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A Little Bit of Normality

Finding a Little Bit of Normality During Abnormal Times 

Lately, we have been reflecting on how we miss all of our little ones so dearly, and on what a joyful and rewarding job we have as their teachers. It’s times like these that help highlight what people cherish the most. 

As we have all entered a new way of working and living during the COVID-19 pandemic, our daily routines have understandably changed. The Toddlers, and their teachers and parents, have all had to adjust to uncertainty and practice adaptability. As a community, we have learnt even more how to work as a team in ever-changing circumstances. The Toddler Team has been developing new ways of working remotely, as well as finding and exploring fun work and activities for our little ones, including sending our daily circle time routines, and sharing books, songs and lessons through video. We have also been offering ideas on ways to support Toddler growth and development at home.

FOSTERING ROUTINE WITH FAMILY TIME

The Montessori philosophy encourages children to follow a routine and their desire to learn from their inner drive (Horme) in a free-flowing space. Children thrive on repetition and routine. When a child enters a Montessori setting, they learn to know what is going to happen and who is going to be there. This allows them to feel more secure in the rhythm of a day’s activities and the work cycle in a Montessori class (both indoors and outdoors).

Just as in the classroom, the establishment of a consistent and predictable routine goes a long way in enabling a young child to feel secure and consequently thrive.   

Meal times can be a great place to start when setting a routine. Sitting together for a meal at the table, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, gives children the opportunity to engage in conversations and communicate. Simple tasks involved in preparing for and tidying after a meal – such as helping to set or clear the table – are great ways to include fun, practical tasks that foster a sense of accomplishment and responsibility in a child’s daily routine. The centrepiece of a shared meal gives the family unit precious time to connect and enjoy each other’s company.

Having your Toddler watch a video of a story-telling session or some songs being sung by the teachers before nap-time or while you prepare lunch, for example, can also be worked into a daily routine (and perhaps offer even just a brief breather for parents). Laying out a few activity choices – such as some of the recommended Practical Life activities –  in an easily-accessible place such as on a low shelf, enables Toddlers to independently choose work at their leisure. If you also have older children at home, giving them the responsibility of helping set up activities, assist their younger sibling, and give lessons builds confidence and familial connection. 

VIRTUES AND THEMES FOR MAY: LOVE AND PREHISTORIC EARTH!

In addition to seeing some amazing Earth Day reused-and-recycled crafts, as well as activities being done at home on the Solar System and our planet, we also found the month of April to be a great opportunity to cultivate the virtues of CARING and HELPFULNESS. This was evident in the stories shared by our Toddler families, who continue to adapt to our challenging circumstances with flexibility, love and care for their children. Thus, it is only fitting that we enter the month of May by embracing the virtue of LOVE  with open hearts: love for learning about ourselves, our family, our friends, our teachers, and our Precious Planet Earth. May will also be a wonderful time to explore the amazing creatures who once roamed our planet, as we focus on Prehistoric Earth and Dinosaurs! 

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