Why do Montessori Schools Have a Phase-In Process?
At the start of the school year, your child is much more likely to be tired out. School is a child’s work, and it is serious business for them. It’s important to move at the
child’s pace and allow them to properly adjust to a new schedule. Be thinking about having consistent routines and a predictable bedtime schedule to give them extra support as they acclimate, especially if it’s their first time away from you.
Having time in which a child and guide get to know each other is also important. During this new transition a guide works to establish a sense of security and comfort as a child settles into the new environment and adjusts to a new group of children. Phasing in (staggering start dates of new students) helps set your child up for a successful year of learning.
Why We Phase-In
The children are eager and excited about the year of learning ahead. The classroom is stimulating; it is a place where independence will flourish as the child experiences freedom of choice within the classroom. Each child will gradually learn how to handle freedom of choice while respecting and caring for others, the learning materials, and the classroom space itself. The phase-in process allows a guide to spend more time with a child, giving them an overview of how things work in the classroom
Children who are returning from previous years have space and time to be reminded of the classroom rules.
Phase-in sets the tone of the classroom by respecting and caring for one another, as well as the environment. It sets the stage for independent learning.
The gradual phase-in allows a child to absorb and digest new concepts and ideas without becoming overwhelmed.
Bringing in students gradually allows more space and time to establish and re-establish procedures and ground rules. Routine is important to children, as they are in the sensitive period for order. They familiarize themselves with classroom materials and the physical space (cubbies, bathroom location, etc.)
A Phase-In Schedule is a Key To Success
We understand that slowly bringing the children into the new school year can feel like a juggling act for parents. Parents may need to alter working schedules temporarily in order to meet the needs of the phase-in schedule. In the end, the balancing act becomes well worth it. In Montessori, we believe that the child is the most important work. They need to build trust in their environment, their peers, and their guides so that they can explore independently.
Following The Child
In Montessori, we use the phrase “Follow the Child” quite often. We believe that children are born with a desire to learn, and as adults our job is to help guide them. By growing the class size gradually, you are giving children the opportunity to go at their own pace while learning with confidence and building up their energy for a full morning of work.