At Post Oak, we specialize in empowering our students to become independent thinkers and doers from a young age to prepare them for life in college and beyond. Our Montessori educators spend years honing their skills in knowing when students are capable of self-sufficient work or when guidance and support are necessary.
For families learning from home, we understand that finding this balance may be difficult, and to help, we asked our academic directors to provide advice to help as you navigate distance learning.
Early Childhood Tips from Miriam Winton
- Establish daily routines and expectations. Young children thrive in environments that promote repetition and the mastery of purposeful movement. Be consistent and follow clear sequences for each activity.
- Include your child in household chores and help them enjoy family life with developmentally appropriate contributions.
- Allow your child to choose activities and give opportunities for periods of work time without distraction. Help your child with the hardest part of a task (not the whole task).
- Provide opportunities for daily physical activity and encourage outdoor activities and exploration as part of your routine. For the young child, work and play should be interchangeable—a natural, fun, exciting part of life.
- Initiate communication with teachers about questions, ideas, concerns, or feedback.
Elementary Tips from Joseph Aken
- Encourage them to set their own goals and check in on self-assessed progress in partnership with your student’s teacher.
- Like in the classroom, students will receive virtual lessons on work from their teachers. Trust your child to continue working independently on mastery and to rely on their teachers or you for assistance. (Mistakes provide learning opportunities!)
- Be an active listener and ask open-ended questions to further your conversations. Provide space for your student to work through their thoughts and feelings while in dialogue.
- Motivate them to stay active and play outside. Children are inherently creative in finding opportunities for fun, especially outdoors. (Our students help maintain their class gardens! Consider letting them set up their own at-home garden, with your support to get started.)
Middle School Tips from Alex Abel
- Students should design and create a workspace where they can focus and be productive. (Minimizing noise and interruptions is ideal for students engaging in virtual meetings and class sessions.)
- Encourage students to find ways to collaborate with peers so that they can maintain connections.
- Create a consistent routine throughout the day centered around the Middle School schedule. Add in frequent breaks from screens throughout the day. (Ideas: head outside for a walk or help around the house!)
- Students are encouraged to reach out to teachers and faculty via email with any questions.
High School Tips from Dr. Jamie Lee
- Encourage the use of one device at a time. It is good practice to find a common charging space for a cell phone where it can be used during the mid-day break.
- Papers and sticky notes can clutter a workspace. Other alternatives include a whiteboard or digital sticky notes and apps that also help remind you of due dates.
- Creating a modular workspace that allows for both sitting and standing can help support the need to move throughout the day. You don’t need a specific desk to do this! Students can start with a lap desk on the ground, convert to a traditional seated chair and table, and then add the lab desk or even books to raise the computer to standing height.
Our faculty and staff are your partners in your students’ educational journey, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them for further help!
(We are also offering support groups for our parents and caregivers. Learn more about them here!)