Shy children are prone to resisting change, and moving from Montessori preschool into kindergarten is no exception. Fortunately, Montessori works a little differently than traditional schools, so helping her accept the inevitable change of growing up is not a big deal. Unlike traditional public schools, she is not going to be transferred to a new location, and most of the children she already associates with will be moving upward right along with her.
Tour the School
You can give your Montessori student a headstart by taking her on a tour of the kindergarten she will be attending. It will ease her mind to know that many of the children she is already attending preschool with will also be in her kindergarten. In fact, Montessori children have an advantage in that the 3-year age grouping means they will already know children in kindergarten when you tour the classroom because some children will have already “graduated” to the big kid classrooms. In a way, going to kindergarten will be more like getting reunited with old friends than being forced to associate with new kids.
Countdown to the Big Event
Keep a calendar and help your daughter countdown the days until the new school year begins. Moving up from preschool into kindergarten is a big deal for children, and even the shy kids are excited about the prospect of becoming big kids. Instead of passively allowing her to dread that big day, make proactively counting down to the first day of school an exciting daily event.
Talk About Her Anxiety
Talking with your daughter about her fears and reservations will help her express her concerns and provide you with an opportunity to reassure her. You can remind her that many of her Montessori preschool friends will be graduating up to kindergarten along with her. She isn’t going to be dumped in with complete strangers, and even the classroom itself is one she has seen during her time in preschool.
Emphasize Becoming a Big Kid
Everybody grows up, and starting kindergarten is just one more way that kids mature. You can emphasize that kindergarten is an accomplishment she should be proud of instead of a frightening new thing being injected into her life.
Graduating into kindergarten is a big step, but it does not have to be a frightful one. The best help you can offer your shy daughter is to listen to her fears, explain why those fears shouldn’t hold her back and reassure her that becoming a big kid is going to be a lot more exciting than she had imagined.
The best way to learn more about the Montessori prepared environment is to see it in action. Schedule an appointment for a tour today to see Montessori in action.