Learning does not happen in a vacuum. Learning can indeed happen through work in the classroom, but it also occurs daily outside of the classroom. And, parents can support the work done in the Montessori classroom and make the learning done inside and outside of the class even more effective. Three ways you can support the work your child does in the Montessori classroom include: keeping the lines of communication open with the headteacher, encouraging your child to talk about what happens in the classroom each day, and by approaching learning at home the same way it is approached in the Montessori classroom.
Keep the lines of communication open with the headteacher
The student to teacher ratio in the Montessori classroom is intentionally kept small, so the teacher can get to know each student. This low ratio allows the teacher to create individualized learning plans for each student based on their unique needs and interests. The headteacher in your student’s classroom will spend time learning about your child’s interests, passions, strengths, and struggles. The Montessori training that the head teacher has will help her identify areas where you child needs more challenge or extra help. And, you may notice things at home that provide you with insight into what your child needs that your child may not display in the classroom. When you keep the lines of communication open with your child’s head teacher, the two of you can share information and collaborate for the benefit of your child.
Encourage your child to talk about what happens in the classroom each day
Children spend much of their time living in the moment. Once the school day is over, many children move on to the next part of the day without giving school another thought. This afterthought can be frustrating for parents who want to know what happened at school. To support the work done in the Montessori classroom, you need to know what is happening day in and day out. You may have to train your child to provide you with the information you want. You can do this by asking your child about what happens in the classroom each day. If you do not get the information you want, ask more specific questions. Doing this on a daily basis will teach your child to expect it, and soon you may get updates without having to ask a long list of questions.
Approach learning at home the way it is approached in the Montessori classroom
In the Montessori classroom, learning is approached by providing students with opportunities for exploration, discovery, and self-directed learning. You can support the work done in the classroom by approaching learning in the same way at home.
Parents and teachers can work together to help students learn inside and outside of the classroom. The Montessori philosophy of education emphasizes creating life-long learners. One important element of becoming a life-long learner is discovering that learning can happen anywhere – not just inside the classroom. Parents play an important role in this process.