At Home #2: Our Daily School Schedule

8:30 – 10:35:   Children’s Work Time – more focused and individual/traditional Montessori works: 

Work Time Goals:  independence, self-direction, learning by trying (perseverance), creativity, purposeful (not destructive) exploration, patience, skill-building, and dealing with frustration.

How To: Bring your child to the School/Work Area (see “Creating Your Child’s Work Area”) to choose works.
During Work Time:

Allow your child time to choose and do works on his/her own. You are there to give ( a few) lessons, assist as needed, and check completed works.

Lessons: It may be easiest to do them first thing.  When finished, invite your child to try the new work.  If your child isn’t interested right away, put the work in the work area and say, “Since you’ve had this lesson, you may take this work out any time.”

All materials must be used productively, not destructively. No throwing, knocking, dumping, or kicking any materials; children must show respect for all.

Your child should take out only one work at a time, clean up that work, and put it away neatly.  (they really do this at school! but it does require fortitude on your part)

While your child is working, observe from a distance without saying anything. Even well-intentioned interruptions can break a child’s concentration, and wouldn’t you rather s/he stay focused on something for longer periods of time?  We call this the “Uninterrupted Work Period”, and it can last from 10 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the child and the work.

Observe and take notes about what your child chooses and how s/he responds to the work (frustrated? excited?  bored?  engaged? etc.).  This will give you ideas for the appropriate types of works to prepare for your child .  But remember, children are fickle!  Your child may love one work today, and not tomorrow, and vice versa — what’s frustrating or boring today, may be a favorite in two days.

10:35 – 10:45   Children clean up their work area:

Your child should clean up his/her work at this time except if it is a “big” work that s/he will continue after recess and lunch time.  You don’t have to stop at precisely two hours — if you child is engrossed in a work, let the Uninterrupted Work Period continue until there’s logical stopping point — either completing the work, or a good time to take a break from the “big” work.

10:45 – 11:10   Recess outside (indoor play time only if it’s raining).

[UPSIDE DOWN DAYS:
We sometimes have recess FIRST thing depending on various factors (mostly the weather, especially after a day or two of rain that kept us inside).  Being in nature early is a great way to start the day.]

11:15 – 11:45   Rest time:

Our younger students (Pre-Primary) have 30+ minutes rest.  Kindergarten students usually have a special project at this time.  (Of course, all ages (even parents and teachers) can use a late morning rest or nap.)

Children use the bathroom and wash hands before rest.

Children rest for 30+ minutes. Lights are dimmed, and quiet instrumental music is played.

After rest, children put away mats (or pull covers up on bed at home) and wash hands.

11:45 – 12:15   Lunch time.

12:15 – 2:25   Children’s Work Time – time for more social, enrichment-based works:

Much like the morning Work Time, except that we use the afternoon for more social words (working together, not individually), and enrichment or cultural works.  But except for this slight change in focus, all the pointers  on Work Time above still apply.

Works can be individual, as in the morning, or involve other people (parents or siblings), such as games or performances.

(If your child wants, a “big” work unfinished from the morning can be continued in the afternoon.  But, if your child wants a break, leave it for the next morning.)

Works are based on logic, memory, sequencing, sounds, numbers, role-playing, building, art, gross motor, fine motor, creating music, etc.

Works include building blocks, Legos, chess, checkers, board games (though not “luck-based” games like Candy Land), dress-up, various types of puzzles, listening to audiobooks (streamed or on CD), art of any kind, theme-based sensory bins, playing musical instruments, story-telling etc. These do not include any mechanical/battery-operated toys.

All game rules must be followed, and all games end with players shaking hands and saying, “Good game.” Children should win and lose, and they should do both graciously.

2:25 – 2:30   Children clean up their work area:

Your child should clean up his/her work at this time except if it is a “big” work that s/he will continue the next morning.

2:30 – 3:00   Recess outside (indoor play time only if it’s raining).

SCHOOL’S OUT!!!

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