Back-to-School Tips

Dear MSSA Families,

It was great to see so many new and familiar faces at MyMSSA Day. The smiles, handshakes, warm hugs, and the excitement and joy of coming to school were the perfect way to kick off the 2022-2023 school year! 

The start of school can generate feelings of excitement and also fear or anxiety of the unknown, especially for those children who are new to our community or moving up to a new classroom. Here are some back-to-school tips for you and your Montessori child. 

1. Set a consistent bedtime routine.

Following a routine at bedtime provides an opportunity for you to nurture and bond with your child. This structure and repetition make children feel safe, which will help them fall asleep faster, help them stay asleep longer, and wake up feeling rested. A well-rested child leads to better behavior during the day and can also have a positive impact on your child’s overall development, including language development, cognitive flexibility, and executive function. 

2. Allow time for children to be independent.

This requires patience on your part, but giving children the time and teaching them how to accomplish a task, rather than just hurrying through it or doing it yourself, will pay off in the future. Even more importantly, children gain a sense of empowerment knowing what they can do on their own. This newfound self confidence leads to a happier, more independent child who will begin to ask more often, “can I try that by myself?” Take advantage of those opportunities!

3. Give children the freedom to make mistakes.

Uninterrupted time to experiment, repeat tasks, and make mistakes gives children the opportunity to learn on their own. Observe this process from a distance. Give them the chance to grow out from under your shadow and watch them blossom.

4. Build confidence by helping children help themselves. 

Allowing children to do for themselves encourages independence. Everyday tasks provide many opportunities for independence. Carrying their dishes to the sink, packing their own lunch, pouring their own water, making their own snacks, picking out their own clothes to wear, and dressing themselves are just a few to get you started. 

5. Limit distractions and provide activities that allow for long periods of concentration.

Turning off distractions allows children the time to absorb and process information. Limiting the number of times that an adult interrupts the child helps them develop a longer attention span and also models courtesy and respect. If you must interrupt a child, leave the activity untouched and allow them to return to it.

6. Provide a sense of order.

Children thrive in an orderly environment. Show your child that things have a place and have them return items to that place before moving on to a new activity. Schedules also provide order and help children feel more comfortable because they know what to expect. Establish and consistently follow routines at home for getting ready for the day, mealtimes, and bedtime.

7. Be positive about school.

Model a positive attitude and excitement when you talk about school. Talk to your child about what to expect. Your child will feed off of your energy. If you are anxious about school, likely your child will be as well.

My hope is that you come to know and love MSSA and Montessori education as I do. I’m excited to be on this Montessori journey with you and your family. It’s a privilege to partner with you and to watch these children grow into passionate learners, independent thinkers, and engaged citizens.

Grateful to be at MSSA,

Emily

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