Change can be difficult for anyone, especially for children three to six years old, who are developing cognitively, emotionally, physically, and socially. But the move from toddler to the next stage of development doesn’t need to be difficult or intimidating.
Children can flourish during the transition from a toddler program or daycare to Montessori primary education, even if your child is moving from a traditional school program.
The move up to what Maria Montessori called “Casa dei Bambini” (Children’s House) can be rewarding when there is planning and cooperation from all involved: you, the head of your Montessori school, and your child (the toddler and primary director of the transition).
When Is Your Child Ready to Move Up to Montessori Primary?
There is no set time for every child to move from the toddler program to the Montessori primary program. Some variables to consider include your child’s age, their ability to use a toilet, and their social readiness.
When your child is ready to move will also depend on your child’s teacher and the head of school. While they will consider each child’s journey, they may follow guidelines or regulatory requirements that set an age or time of year when a child can be moved.
Some children show signs of readiness at 2.5 years of age, and some don’t until six years old. In these early development years, children are like sponges, soaking up information as they explore the world around them. This discovery is part of the Montessori method.
Over time, your child will absorb the toddler program and need a new environment in which to continue learning. By closely observing your child, you and your child’s teacher will notice when your child is ready to transition and, together, can start planning for the move.
How to Prepare for Transitioning to Montessori Primary
To avoid a bumpy transition, whether your child is in the Montessori toddler program or a traditional school setting, consider these ways to prepare:
- Understand the principles of Montessori education
- Understand your child’s stage of development
- Avoid outside tutoring
- Encourage your child to read at home
- Allow time for your child to adjust
In most Montessori schools, teachers in the toddler and primary programs keep in close contact. Additionally, the best Montessori educators encourage parents to visit the primary classroom well in advance.
They also talk to the child about the change to more responsibility for schoolwork and self-control in the primary classroom. Many schools allow children to gradually spend more time exposed to the primary classroom.
Observe Your Child for Readiness
The Montessori philosophy is based on learning being child-directed instead of teacher-directed. Children, parents, and teachers all play a significant role in guiding a child to grow and flourish through discovery.
In moving from the toddler program to the Montessori primary program, the child’s education will focus on five areas — practical life, language, sensory differences, culture, and mathematics — designed to allow the child to grow physically, mentally, and spiritually.
When your child seems ready to absorb more than they are getting at the toddler level, this is a sign your child is ready for Montessori primary education.
Move Your Child to Montessori Primary
If you have questions about Montessori education for young children or believe your child is ready to move to a Montessori primary program, contact Montessori West.