Hello TMS Community! We have all been through a period of adjustment during the last few weeks. We are adjusting to working from home, having the children out of school or their normal routine and having to make changes quickly. As soon as something settles and we get into a groove, we need to adjust again, this is not easy and can be challenging for everyone. We want you to know that TMS is here for you! We are working hard to continue to support our families and keep connected. This is a new situation for all of us and we will weather this storm together. As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers.
Parents, teachers, and administrators alike are wearing many different hats right now while creating this new routine at home. We know there are many aspects to create a home learning environment, create a balance between the child’s work and play, keep them actively engaged, as well as, carrying out your daily work and routine. It’s not an easy balancing act. Some days, it can feel downright difficult. We understand this. We are working to collaborate with our families. You have been getting e-mails with works/ materials, newsletters, ideas, pictures, check-ins, work sheets and more. But where do you start?
First, we would like everyone to give yourselves some space to feel all the emotions and thoughts. Write them down, express them, take a moment to breathe and collect. Once all these are out in the open, give yourself some grace. Practicing grace is not always an easy task. After we have all taken a moment to take care of our needs, get a piece of paper and outline a routine for you and your child. Now you have the bones of your day. You will quickly find what does and does not work in this new routine. It’s okay to modify it. These modifications are necessary for success. We also want to make this time as easy as possible for parents. We have been sending work, materials and more, but we do not expect the children to be sitting in front of these digital resources all day. Part of their educational process is being outside in nature, exploring different things around the house and having the space and freedom to sit by themselves and choose a lesson or book to look at. Sometimes, its spending the day in the backyard or in the pool getting out the excess energy. Thank goodness we live in AZ!
Human beings all have a sense of order and rely on it to help us feel safe and secure in our environments. Establishing a daily routine is important to help the flow of the day and give the children a baseline of expectations for their day. Below, we have provided an example of the daily schedule and routine for each of age group.
**The Nido schedule for the children who are under one, will follow the child’s natural sleep, eating and playing schedule.
Nido – For children on one nap:
7:30-8:30: Children arrive. Walking children put their lunch boxes in the refrigerator and then use the toilet.
7:30 – 9:30: Morning work period: the babies are free to choose any work from the shelves.
9:30: Wash hands and then snack for older babies that eat snack.
9:50: Toileting after snack, then wash hands.
10:30-11:20: Outdoor playtime on the patio.
11:20: Come inside, use the toilet, wash hands.
11:30: lunch for all children eating lunch.
12:10: (after lunch): toilet, wash hands.
12:30ish-2:30ish: naptime for children on one nap a day.
2:30ish (whenever they wake up): toilet, wash hands.
2:45: snack for children eating afternoon snack.
3:00-6:00: aftercare (repeat of indoor and outdoor work period).
Toddler 15 months -36 months:
7:30-8:25: Arrival/ morning greetings, transition into the classroom.
8:30- 10:00: Lessons begin. Children at this age may need a shorter indoor work time and snack time. Adjust as necessary.
10:00- 10:30: Snack time: toileting routine, hand washing at the sink, serve snack and pouring, clean up snack area, setting the table for lunch. Transition to outdoors.
10:30-11:30: Outdoor time.
11:30: Transition indoors, toileting, hand washing, group presentation.
12:00: Lunch time.
12:30: Lunch time cleaning up: Put dishes away, clear table, wipe table and chairs. Load dishwasher, sweep. Transition to nap time.
1:00-3:00: Nap time.
Primary 3-6 years old:
7:30-8:25: Arrival, morning greetings, classroom and snack set up.
8:30-11:30: 3-hour uninterrupted work period. Children may need a break during this 3-hour period, invite the child outside to do some exercises such as running around in the backyard, jumping jacks, or an obstacle course.
12:30-1:00: Lunch clean up and transition to nap. Children who do not nap have a second work period.
1:00-2:30: Afternoon work period.
2:30-2:55: Gathering/ story time. Afternoon snack.
Elementary 6-12 years old
7:30-8:00: Arrival. morning greetings and classroom set up.
8:30: 3- hour uninterrupted work period.
11:30: Clean-up/ sing.
11:45: Lunch/ recess.
12:45: Read aloud.
1:00: Afternoon work period.
2:40: Clean-up/ jobs.
Please note: during these work periods, children are encouraged to work independently on any lesson or activity they have had a lesson on. The teachers in the classroom may provide just a few new lessons a day, to not overwhelm the child’s ability to retain information.
Once you have routine, you will need to set up each space to facilitate this routine. Ask yourself, does each space have everything it needs to allow for both my child (ren) and myself to work successfully? For example, one place you might start with is the kitchen. Take time to prepare the kitchen for your child. Have a shelf with glasses, plates and silverware for your child to safely access. Next step is to have a section for dry foods they can easily access as well as fruits/ vegetables. Depending on the child’s age, they can wash, cut and prepare their own snack. If your child has an older sibling, they can be in charge of preparing snack for the day and having it available for the family.
In a Montessori setting, children are not graded, tested and working against strict deadlines to retain information. The children are given time and space to explore, discover, make mistakes, repeat, repeat and repeat the same lesson or activity again and again until they feel proficient in their understanding of whatever they may be studying. Most importantly, we want the children to enjoy the process of learning. In most cases, the materials and works are never about the product or getting it right, its about the process of working through the steps, working through mishaps and mistakes; it’s okay if the water is spilled, the word is spelled wrong, or the computation is incorrect. Let the child discover this on their own and work to clean up the spill, get a dictionary to check the spelling or rework the math problem. If it is something you are both or all feeling frustrated by, take a step back, go outside and play for little bit and come back to it later. We hope during this time with at home instruction, we can provide enough guidance and support for the parents and students, most importantly, we hope the children and the parents are enjoying this learning process.