A warm welcome to all new families and children in our Children’s House classes. The children have settled well into the classroom and have started getting back into their work-cycles and routines. In our Montessori classrooms an important aspect of children’s development is building “Independence”.
The journey that a child takes towards independence is a huge part of Montessori education. Indeed, it is part of each plane of development and is one of the basic tendencies of humans, along with exploration, work, mastery, and perfection. Naturally much of the material in the Montessori classroom calls for independent work; “Never do for a child what he can do for himself.”
It’s helpful to continually ask yourself, “Could my child do this?” If the answer is yes, than let them. You’ll have to plan your day differently to allow more time for different tasks, but the results will be worth it. Another way to foster independent thinking is this: instead of asking your child to do something (“Please put your bag and hat away”), you ask them a question that prompts the action. For instance, “Is there something you forgot to do when you came inside?” Let them be the one to think of the necessary task.
- Allow them to carry their own bags to school instead of you doing it for them.
- Let them help you pack their lunch so that they know what they will be having.
- Assist them in packing their own bag for school so that they can remember to put their hat and belongings inside.
- Do not do things for a child which they can do themselves.
- Allow them to put on their shoes themselves.
“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed “ Maria Montessori
The easiest way to help children master everyday tasks is to teach them as separate skills through the activities of Practical Life. Learning these tasks as “work” means that the child is ready to apply them to real life situations whenever necessary.
A child who is encouraged to be independent will usually be confident and self-assured. This is a good thing, but it means accepting that this kind of child will likely have strong opinions and ideas. Independence should be balanced with the grace and courtesy also common in a Montessori classroom. Opinions should be expressed politely, and the needs of others should always be taken into account.
It is important to be aware of sun safety during the hot summer months. Please make sure to apply sunscreen in the mornings. Also remember to send in a broad-brimmed hat or legionnaires hat to protect your child from the sun. Remember to “Slip, Slop, Slap”. Please ensure that your child has proper supportive footwear for outdoor play and sport if they are staying for the afternoon sessions.