We are learning, learning, learning all the time!!
In our classrooms and even between rooms, there are skills to practice and master. Here at The Children's School, some of these skills will be in the category of what we refer to as "Practical Life."
These can be skills that we, as adults, do so often, and mastered so long ago ourselves that we don't even think of them as a series of steps to be put together that will then result in one glorious self-sufficient task.
For example - hanging up one's coat. Here at school, we must start the whole process by identifying where the coat should go in the first place. Then, you have to figure out how to take it off!
Once removed, you have to identify some part of that garment that will actually effectively allow you to hang it up so it doesn't fall down. And this doesn't even address the whole inside-out arm thing! See how intricate this really is? It's a skill that our children are practicing everyday, and no matter where a child is along this pathway toward independence, any time they are willing to do any of it themselves, that is SUCCESS!
Another really important skill which leads to self-sufficiency is learning to pour liquid. Here at school this is affectionately known as "pour.pour.stop." Often you will see a set up much like the one pictured above somewhere in your child's classroom (3,4 and Pre-K). The teachers color the liquid to help the children better see the results of their work. The goal is to control the pitcher well enough that you can pour liquid to the marked line and then stop. The encouragement from the teacher, then sounds very much like,"Ok, let's pour...pour...ok STOP!" Again, this takes effort, concentration and control. But once mastered, this skill transfers to many tasks on an everyday basis. Not just the obvious of pouring one's own glass of milk or juice, but also learning how to fill a bucket to wash the car, or put water in your play tea set, or fill the pan with water to do hand-washing at the hand-washing station. All of these small steps play a BIG part toward moving a child further along the road to independence, accompanied with a healthy dose of self-confidence.