The following is one in a series of essays written by Catherine McTamaney about how to be a Montessori parent.
A Simple Introduction to Home Visits
What to Expect for Your Home Visit
Home Visits are an important part of the Seamless Learning design at Wildflower Schools. Because we believe that children are most likely to preserve their natural, peaceful development in environments that have been prepared to serve them, we offer guidance to parents on ways to increase collaboration and calm at home through simple design changes. Because we seek to blur the boundaries between the children’s lives at school and their lives at home, we want children regularly to see parents and teachers working together in both settings. Both goals are well met in the family’s own home.
We schedule visits during times that are comfortable for the family. If a teacher is visiting to provide guidance on environmental design, this should be during a time when the areas of the house open to the child are available to be visited and, ideally, when the child can be cared for by another adult. During these visits, we want to be able to talk candidly about what parts of your home are functional for your family and what areas may cause more stress or conflict.
If a child is present for a visit with the family, we choose times that are low-stress: play time in the afternoon or early evening, or a weekend morning, or another time that the family identifies as being a typical and peaceful time of day. Dinnertime, bedtime or naptime are usually too busy to welcome a new visitor into the environment. We want to be able to interact with your child and family “on your turf,” to allow your child to come to see his or her teachers as a regular part of home life.
There is no need for special preparation. We want to visit your home in a way that’s comfortable and relaxed for you.
When we visit for the first time, we will also bring a copy of the Wildflower Montessori School Parent Handbook and information about Phase-In for the first days of school. After that initial visit, we will schedule regular times to connect outside of school, sometimes for informal visits at home, sometimes for environmental consultations, sometimes to come along for other regular family tasks like trips to the grocery store or park. The more visits we have, the more comfortable they’ll become and the stronger our community will grow.
See you soon!