It’s so important for children to be viable members of society starting at a very young age.
Children love to be masters of their domain. They crave order and thus, they love to be the people who know how to put things away, how to put on their coats, how to put their sheets on their nap mats. We love the children to help. At preschool, they are in charge of their classrooms. We set the tone for being models and guides as teachers, but this environment truly belongs to the children. That means that the children have to help water the plants and they have to help set the table. They have to help move the furniture around to get ready for snack, for lunch or for a nap. They are our helpers and we set the model for how we want them to treat each other. We keep order through everyone having a job and being a special helper.
Our whole environment is set up to accommodate the children through the Montessori approach.
With everything at the children’s eye level, things can be reached and put away by them, as well as be organized. Water is available, so they can get their little cup and push the little button and get water if they want. Cubbies are easily accessible. Our helpers can set their tables and restock plates and napkins, and forks and spoons. “The children really do take care of the environment,” says Heather Carboneau, Director of Center Stage. “This is so important because all of this is for them anyway.”
When a child feels self-sufficient, they feel proud
Being self-sufficient really affects a child’s self-esteem. When your child says, “No Mommy, no Daddy, I can do it myself,” you really need to give yourself as a parent a gold star, because that is your child saying, “I’ve got this. I can take care of this.” Part of what it is to be a parent and a teacher is to give them the talents and the capacity to take care of themselves and their world. To make good choices and to understand cause and effect. What it is to be a good citizen in an environment.
The faster our children learn “I’m part of a team and I’m an important part of the team,” the sooner they’ll become children who are proud of themselves, eager to learn, and wanting to lead. Isn’t that what we want for all of our kids?