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Montessori Academy's vision is that each student
will become an independent, confident, motivated learner, and a responsible community member as a result of the dynamic partnership between
students, parents, and teachers.
This partnership within the exceptional Montessori environment, while developing these characteristics, enables each student to become a life-long learner.
Toddler 2 November Newsletter.
Practical Life in the toddler classroom
"An adult works is to perfect the environment, but a child works to perfect himself." -Montessori
Practical life in the toddler classroom mostly fall into three categories; Care of self, care of the environment (classroom), and grace and courtesy.
Care of self involves things like dressing oneself, putting on shoes, washing hands, using the potty. Care of the environment includes things like; dusting, sweeping, washing the table, washing the dishes, cleaning up messes, preparing the snack and snack table. Grace and courtesy includes things like basic manners and kindness to each other.
“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”- Montessori
A child feels dignity in doing their own work. That is, children are proud of being able to have meaningful work to do. Just as you are satisfied when you have achieved something at work, your child is proud and satisfied when they have achieved taking care of themselves. Taking care of their environment makes children feel that they belong and they are significant. Often if a child is misbehaving, it is because they do not feel these two things. By teaching a child how to take care of their environment, they understand they are important and that their work has meaning. Children in our classroom fold laundry and put it away, they prepare the snack of the day, serve the snack, sweep up spills, to name a few. Without their work, the classroom could not function.
Montessori believed that practical life does many things and are important in the following ways;
1) To enrich the child emotionally. The child loves these activities because they offer moments of relaxation, repetition, concentration, and perfection.
2)To provide many affirming experiences. The child learns to become successful and in turn develops a positive attitude about their life.
3)To encourage responsibility. Practical life activities provide practical consequences. Discipline and nagging reminders are not necessary, because there is a natural correction of errors; if the child pours too much water in their cup, the cup will overflow and create a mess that has to be cleaned up. The child will have to get up to get a towel and clean up the water. The child will be more responsible next time, so they will not have to clean up a mess, and they will pour more carefully.
4)To engage the child physically. Practical life activities involve a lot of movement. At this age, movement is tied to mental and emotional growth too.
5) To enliven the child constructively. The child develops the habit of consciously constructive work, as opposed to destructive work.
6. To develop a love of learning. The child is his own judge, and the work is self correcting (an example is the pouring of the water stated above). The child is allowed to correct their own mistakes and not be shamed for making mistakes. This helps develops a love, not a fear, or learning.
7) To enable the child to develop independence. As the child shows he is capable of more, more freedom is given.
“The child, in fact, once he feels sure of himself, will no longer seek the approval of authority after every step.” -Montessori
At most schools and daycares, the adult in the classroom does most of the work for the child. The child is dressed and undressed, their things are laid out for them, their messes cleaned up or them. At a Montessori school, the adult knows the child is not only capable of doing these things for themselves, but that it brings joy to do these things for themselves. Since you chose Montessori for your child, I am sure you know that children dressing themselves is actually part of their curriculum. It makes your little ones day much less frustrating when you send them in clothing and shoes that go on easily. If their pants are too tight or have buttons or snaps, then they can't do the work you send them to school to do, and they can't be independent. If their shoes are too tight or hard to get on, they will get frustrated and not be successful. They will see their peers putting on their shoes, and feel upset because they can't do it themselves. We spend a lot of time teaching your children how to put on shoes and get dressed, but our lessons fail when they are in difficult shoes and tight pants or shirts that button up.
Since it is now November, and thus it is cold, please dress your children warmly. Coats, hats, and mittens (NOT gloves) are necessary. We continue to go outside everyday, and the children have witnessed the leaves on the trees around the school change colors and then be blown down in the wind! It is really exciting to see these changes. I wonder if we will soon have snow?
A reminder about healthy lunches; it is against school policy to send desserts or anything with chocolate in it. That includes "healthy" bars with chocolate chips. Please send food with minimal sugar, and lots of veggies, fruit and minimally processed grains, meats and cheeses. We believe that healthy foods supports not only a healthy body, but a healthy mind ready to learn.
A reminder about snack; send in unprepared foods such as whole apples, whole blocks of cheese, whole vegetables. As I said earlier, it is the children's work to wash, chop, and prepare snack. We are also doing hard boiled eggs, and the children are peeling them and slicing them. When it is your snack week if you can, please send in some hard boiled, but un-peeled eggs.
Second Harvest Food Bank Donations accepted
Positive Discipline Workshop 4:30-5:45 p.m.
School Closes at 11:15 a.m.
All School Skate Party 12:00-2:00 p.m.
Brentwood Skate Center
Report Card #2
School Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday