Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston, Texas. Child care Montessori provider in Champions, The Woodlands, Spring Texas Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston
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LESSONS IN GRACE AND COURTESY
“A child must carry out his work by himself and he must bring it to completion. No one can bear the child’s burden and grow up in his stead. Nor is it possible for the child to speed up the rate of his development.” This quote from Maria Montessori in The Secret of Childhood is hard for us to accept. We adults, who are so competent, want so much to do for our children that we handicap them by trying to do their learning for them. Then we are presented with an embarrassing social situation in which it’s painfully obvious that we as adults have not done our part in teaching our children during the teaching time, and now the child is incompetent in a life situation. Adults must understand that it is not effective to correct the child’s manners in everyday situations. Sometimes we can gently remind the child of lessons we have taught before, but for the most part, we must allow the child to reach her own point of social consciousness. In order to make lessons of grace and courtesy successful, the child must observe adults in the home or school being courteous to one another.

In the Montessori classroom, the basic teaching of grace and courtesy is in the exercises of practical life. The goals for the practical life curriculum are:

• To assist and support human development; that is, physical, emotional, social/cultural, and intellectual

• To care and to learn for themselves

• To refine skills and develop controlled, coordinated, and graceful movements

• To encourage repetition, perfection, and the proper attitude toward mistakes

• To link to the people that they love and the work that they see those people doing at home and at school

• To manage the care of the environment

• To manage themselves socially, to care for relationship, to know how to live and work with others in the community

• To integrate their minds and bodies as a preparation for meditation and contemplation

The lessons of grace and courtesy are presented to young children so that they will have their own tools to develop a sense of community. The lessons are presented by (1) introduction, in which we describe the situation, (2) demonstration, (3) teacher and one or two children practice, (4) conclusion, in which we discuss why we do what we do, and (5) application where we practice what we have learned all that day - and the next - and the next. At some point, the little child surprises us by applying these important lessons on his own.

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