Summer vacations are, in a sense, a familial “going-out”. Because Montessori children may be used to planning their going-out excursions for the classroom, be sure to include them in the planning of your next family vacation.
Summer Vacation and Going Out: A Montessori Practical Life ExperienceChildren in the latter stage of the first plane of development (ages 0-6) can help create a “summer outing” calendar. Discuss with your child what they’d like to do that summer and find some stickers that correspond. Going to the zoo? Find some elephant stickers and place them on the appropriate date. Going to the library? Find some “book” stickers. Planning a weekend at the beach? Crab or seashell stickers will do the trick. Then, have the children help you count down and cross off the days until the next event. When the big day arrives, be sure to let them make decisions: What do they need to take? What should they wear? Should they bring a snack? What music or games should we play in the car?
The work of the family is often referred to in Montessori as “Practical Life” work. Learning to plan family outings is practical life work for the Montessori child. When planning your family “going-out”, keep in mind the areas of practical life that are to be addressed.
- Care of Self – planning what will be needed (snacks, money, clothing, equipment, transportation…)
- Care of the Environment – taking care in and of our surroundings (“look but don’t touch” at museums; recycling and throwing out our litter; using ‘inside’ voices in public areas; learning the “pack in/pack out” rule)
- Grace and Courtesy – handling ourselves in social situations (making reservations, using manners, writing thank you notes)
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.