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Lockdown Day 60 – Getting ready for school

Activities of Everyday Living

The Practical Life or Activities of Everyday Living (AEL) curriculum area has been part of Montessori classrooms from the very start. Besides teaching children the basic skills required for independence, it is also an area that teaches children life skills that allow them to adapt to their time, place and culture.

When children first enter a Montessori preschool, the Practical Life or AEL section is the first curriculum area visited. Here children learn to develop and refine manipulative skills, and where they gain skills required for care of self and care of the environment. Underpinning all of this are the exercises of grace and courtesy that instil in the children the morals and values of the society that they are in.

The President’s address last night signalled the end of the ‘strict’ lockdown as of 01 June 2020. Business and schools are set to go back to work and life will again take on some semblance of what we knew as ‘normality’. We do know however that the pandemic is far from over, and that the time that the lockdown bought has just delayed the inevitable spread of the virus.

What does this mean for us and our children?


If we consider that the virus is here to stay for the foreseeable future, then we need to teach our children (and ourselves) to live with, and despite, it.

Daily living has to continue. Even if we stay shut in our homes, we have to have contact with society – we need to eat, drink and be clothed for example. All these commodities have been handled by people who may or may not be infected with the virus. We need to go to the shops, or have the commodities delivered to us by people who may or may not be infected by the virus.

So – we need to teach our children a new set of activities of EVERYDAY LIVING that they will need to live in this changing world.

* Speak to the children about the new living procedures in the same way that you taught your children to look after their teeth. Be mindful of their age. Please do not scare the living daylights out of them! You did not tell them (we hope) that all their teeth would rot and fall out of their sockets and they would be destined to a life of broccoli soup if they forgot to brush their teeth once or twice! Explain that there is a nasty virus that makes people sick doing its rounds. No one wants to get sick, so we all need to do what we can to prevent ourselves from getting sick.

* We already spoke about the outside/inside shoe suggestion in Lockdown Tip #53. Implement this in your homes, and the children will take this into their schools too.

* Teach the children how to wash their hands properly and independently.

* Equip the children with their own small bottle of hand sanitiser, and get them into the habit of sanitising their hands when they have touched something that has come from outside of the house, or something that is not their own.

* Practice physical distancing so that they understand what it means to stay 1.6m away from the next person (if possible). They can ‘measure’ their own distance by extending their arms and staying at least that distance away from the other person.

* Find a mask or face covering that works for your individual child, and practice putting this on and taking it off. Explain how the mask works and why it is important to use outside of the house.

Remember that YOU are the ROLE MODEL. Your child will ultimately DO what you DO, not what you say.


Find all of our lockdown tips here –