I thought I’d start an occasional blog series answering questions I receive from parents—good questions that parents don’t always think to ask. Here is the first one:
Question: Is it suggested that I don't park and walk my child up to the door?
Answer: This question comes up every year. As with almost every aspect of a Montessori experience, every motion holds a hidden lesson; every moment is a teachable opportunity. We generally prefer parents to go through the drop off line because when their child leaves the car they are “leaving the parent” rather than the parent going to the classroom and turning around to leave the child. As I draft this blog I recall just yesterday morning I watched it happen to an otherwise very confident 4-year-old. As her Mom turned to leave at the classroom door she panicked.
Psychologically, particularly for younger children, this small step for independence can be very important, as well as building confidence in all children. Sometimes children can get very upset when Mom leaves at the classroom door, but if the child is taking that step out of the car—out of the protective umbrella of Mom—the experience can be a little scary but eventually is like tying one's own shoes, doing the dishes, or taking responsibility for the family pet. These acts can be a source of great pride for children, giving them confidence that translates into willingness and even eagerness to tackle academic work. And these outcomes are something all Montessori parents want for their children.
That said, just as we don't treat children as if they had the same academic needs, neither does my explanation above hold true for all children. If you don't think that will work for your child now I suggest you work toward it as a personal growth goal for him or her.