Drop-off and pick-up are two of the most important times of the entire day. Here are a few insights that we've gathered over the years. We hope you find them useful. These are many of the same recommendations that you'll find in Montessori parent handbooks throughout the world. Of course, we've made a few modifications, and put our own Baan Dek spin on things.
*Drop-Off: * When entering the school, we recommend that you walk in with your child, instead of carrying them. This will help give them a sense of independence and confidence. You can further empower your child by having them carry their own lunch or backpack, which will help foster that sense of ownership and responsibility that children so cherish.
While it can be difficult, we strongly recommend a quick drop-off. We know it can be the hardest thing in the world, but the longer a parent stays, the harder the separation becomes. Lingering can create anxiety for both children and adults alike, and this is never a good start to a day. Instead, children need the reassurance that you have confidence in them and their day.
With that in mind, it's important to note that children live by consistency and routine. We recommend that you try to ensure that your child has a good night sleep the night before school. If there's going to be a change in the day, we recommend that you inform your child, or send us a note so we can do the same. Children thrive on being made of aware of what's happening, so the more we can do to help quench that sense of wonder, the better.
Additionally, it's extremely important to be on time, for a number of reasons. Most importantly, perhaps, is that we don't want your child to feel left out, as they enter the classroom while everyone is already eagerly engaged in their daily activities. One of the best examples that we as adults can relate to, is the feeling of walking into a meeting late. You feel disheveled and overwhelmed. You're not sure what's already transpired. No matter how hard you try to catch up, you just don't feel that you're going to manage it.
*Pick-up: * Picking up your child after school is just as important as dropping your child off for school. Here are a few tips:
First, we recommend that you ensure a prompt, timely and cheerful pick up. Lengthy pick-ups can cause confusion, unease, restlessness and disrupt the other students in the classroom.
Second, we recommend that you greet your child respectfully. They're, of course, excited to see you, but meet their enthusiasm with calm and passion. Speak softly and encourage normal behavior. We know, it can be very exciting!
Third, while you are with your child, provide them with your full and undivided attention. We recommend that you are not on the phone during this time, as it can be very disruptive for your child.
Fourth, please ensure that you arrive to pick up your child in a timely fashion. Tardiness can cause anxiety for children. If you're running late, be sure to notify us, so we can inform your child. Children love to know what's going on, so they can prepare themselves. Additionally, if you need to pick your child up early for something, please let us know in advance, as this can be very disruptive for their day.
Fifth, ensure that you keep your child apace of any changes in their routine. If there is a change, let them know, explain the situation and offer reassurance. Sometimes they just need to hear it from you.
Sixth, it's always nice to hear about your child's day. Try asking them some open ended questions. "Would you like to tell me how your day was?" Try to avoid judgements, praise and rewards.
Lastly, if you have comments, questions, or concerns about your child, please schedule an appointment to discuss rather than speaking in front of them. They're highly aware of the conversation.