Manners~ Part 2~ Practical Life

Well the ice has hit here. A few days ago it was 55 degrees, and now we have a ton of ice that is covering everything that was out in the storm! Bunny wanted to go out in it SO badly! So out we went and it was cool to see all the ice and to hear the trees clicking in the wind. It is very beautiful though.

So here is the next part of my post on manners. As you know, I have really been working on grace and courtesy with  my girls this month, and I have been doing a lot of research on ways to teach this following the Montessori method. You will never guess what I found out. One of the very best ways to help kids learn good manners is to teach them to have good body control and discipline. This means that the first and best step to good manner is to give kids plenty of practical life practice. If you think about it, manners are all about controlling yourself and doing certain things in certain situations, and kids need to learn how to do that. So to give them lots of chances to practice their control over themselves will build their confidence and allow them to meet the challenges of social situations with ease! This sounded like a great way to really help me in my quest for kind and loving kids. So in addition to presenting Bunny and Pup with different guidelines of good behavior, I have offered more opportunities for practical life. We have always done a lot of things around the house, and I just thought that this would give them the practical life experience that they needed. But maybe they need a little more. I started thinking about it and realized that they need to do the practical life things “for real”, but they also need the trays that offer them a chance to really concentrate and fine tune their fine motor skills. So today we did some cleaning (we do cleaning on Mondays) and the school room really needed some work! Bunny swept (Pup did too), they both dusted, and they also wiped the tables. They just loved to see the progress. I told Bunny that she was more then welcome to clean whenever she wanted. I thought she knew, but she seemed surprised.

 After we had been cleaning, I thought that I would make some quick trays that had some traditional practical life work on them. I made a mirror polishing tray for Pup not too long ago and it was a great hit! So I got some more stuff together for the girls. They loved it! Here is what I made up:

Polishing Pennies
Hand Washing
Scrubbing a Shell