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How will my child transition into mainstream education? (MAF website)

A child who’s been in a Montessori classroom since age 3 has had many years of daily practise in working cooperatively; negotiation with peers; being a leader or a follower, depending on the requirements of the situation; and learning how to learn. Self-reliance and dependability have had the maximum potential to develop as this child made decisions about what to work on, and paced him or herself with the activity. All of these are invaluable skills that will serve the child in high school, higher education, and the workplace. 

If your child leaves a Montessori pre-school (ages 3-6) class to begin in a traditional primary school, this is a natural transitional point. All children will be new to the primary level and will be adjusting to changes in routine and method. Similarly, a child leaving Montessori primary at age 12 to attend high school will be leaving at a natural transition point. Again, all the children will be new to high school and the different routines and expectations there. 

Some differences your primary child might have to adapt to include remaining seated in class, working on a lesson or activity with the entire class or a large group, using books and paper but no manipulative materials, and having work choices made by someone else (often the teacher). There may be, generally, fewer opportunities for a child to make choices for him or herself in the new setting.