Preparing your child for nursery

You can do a lot to prepare your child for Montessori School; here are some points to consider:

Toilet training

Summer is a good time to start toilet training, as fewer clothes are needed. Try to make toileting easy for your child by considering the fastenings of their clothes. Use trousers with elasticated waists rather than buttons, tights can be a bit of a nightmare when you are desperate. Let teachers know what stage your child is at, and which words they use when needing the toilet.

Many toddlers are able to learn to use a potty or the toilet between 18 months and 3 years. Children in our Infant Community have usually managed continence by this time, our early years practitioners having worked closely with parents to achieve this. When considering admission to our School, children need to have initiated toilet training with some measure of success before they commence. Whilst we are not averse to the occasional accident, we cannot initiate toilet training from scratch as this diverts teachers away from teaching duties.

Speech, language and dummies

The subject of whether to use a dummy is often a source of hot debate, overuse normally being the problem. Dentists, Speech Therapists and some health professionals frequently advise against them; there being sufficient evidence to suggest they cause: dental malformation/caries, speech delay, upper respiratory tract and ear infections. For all these reasons we request that parents keep dummies for night / home use.

Routines

Children need good home routines and should also understand that sometimes there is need for change. Regular family meals, bath and bedtimes will give your children a sense of security. In addition your child will need plenty of rest once they have started Montessori school as all that playing, working & socialising can be very tiring. Consider that children can easily burn out, so limit your child's after school activities to once or twice a week. Believe it not, children are most creative when they have had a stint of boredom.

By establishing a regular daily reading time, when you read to your child, you will be building the most important foundations for child literacy, ensure that you ask the occasional question and encourage their own observations.