessori toolkit to help your family through it.
All my best, Ms. Liz