The Montessori Transition
A common concern for Montessori parents is how their child will transition out of Montessori into a traditional setting. The question is valid but the concern may be overblown. Yes, there will be transition challenges. Those are an integral part of life – preschool to elementary, elementary to Jr. and Sr. High, to college, to a job, to marriage, to parenthood and on and on.
It is certainly nice if life can remain stable and unchanging (well, maybe not the 2:00 A.M. feedings.) But change is inevitable. The first transition for the Montessori child might tend to be more dramatic than for a child that didn’t have the privilege of attending a Montessori school. However, the ability to handle the change is better developed in the Montessori child.
The Montessori child has developed coping skills
A traditional setting may not be as stimulating for the Montessori child. It may not offer the same opportunities for independent thought, learning and action. It might be more group oriented. It might be more teacher directed. Yes, it will require transition skills from your child. The good news is – your child has been developing adult coping skills all along in his or her Montessori experience. Even if your child can’t use all of the skills he or she has learned, they will not have gone to waste; they will not be lost. They will surface again and again as they are applied creatively to every day situations.
While non-Montessori students may be waiting for direction and instruction, the Montessori student will take the initiative and begin formatting plans for achievement. Though Montessori students have been raised in a non-competitive environment their training in initiative will give them a head start in competitive environments. Success also comes to the Montessori child because he or she already knows how to work with people; how to cooperate; how to collaborate.
The ultimate success that works in transition is that the Montessori student knows how to finish what she starts and that is not affected by whatever kind of environment she finds herself in. You don’t win unless you finish. Montessori children are great at finishing – and winning.
The Montessori child takes initiative
There are going to be challenges but the advantage that your Montessori child takes with him or her are worth the minor inconveniences of transition.
by Edward Fidellow, www.crossmountainmedia.com