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Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Montessori Self Care

Self-care and independence. 

This is perhaps my favourite element of the Montessori lifestyle because it reaches into every branch of life. As a primary school teacher, I cannot tell you the amount of times I have met a child who struggles with the most basic self-care skills. For example, an intelligent, bubbly ten year old who cannot use a knife correctly. Having observed this for years, I vowed that should I be blessed with children of my own, I would ensure they had adequate skills to care for themselves. This doesn't mean, of course, that we force our children to do everything while we sit back and watch - quite the opposite in fact! It is simply about providing opportunities for our children to engage with us in everyday tasks.


Here is a short time lapse video of Arlo helping to squeeze some fresh orange juice for his breakfast. Afterwards, I poured it straight into his cup and gave it to him along with his cereal and fruit. Over time, these simple changes help our children to appreciate where things come from and how we get our food. Orange juice doesn’t come from a carton, they come from oranges!

 

Some other examples (age dependent):

  • Could your child cut up their own banana? 
  • Could they put the ingredients into the blender to make a smoothie? 
  • Could they brush their own hair? Teeth? 
  • Could they hang their own coat up when you get home and put their shoes on the rack? 
  • Can they stir the pot to help with dinner? 
  • Butter their own toast?
  • Use a dustpan and brush to clean up their crumbs?
  • Pour their own drink?
  • Help you to load the washing into/out of the washing machine?

Involving our children in the everyday tasks of life not only helps to build their skills in these areas, but many others too. For example, allowing your child to cut their own banana means they develop fine motor skills, grip control and their ability to appreciate size and measure as they aim for similar sized pieces. These skills are invaluable and the great thing is you can begin to include these in your day-to-day life without buying or setting up a thing. As you make breakfast in the morning, ask your child to help you butter their toast, or pour the milk on their own cereal. These simple things really do make the world of difference! 

 

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