As we slowly settle back into the rhythm of the Autumn term, you may well be returning to the school or nursery routine. After a prolonged period at home under such stressful circumstances, it’s natural that some children may be nervous about returning to school.
To help, here are six top tips on what you can do to help ease into the school routine.
Top tip 1: Speak with your children, as little adults
Many children hate surprises. In this first month, refamiliarise your children to nursery or school by using the names of their nursery practitioners and talking to them about nursery and their friends. By including your children in conversations, you empower them and help them feel at ease.
Top tip 2: But don’t forget to be clear and concise
Nursery may seem different due to Covid-19 restrictions. Acknowledge this and reassure your children that the changes are to keep everyone safe. Make connections to what children may be experiencing, such as facemasks to help them acclimatise. Keep these explanations short and simple – it’s important to let the child lead and ask you questions.
Top tip 3: Encourage playing as much as possible
Over lockdown, 74% of parents spent more time playing – this should be continued at home as your child readjusts to school. Play develops self-esteem, curiosity and confidence, all of which reduce stress and promotes positive wellbeing – vital during a time when anxieties are high. To spark imaginations, create a safe space where your children can play freely and create their own games, watch and offer the resources to expand these.
Top tip 4: Enable them to be independent at home
Being independent at home will help children with confidence and is crucial to the Montessori approach. Our research revealed that 73% of parents think school should dedicate more time to developing practical skills. Learning is something that happens all the time, so involving your child in daily tasks at home like shopping, washing, or cleaning up if they have made a mess will help grow a child’s independence. Put activities at their height so they can choose what they want to do, and give them time to succeed and develop a sense of responsibility.
Top tip 5: Remember, being a role model isn’t being perfect
Role modelling is an important concept in the Montessori approach, as children watch and learn from adult’s behaviour. Your child seeing you calmly cope with change will give them a good model to copy.
Top tip 6: Young children are resilient, try not to stress
Children are stronger than you think. Our research tells us that 65% of parents have been inspired by their children’s attitude to life and learning over lockdown. Think positively and try not stress; children will take their cues from you.
For information about child and parent wellbeing during the pandemic, view our recent webinar, ‘Child and Adult Wellbeing During Covid-19’ from our Talking Montessori webinar series, here.
For more content, tips and help bringing the Montessori method into your home, please join our Network here.