The Transition from Home to CMS
For some children, the transition from home to school will be their first experience away from their parents. They are learning how to function in a social setting among peers, where turns have to be taken and sharing is a must.
For parents, it is a time of great pride, and perhaps great anxiety. They may ask themselves if their child is ready for school, and if they will bond with teachers and peers. It could also be the first time they place their child in another adult's care. There must be assurances that this person will meet the physical, social, emotional, and academic needs of their child.
Before starting their first day at CMS, each child will partake in a transition visit for 45 minutes to an hour. During this visit, children will meet one on one with their teachers in the classroom. Parents are free to stay with their child during this time. The child will be shown his or her cubby, and will be introduced to class lessons and procedures. This allows parent and child to become familiar with the classroom before the start of the CMS Academic Year.
During the first two weeks of the Academic Year, new students will participate in a half day schedule allowing them to gradually acclimate to their new environment. Parents may opt to maintain this schedule once the transition period has ended to allow for a more gradual phase-in.
Throughout the first week of class, parents can expect to hear from their child's teacher regularly by phone or e-mail, keeping them informed of their child's progress.
Also during this first week, parents are free to accompany their child to their cubbies and help them begin their day. Once the week has ended, we ask that parents separate from their child before leaving the lobby, as an integral part of the Montessori curriculum is a child's independence. It is important that every child feels that he or she is leaving the parent, not the other way around.
If a child is having difficulty transitioning, teachers will join parents in coming up with a plan that works for everyone. This may include a shorter day, parents joining their child in the classroom, sending in comfort items, or visits to the classroom outside of school hours.
It is important to remember that no two children react the same way when separating from a parent. Any difficulty in this regard is not a reflection of parenting, nor is it an indicator of a child's ability to thrive in a school environment.
It is our goal that all children feel they can adjust in their own time, and that they have the full support of both their parents and teachers.