Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Our Preschool Rhythm - 2010

We've settled into a rhythm for our days for the preschoolers (all of them are 2 years old. There is a 2.25 boy, a 2.5 boy, and a 2.75 girl.) And while there are some Montessori materials on the shelves, we also have some Waldorf Materials too and our rhythm leans toward a more Waldorf type of rhythm too.

Our Daily Rhythm

Arrival - Free Play - Coloring - Morning Circle - Scheduled Activity (painting, play-doh, making bread, cut and glue activity, or making soup - each child brings a vegetable from home to contribute to our soup) - Morning Snack - Outdoor Play - Lunch - Nap - Free Play - Outdoor Play - Dismissal

The baby is still on her own schedule, although she does tend to play nearby during our circle time, and we include her at the table when we are over there, as well as take her outside if she is awake during those times. She is coming closer and closer to napping at the same time as the 2 year olds too.

Our circle time consists of singing songs/finger plays, and then we talk about the letter of the week, sing our calendar song, and our weather song. Then each child has a "helper" job for the week - one child does our color of the month (this month is red), one child does our number of the month (this month is one) and the third child does our shape of the month (this month is circle). We sing a song for each of the helper jobs, and the helper does a little activity (like find something red, sing a song with the sandpaper shape, do that number of chants/claps/fingers, etc.) After helper jobs, I read a story.

During free play, the children can pick items off the shelves. If the child picks a Montessori material, the first time, I will give the child an individual lesson. It sounds very formal when I write it like that, but it is actually occurring quite naturally, in fact, more naturally this year than in other years.

The children are naturally incorporated in practical life activities instead of having lots of practical life activities to choose from on the shelves, although I do have a couple practical life items out on the shelves. The children help with such things as sweeping, wiping the tables, straightening up, and undressing and dressing themselves. The children also help with the garden during the summer/early fall and late spring.

We do have a dog, and the children help by telling the dog to go outside and to go back to "his" room to lay down as well as giving him water in the afternoon. We are hoping to get a fish soon too.

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