Starting Elementary School – A Critical Transition for Your Child
It’s the time of year when our Casa students begin the exciting transition into the Kendalwood Elementary Program. In line with the Montessori Method, the new classroom is introduced to our up-and-coming Elementary students in a well-planned and orderly way. Keeping in mind that children at this age have a very familiar and secure school setting where they have grown over the previous three years with a consistent environment and educator, it is important to provide an early introduction and a slow transition period.
Our Casa students moving up to Elementary begin to visit their new environment every June in anticipation of full immersion in September. The Casa child is moving from an environment where they are the eldest and well versed in acting as a role model, into a classroom environment where they are now the youngest and least experienced. This can be a big adjustment and a slow transition ensures students are eased into the Elementary program at a pace that respects their developmental stage. Children have the opportunity to begin new or develop deeper relationships with current elementary students who will be their peers and role models in the upcoming year. Similarly, children can begin to form bonds of trust with their new teachers.
The transition phase provides practical insight into how the Elementary classroom differs from their Casa experience, specifically how their development will shift from home based learning to broader world based learning. Casa students discover the classroom schedule and routines, minimizing any potential for fear or anxiety due to a sense of the unknown.
Early introduction to the Elementary classroom enables students to observe what their work and materials will look like in September. Teachers use the transition period as an opportunity to begin learning more about their new students, gaining insight as to their individual needs and current academic level. As a result, productive learning can begin right at the beginning of the new school year in September.
The slow transition for 6 -7 year old students into this critical next phase of their education is a wonderful advantage of Montessori education. A carefully planned transition from Montessori Casa to Elementary sets students up for individual success during a period of significant change. The gentle classroom changeover, a chance to develop critical relationships and a long term view individual needs makes Montessori a great choice for the Elementary years!
Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.