mardi 1 novembre 2016

Petits enfants, l'eau ils aiment ça :-)

C’est bien connu : les enfants adorent les jeux d’eau!

Que cela soit à l’école ou à la maison, pas une seule journée ne se passe sans que l’eau soit présente. 

Élément vital, l’eau est une source inépuisable de plaisir et de découvertes.

Votre enfant appréhende le monde qui l’entoure par l’intermédiaire de ses cinq sens. Il a besoin de toucher, de voir, de sentir, de goûter, d’écouter pour comprendre et connaître l’environnement dans lequel il vit. Il emmagasine des connaissances quotidiennement.

L’eau peut susciter l’intérêt de l’enfant à différents moments de la journée à l’école :
Lors d’activités de transvasement, que l’enfant choisit librement de faire : verser l’eau dans un verre ou une tasse avec une carafe, une théière, une bouteille, un entonnoir, un arrosoir, une pipette… adaptés à sa taille et à sa force.

Lors du lavage des mains : avant de passer à table, après être allé aux toilettes ou lorsqu’il en ressent le besoin après une activité « salissante ».

Lors du brossage des dents
Lorsqu’il tire la chasse d’eau et qu’elle tourbillonne dans un bruit assourdissant
Lorsqu’il pleut dehors, qu’elle mouille tout et forme des flaques dans lesquelles il peut sauter
Lorsqu’il se sert à boire ou sert les autres
Lorsqu’il arrose une plante
Lorsqu’il observe les poissons dans l’aquarium
Lorsqu’elle intervient dans les comptines ou les livres …

Cette eau éveille la curiosité : froide, chaude ; elle coule plus ou moins vite, elle remplit un récipient, elle déborde, elle éclabousse, elle fait des reflets, elle devient trouble, elle bouge, elle produit des sons ; les objets coulent ou bien flottent, elle mouille la terre … ou les vêtements, glisse sur l’imperméable…

Lorsqu’elle intéresse votre enfant, son attention se porte alors sur ses gestes, la manipulation qu’il en fait. Il a un objectif. Il veut faire seul. Les efforts qu’il fournit développent sa volonté et sa persévérance. Ce n’est pas tant le résultat qui compte mais la motivation qu’il a pour y arriver.

Il essaie, il se trompe, il recommence. S’il renverse, il fera plus attention les fois d’après. Il peut être maladroit. 

La répétition de son action lui permet de perfectionner ses gestes, d’acquérir la maîtrise de son corps et d’affiner sa compréhension. La répétition des gestes simples a également un effet d’apaisement par l’état de concentration qu’elle induit. Votre enfant apprend de ses erreurs. Il développe confiance en lui et estime de lui-même. 

Outdoor Play

There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature.” - Maria Montessori

With the recent push in many public schools around the world for increased testing, work, and standardization; outdoor play is often overlooked in a student's education.  It is often viewed as a temporary distraction at best, or wasted time at worst.  Not so in Montessori classrooms, where outdoor play is more akin to scientists and explorers participating in on-the-job training than it is to students throwing work aside for a few minutes.

Montessori takes account of the whole needs of the child, and not just academic needs, but emotional, physical, and spiritual as well. During outdoor play, students create, they observe, they relate, they negotiate.  They are physicists testing hypotheses: "If I throw this stick with this much strength and velocity, how far will it go?"  They are botanists collecting samples: "Why are the leaves from this tree different than the one next to it?"  They are debaters determining the best way to play backyard football to make the game both fun and maybe even fair.

These skills are critically important, but too often overlooked.  It is tempting to insert oneself into the middle of a heated debate between students on whether a rule was broken, or a wrong was committed.  And yet, patience may provide a unique opportunity.  Watch as the students argue, as they learn effective debate skills, as they negotiate and compromise, and as they learn that they in fact can be independent and settle disputes on their own.  It may not be the settlement we would have decided, but remember: They're new at this, and they're learning!

Students need to experience the sun's rays breaking through the trees.  They need to experience a cool fog that sticks to the grass.  They must know forests and hear steady streams.  In short, they must experience beauty.  They must come to appreciate nature's beauty, it's resiliency, and it's fragility.  And while there is beauty within the walls of every class, there is much to discover outside of them.  What can be more important to learn than the idea that life is full of beauty and there are always possibilities?


The beginning of the year

If one superficially observes a classroom one sees chaos. However if you watch closely you will find children at the task of self-constructing themselves by engaging in purposeful work and meaningful engagement. They have moved out of their comfort zones and are trying to adapt to their fellow beings and an absolutely new environment.

A Montessori environment allows children to gain knowledge through self-discovery, exploration and repetition with minimum adult interference. While working with the didactic materials in the casa, the child gets ample opportunities for self-correction which is important for a learner.

The environment challenges the children to come up with solutions to the problems they face, think wisely and arrive at conclusions. They become critical thinkers and doers. This helps them to move towards functional and mental independence. The older children kindly and compassionately help the younger ones to settle down quickly and become an inspiration. It is beautiful to see a six year old offering assistance to a three year old.

This environment gives them an opportunity to regulate their own social interactions and behaviours and become confident within themselves. They have the freedom to choose work and do it individually or in groups. A work habit or attitude also gets established which becomes the solid base for the next phase of development. They learn to collaborate and coexist with each other and to respect other people and objects in their environment. They learn to use their mind, body, and the senses which leads to an automatic love for learning. It builds their imagination and allows self-expression.