How to Get the Best Out of Your Montessori Classroom

One question parents often ask is, “When can we expect our children to know their letters and/or gain general academic skills.”  Of course, it all depends on each child and where they are emotionally and intellectually, but it also depends on how much you are willing to let them grow and allow them to be prepared for the classroom.

A few healthy habits that can help your child are:

  • Getting lots of sleep
  • Eating “brain food” for breakfast
  • Practicing using their own brain
  • Learning a good work ethic
  • Limiting screen time to none or very little, especially on the way to school
These habits will prepare your child to come into the classroom ready to learn.
It’s hard for us to focus throughout the day, if we haven’t eaten well. This is true for children too. Lots of lean proteins (chicken, turkey, fish, tofu, beans, etc.) keep them fuller longer and more focused on their lessons. Avoid sugar first thing in the morning. Sugar will get a child going for a little while, but then a crash will be inevitable.

We encourage you to get your children to bed early by having a bedtime routine. The American Medical Association recommends 11-12.5 hours for preschoolers and 10-11 hours for children 5 and older so that their brains can develop normally. We find that children are better able to retain and understand information after they’ve had a good night’s sleep.  One more important point for a good night’s sleep is that they sleep in their own bed, in their own room.

Allowing your children to think for themselves is another very important habit to remember.  They need to practice using their own brain instead of ours.  Encouraging them to think through a problem and come up with solutions on their own will help them be more self-sufficient and utilize their time in the classroom more efficiently.  It will also make the difference between your child being an initiator or a follower.

Involve your child in household chores, such as setting up the table, emptying the dishwasher, or weeding the garden. While doing these tasks alongside you, your child will gain more confidence and feel like an important, contributing member of your home.  Your child will learn to take pride in their environment and understand the importance of responsibility and work. This will positively affect what they do in the classroom and help them have a great work ethic.  Keep in mind your child’s skill level, but expect them to do the things of which they are capable.

Please limit screen time. Screen time is disruptive to brain connectivity.  While there is lots of great information on screens, children will not know what to do with the information because they need to practice hands-on activities to use their knowledge.

We also encourage parents to use Love and Logic techniques in the home. For more information on this parenting technique, look for Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood by Foster Cline, MD and Jim Fay.

These healthy habits, Love and Logic techniques, and more can help your child gain every benefit available from the Montessori environment. Your child will reach his potential in no time at all!