Grace & Courtesy

Monday, January 8, 2018

Why should we add Grace & Courtesy to our home school curriculum?
How to present a lesson on social relationships?

Definition of grace: simple elegance or refinement of movement. This act is more personal.
Definition of courtesy: the showing of politeness in one's attitude and behavior towards others. 

They are both often overlooked when it comes to homeschooling. Some of us might not even have it in our curriculum or have thought of it as a lesson to teach. In the Montessori primary classroom (3-6 years) practical life skills are exercises taught by an adult on real life situations. These lessons include but not limit to care of self, care of environment, control of movement, visual art, and care of social relationships.

Like all the materials & work it is first presented by the teacher. The child will simply observe and absorb how to act in a appropriate manner. Making sure you use words that are natural and would occur in those social situations and practice these frequently. Also, the children are watching and absorbing all your behavior all day long. They have such an absorbent mind, picking up on all good and bad habits.

You might find that after teaching a new lesson that the child will love reenacting the skits and will often see them practicing with their dolls or with their friends.

Lessons to include are, how to introduce yourself, how to apologize, how to observe, how to draw attention, how to accept a compliment, how to hold a door open, and much more.

Sample Lesson: How to Apologize (Forgiveness)
1. Ask the child to come by you.
2. Start a conversation asking "Have you ever hurt someone's feelings and made them sad?" or "Have you ever felt sad by how someone acted towards you?" 
3. Say to the child "I would like to show you how to fix and handle these situations all by yourself. I'm going to act out that I took this object (pencil) and then apologize for taking it.
4. Take the pencil away. 
5. Say "I want to apologize because that was mean of me. I'm sorry for taking your pencil away."
6. Have them say "I forgive you"
7. Then have them switch roles.
8. Ask them if they have other situations they can think of when they apologized to someone.

- Remind them that we can apologize to others any time we need to ask for forgiveness even if it was a long time ago. 
By the end of primary (age 6) the child should be well rounded in serenity, patience, politeness, respectful and ready for the next plane of development.

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