The Art and Joy of Giving at TCS

This kind of picture - pretty packages all wrapped and ready to go - is sometimes the image that comes to mind when we think of giving at this time of year. Many of our families will be celebrating some kind of holiday that will include the exchange of gifts. Here at The Children's School, we try to give our students multiple opportunities to experience "giving."

For example, as stated in our mission and values, we experience our values through action, one of which is contributing to the wider world. The Holiday Families Project is one such way in which our whole TCS Family can be involved in contributing to the enjoyment of this season by others. This year we helped 15 children (from 4 different families) receive something they wished for, and something they needed. It is amazing to be working with such a generous group of families. Your kindness is greatly appreciated!!

Another way for our students to experience the "sharing" of giving is with the following:
What you see here are the efforts of the Pre-K Class and several friends from Lunch Bunch. All that lovely candy donated for building Graham Cracker Houses, but which was not used is carefully measured, bagged and tagged by our students, and then...

SHARED!! Although not every student who hleped to bag the candy gets to go on the delivery trip next door to the Interagency School, they do all get to hear the wonderful comments written to them by the recipients of these simple but lovingly prepared packages!

And here is another example of how our young friends from the M-F, MWF and Pre-K classes can experience this holiday. If you find a package such as this one, know that the "shopping" was done with excitement and love as your child "picked out" something JUST FOR YOU, and then carefully wrapped it up using lovely gift wrapping resources of tissue paper and TAPE!
This simple practice of giving is designed to give a child all the fun of looking, choosing, and GIVING a carefully chosen gift for a loved one - without the complicating factors of money, gas, malls, and parking lots! Please enjoy these simple gifts in the spirit they were intended - the spirit of the joy of giving! Happy Holidays, Everyone!


De-Mystifying the "Inset!"

Well, here it is - IN ACTION!! The inset was designed by Dr. Maria Montessori to help children with the small motor skills needed to start writing. The board holds a metal plate with a shape cut out of it. The metal plate fits either on the left or right side. Pieces of paper, cut to fit the size of the metal plate, sit underneath. The child can then use their pencil to trace along the inside edges of the metal cut-out. At The Children's School, once the shape has been traced, they can then put the completed "page" into a booklet entitled "My Inset Book."

Repeated opportunities to work with the insets will result in practice making the shapes, not only by tracing the inside of the cut-out, but also by using just the blue shape (see above) and tracing the outside. This increased skill in tracing a shape translates into increased control of the pencil (or any writing implement), which in turn increases the child's success with writing letters and numbers.

We will also have children, like our friend above, who will choose to color in their shapes. He has colored in his triangle on the left, and a circle on the right. Eventually, some children will use their traced shape to create a picture - a rectangle may become a door; a quatrefoil, a flower. I found my daughter's inset book the other day. She's 9 now. Wonderful memories!