|Fine Motor Shelves|
|Some materials for the beginning of the year|
|Art (gluing and coloring the world)|
In a classroom of children aged 3-6, the children are still developing their fine and gross motor skills, their ability to sit quietly and they are learning new language all the time. Practical Life activities speak to young children in a very special way. Children love to help around the house. How many times has your child asked, "Can I do it?" By giving them small tasks that they can be successful at on their own, we are following their lead. They can arrange the flowers for the prayer table, they can sew a card, they can make a bracelet, they can pour shells (and soon water) and they can clean up their own spills, too! Amazingly, they find joy in each of these activities. A child who finds an activity to his or her liking will sit and repeat the activity over and over and over until satisfied. The child is working - on some external task but also on some invisible internal need. Only the child will know when the need has been satisfied.
In addition, by learning to control his body, your child will be better prepared to attend and complete the more difficult lessons involved in the Atrium. After learning to use a funnel to pour water into a pitcher for flower arranging, your child will be prepared for the lesson on preparing the cruets. In this lesson your child will fill two cruets, one with water and one with wine. Once mastered, we continue by using the filled cruets to learn how to fill the chalice. So many of the lessons in the Atrium build upon prior lessons. And all lessons build upon the work of Practical Life.
|Moving Lima Beans|
How to extend the lesson at home? Be aware that your preschool and Kindergarten child is capable of more than you may realize! Next time your child says, "Can I help?" be sure to say, "Yes!" Think about the activity at hand and determine what part, if not all, your child is capable of helping with. Perhaps she can help sort the socks while you are folding laundry, he can help you set the table for dinner or have a little bucket of his own while you are washing the car. Of course your child will not do things exactly as you do and may only want to match up half the socks. Follow your child's lead. Watch carefully what she gravitates toward and help her learn when she is wanting to. Before long you'll have a terrific helper. You may find that all this work also helps your child sit still just a little longer during Mass, too!