Care of the Environment
In the Montessori Community, we provide opportunities for the child to participate in the activities of the community. We provide real work for the child to feel that he/she belongs. The child’s self-construction helps build his/ her self- esteem and coordinated movements.
The prepared environment is what allows the child to participate in these works. The child will be successful if the environment is prepared meticulously. The materials should be ready at the beginning of the day. The materials should take his focus/ concentration to help him grow in those abilities. His maximum effort will give him the ability to concentrate and grow. The environment should give him the ability to work at his own pace. This time given to him/ her is his/her uninterrupted work period. Repetition of these materials will also help build his concentration. We want his impact on the prepared environment to be visible to him and to his environment.
We want their activities to be real and meaningful. We need to consider everything that needs to be done daily, in our daily routine, to prepare this environment such as: wash laundry to have place mats and napkins available for the next day, etc. These activities are incorporated into our daily routine; this routine does not change. The child will come to learn this routine and enable him to become more independent.
Care of the Person
Our role as the adult in the environment is to help the children in our community to care for themselves. We start off the children into the activities that they can perform independently; this does depend on the age as well as the culture of the child's home environment. When we think about the child and the exercises of care of the person, we have to take into consideration what it is that the child needs to accomplish to be able to care for himself. The adult encourages the child to be a collaborator in the process, we show them their face is dirty from lunch and they can go to clean it, show them their shoes are dirty and will encourage them to clean their own shoes with a brush or even polish them up. We prepare purposeful materials for the children to care for their self as well as their environment and in such a way that the child can be successful.
The adult’s movements in each activity have to be carefully analyzed and practiced. We do this in order to develop a sequence that follows a rational, observable pattern with minimal steps so that the child can follow it successfully. If the activities of practical life are well prepared, the child will learn to care for himself independently. There are milestones in the child’s development that help the child advance on the path of independence and adaptation to his culture.
Care of the Person activities in the classroom:
- Wiping the face with a moist face towel
- Washing hands at the sink
- Dressing frames (Velcro,zipper, buttons, snaps, buckles)
- Brushing hair
- Wiping nose with tissue
These activities are encouraged to be done at home, too!
Care for Self and Environment at Home
- Observe to see what your child is capable of.
- Keep toys on low shelves and in baskets to maintain order to the playroom; everything should have a place to put away when finished using before taking out another toy/ activity.
- Adults are on the same team, what mom says, dad will say (and vise versa)
- We never follow the child to fix his impact; if he cleaned up water from the floor, but did not clean it completely, you do not clean the rest right behind him.
- Acknowledging him/her for her efforts and successes are encouraged (i.e. thank you for helping me with laundry today).
- Refrain from praise (i.e. Wow!! You are so awesome for pushing in your own chair!)