“I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life. I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one…I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
– Maya Angelou
New School Year
The official start of the school year isn’t for another couple weeks by us but, as I’ve mentioned before, we choose to participate in some form of homeschooling year round that conforms to our rhythms and routines. As part of our back to school routine, we are participating in a lot of Practical Life works in the form of cleaning our homeschool environment, organizing and arranging materials, donating/removing items we no longer need, and mindfully exercising our various Grace & Courtesy muscles.
At the beginning of last year, I briefly mentioned our Grace & Courtesy shelf work. This year is a great time to share some of what we do to kick off the school year and set the tone for Grace & Courtesy throughout the year.
The printable pack we use is courtesy of Trillium Montessori as part of their Kindness Preschool Pack. It’s very affordable and our kids really enjoy the activities (10 total). Our oldest daughter mastered the various skills associated with this printable pack last year. As a result, she has really enjoyed helping to arrange/introduce them to her younger brother this year while revisiting/flexing her own Grace & Courtesy muscles.
Montessori Grace and Courtesy Shelf Work
Our son has a solid understanding of color identification, color matching, and grading shades so these aren’t new concepts for him. However, this sensorial sorting work is a great confidence builder as he starts off the year and makes his way toward less familiar territory. It’s also very visually engaging.
Both our older kids have picked it up off the shelf several times so far this year. They really seem to enjoy talking about what is happening in each picture and our daughter enjoys coming up with stories to go along with some of them.
This shadow matching activity was a bit more challenging for our son. As a result, he really took his time examining each picture and comparing them with the shadow outlines on his mat. His sister enjoyed showing him how to setup the activity on his mat and how to carefully inspect each picture.
This is a really fun addition to our math shelf for association of number to quantity. Any invitation to use their art materials is a win in our home. Clothespins are another popular option for use with these number clip card activities.
The Question Game & Following Multi-Step Directions Activity hang out on the top shelf of our Language area in a nifty Command Cards Box. Let me tell you, it’s always a funny experience. The Following Directions activity is also a great way to promote movement.
This is just what a few of these Montessori Grace and Courtesy activities look like in our home as we excitedly begin another school year. We tend to select and rotate works based on interest and associated skill level. Sometimes, we also like to take some liberties with the materials if we feel like they can be used for more than one activity. We tend to display our works in our homeschool environment by subject area (Language, Math, etc.). However, I’ve also seen functional and inviting setups grouped by printable theme.
More Montessori Grace and Courtesy
- Daily Routines – Modeling, Sibling/Parent Interactions, Donation
- Interactions with Friends & Family or in the Community
- Imaginative Play: Dolls & Puppets
How do you teach Grace and Courtesy in your homeschool?
More Practical Life
- Montessori Food Prep & Making Fig Jam
- Montessori Pets and Caring for Animals as Practical Life
- Outdoor Practical Life: Soil Composition & Sediment Jars
- Montessori Gardening: Empower Kids to Grow Their Own Food & Eat Healthy
- Montessori Practical Life in the Kitchen: Baking Blueberry Cake
- Montessori Handwork: Hanging Felt Geo Heart
That’s all from us for now. Thanks for stopping by!