We are a family with three 'wee winkles' exploring the pleasures and perils of educating at home using Scripture, Montessori and a lot of love!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Lamb's practical life

One of the things that really spoke to me about the Montessori method was the inclusion of practical life activities.
It is something that we have naturally incorporated into Lamb's life to encourage independence but when Maria Montessori wrote about the validation of the child by giving them 'real' work...well I really got that.
I want to document what Lamb is doing for himself at various stages in his development in the same way that I want to know about his language or math development...truthfully because I fear taking over and doing everything for Cherry because it's 'easier' and I am holding myself accountable!

Lamb is 3 years and 3 months.
He is responsible for brushing his teeth, washing his face and getting dressed in the morning (I still sit in the room with him when he gets dressed in case he needs 'instant' help). He is of course completely independant when it comes to toileting.
Lamb loves to wash dishes so he washed the breakfast dishes a few times a week.
He is also responsible for picking up his toys. This particularly relates to his animals and cars of which there are many. He likes to play with them on the couch and should he leave one or both lots out the whole lounge room is strewn with small things that one sits down on or stands on. He seems to understand that they are his things and therefore his mess. If Cherry has several things out at once he will tell her that there is too much mess and helpfully pack up what she isn't using (not all of the time of course and not always with Cherry's approval).
In a cupboard by the dining room table we have a dustpan and brush that he chose himself that is for his table mess from cutting bits of paper or dropping little bits of playdough or after a meal.
Lamb sets the table most nights. I put all of the necessary things in a basket on the chair and he places them in where they ought to go.
He also loves to 'spray and wipe' so has a cloth and 'squirty' bottle either for tables and surfaces or windows and mirrors.
In the kitchen we do several things each week that vary of course but typical things include chopping fruit to make smoothies, squeezing lemon juice to make hummus, mixing and cracking eggs when baking, buttering his own bread, making his own hot chocolate in the mornings. Most of these things require him to bring over a chair to stand at the bench with me so Cherry has started getting involved in that too.
Lamb also loves to be outside so is happy to 'weed' the garden with me or take clippings and put them into the compost or green waste bin.

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