Practical Life exercises are a vital part of the atrium. For more information about why we have Practical Life in the CGS program follow this link.
I've refreshed our Practical Life area for Lent. One of the responsibilities of the catechist in the atrium is to observe the children at work. It is through this observation that we learn where things need to change, how the children are growing, etc. Through my observations, I've been seeing that the children need to slow down, to take more time with their work and to be more purposeful. This is not unusual, especially in a first year class.
I decided to change our practical life exercises to use the hand on it's own a little more. I've also tried to keep to more natural or natural looking items with muted colors to reflect the solemn and contemplative nature of Lent even though we don't necessarily talk about it that way in the atrium.
Placing small shells into each small suction cup of this little soap dish that reminds me of stones.
Pouring small beads from one cup to another.
Moving large varied shells from one bowl to another by hand.
Spooning shells and small stones and into separate sides of the small dish.
Pouring from a larger mouthed container into a smaller one using a funnel. This work is especially important as we will do this with water and wine when we learn to prepare the cruets toward the end of the year.
Pouring water from one container to another. I took the photo after I emptied the water for the day.
Pouring small beads into a bowl and then using the small tongs to replace them into the pitcher.
I hope that these materials will help the children slow down, to watch their work more closely and thus delve more deeply into concentration during our weeks in the atrium of Lent.