How to help your child build self-esteem at Montessori school.
When children come to a Montessori school, the first lessons they learn are care of self and care of environment.
Care of self includes washing hands, using the bathroom, dressing and undressing by themselves. Care of the environment includes washing, sweeping, and keeping the classroom beautiful. The children water plants and care for animals.
Have your child wear clothes they can dress and undress themselves in with no assistance.Examples: elastic waist pants, pull over shirts, velcro or slip on shoes. This will help build their self-esteem and help them to be independent and capable at school.
Our classroom has many materials for your child to practice dressing and undressing with buttons, zippers, bows, lacing, etc. In a calm environment instead of an “I better hurry, I have to use the bathroom” situation. We want your child to have a positive experience and set them up for success. If they can not take their clothes off, this will make them feel dependent and incapable, not allowing them to build their self esteem and feel important. They may have an accident because we have not set them up to succeed.
Children should bring healthy, low salt, low sugar snacks (to promote a healthy environment) in containers they can open and eat easily with little mess. Please no cookies, cakes, or chips. Part of our curriculum is care of the environment, once again, we want to set your child up for success by giving them snacks they can easily clean up after themselves. Children learn to sweep crumbs and sponge tables after eating. If you give them something very messy it will be frustrating for them to clean it up independently. Sure the teachers can do it for them, but then we are not teaching or helping your children learn to “do “things for themselves. Suggestions are crackers, sliced fruit, vegetable sticks, and sandwiches.
Arrival and departure can be made easy by talking to your child about school and what to expect. How fun it is or how much you like the teachers. What a wonderful school and how lucky they are to come to such a great school. Your positive comments will help your child want to come to school. If you apologize or make negative remarks or threats it is going to be a difficult transition. We discourage bribery, as it will escalate, until you have to promise a new treat after-school everyday. Help your child want to come to school for the joy of coming to school. Talk with your child about your expectations of their behavior. How we arrive at school. “We are going to quietly walk you into your classroom and I am going to let you put your things in your cubby, then I will give you a kiss and a hug and say goodbye, I will be back at 11:45 right before lunch.” You can talk to them about the structure of the day prior to arrival. “Your teacher will be there to greet you and help you start your day.” Please let your child enter the classroom independently. Once you start to leave please do not re-enter, even if you hear your child becoming upset. We need you to show your trust in us, so your child will also trust us. Help make school a positive experience for your child. Consistency and follow through are equally as important. Implement Montessori philosophy into your home by letting your child help with daily routines. If this practice is not already established, each day take a new step towards letting your child do things independently with less and less direction and guidance until they can master the skill all by themselves.
Teach your child respect and responsibility at home. Using toys and materials appropriately and gently, then putting things back the way they found them.
Take a step back and observe your child doing something positive. The more you notice the positive, the less redirection will be necessary. Instead of telling them what not to do, show them how you do it, or ask them what they think. Help them look up answers to questions in books.
Please do not bring toys from home, they are distracting and create conflict in our environment