Grace and courtesy exercises are always helpful at the start of the school year in Montessori classrooms and even in Montessori homeschools. Montessori practical life preliminary exercises, such as how to roll a mat, are also important for the child’s concentration, control of movement, and the smooth functioning of a classroom.
You’ll find it helpful to emphasize both preliminary exercises and grace and courtesy exercises at the beginning of the school year. Of course, it makes a big difference if a classroom has mainly new or returning students.
Greeting a person, walking around a rug (rather than stepping on someone’s work), speaking quietly indoors, and waiting quietly rather than interrupting, are all examples of important grace and courtesy skills. But there isn’t an exact order for each teacher or parent to introduce a specific skill. Here are some ideas from various Montessori classrooms that could help you decide which lessons in grace and courtesy you want to emphasize at the start of this school year.
Examples of Rules at Different Montessori Schools
When I had a Montessori preschool, our general indoor rules were:
- Be kind to one another.
- Walk in the classroom.
- Use a quiet voice in the classroom.
- Use a rug when working on the floor.
- Use materials carefully.
- Put your work away when you are finished with it.
- Push your chair in when you are finished working at a table; roll up your rug and put it away when you are finished working on the floor.
- Respect everyone in the classroom and allow others to work without interruption.
Here are some examples of general and specific rules from a few Montessori schools:
Montessori Ideas about Grace and Courtesy
Here are some ideas about teaching basic grace and courtesy skills as well as ideas for the beginning of the school year:
The Magic of Grace & Courtesy from Maria Montessori
Sharing vs Grace and Courtesy from Teaching from a Tackle Box
Encouraging Motor Skills in the Montessori Classroom – Part 1 of 2, Encouraging Motor Skills in the Montessori Classroom – Part 2 of 2, Start of School, Circle Time on the First Day – Establishing Routines Part 1 of 2, Circle Time on the First Day – Establishing Routines Part 2 of 2, The Montessori Work Mat, Grace and Courtesy – Part 1 of 2, Grace and Courtesy – Part 2 of 2, Montessori Grace & Courtesy: Infants, Toddlers & Preschoolers, and Montessori Grace and Courtesy: Lower Elementary from North American Montessori Center
Discovering Boundaries from Montessori Education (UK) Ltd
Montessori Ground Rules You Can Use at Home from Montessori New Zealand
Do you have specific preliminary exercises and grace and courtesy exercises you introduce at the start of each school year? Or do your introductory lessons vary greatly according to your specific class (or the ages of your homeschooled kids)?
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