Our students have all now been phased in and are settling quite nicely into their daily routines. It is very much like a little beehive humming along.
I want to thank everyone for joining our first virtual parent night together. It was so nice to see all of you even though it was not in person. I greatly encourage all of you to keep up with your talks about COVID-19 with your children. It helps them to understand this virus better and reminds them of how they too can participate with the care of all those around them. They are already experts with washing their hands and keeping their masks on. They have adjusted quite well with the social distancing as well.
As part of the beginning of each year the students are introduced to a variety of short lessons that we call Grace and Courtesy exercises. These lessons focus on activities specially designed with a purposeful activity, help develop motor control and coordination, and develop independence, concentration, and a sense of responsibility. These lessons are a part of our Practical Life activities which also help the children develop skills so they can help themselves with their work and develop social skills so they can fully participate in any community with a full level of respect for everyone. These skills include listening and compromising in any situation that might arise so everyone can feel they are being heard but also able to adjust if need be to solve any conflicts.
Bring the Lessons Home
Here are a few suggestions you can try at home. Keep in mind it is always best to introduce these skills when you happen to notice they need to be introduced but not directly at that very moment when your child might have just made a simple mistake. Such as slamming a door. It is best to show the child before a child will be using these skills however they do not always remember so when the situation arises just take a mental note that you might need to show your child this skill again when you find the ideal time and your child seems more interested. The goal is not to blame the child but help the child become more aware of how their actions can affect others and have fun doing it.
- Isolate their work space-use a floor mat or a small area on a table. Keep in mind the amount of space your child might need and can still control the ability to clean it up when the time comes. If your child isn’t fully finished with their work then they can return to it in a timely fashion useless. It is in the way and must be put away.
- Using inside slow walking feet-talk to your child as to why they should walk inside versus run. Also let them know where they can run so they can distinguish the differences.
- Talk about using inside voices and why it is best to do so. Help your child identify all the places where yelling or using a louder voice is okay.
- Play games to help your child understand the best way to get one’s attention without interrupting someone else. Especially when you might be on the phone or talking to someone else.
- Show your child how to open and close a door safely and quietly so as to not disturb others.
- Help your child be able to find and locate items so they understand directions such as on top, in the middle or bottom of shelves, under and over, near and far, next to or by, above and below. These help the child to become more familiar and be able to replace items back to their proper places so they or others can easily find them later.
- Practice all the types of clothing fasteners and how to dress and undress as needed without the help of an adult.
- Have family meetings on important topics such as safety in the various rooms of the house, talk about fire safety, learning to recognize their name, address and phone number. Especially talk about when to use the phone for emergencies and when not to use the phone for play.
- Talk about how to use appropriate hygiene skills-such as brushing teeth, how to use the soap dispensers and washing hands/drying hands especially the tops of their hands and of course the use of the toilet. Even showing them how to fold and hang up wash cloths and towels is a very helpful skill for them to learn. This is also a great time to introduce these skills for helping with the laundry.
- The best skills however are to just show your child how to help themselves so that they do not need to fully rely on you, especially if they can do any part of the activity themselves. Every step is a goal and is worth guiding your child through to be successful. This is a great time to start thinking about the care of their yard with all the Fall activities of raking leaves, planting spring bulbs and caring for the winter. The children can also easily help with setting a table for a meal, helping with the cleaning up of dishes and putting them away, and all those wonderful cooking experiences. They can even help with the tiding of their own play rooms or bedrooms.
I will be sending some other ideas to try throughout the year. It has been so wonderful to see all of your children’s bright and smiling faces each morning and I’m looking forward to an exciting new year with all of you.