Lockdown Day 88 – Healthy Living
Activities of Everyday Living
We have been discussing the Grade R requirements of the South African National Curriculum. Whilst Montessori schools do not ‘do’ Grade R as such, it is important that teachers are aware of the Grade R requirements (for the preschool) to ensure that the children in their care have covered any outcomes that are not addressed by the Montessori materials.
It is a misconception that the Montessori materials cover all the requirements of the NCS at this level. Yes – most of our children working with the Montessori Literacy and Numeracy materials do work with far more advanced concepts than what is required by the NCS, but there are many topics, especially in the Life Skills NCS curriculum, that are not covered by our materials. Montessori teachers, therefore, need to make provision to cover these topics in their own way during the school year.
Many of these topics can be easily woven into the day-to-day routines and processes of the classroom. These are also mostly easy to support in the home environment.
TOPIC: HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT
- The importance of a healthy environment
- Ways in which people pollute the environment
- The importance of recycling.
This topic ties in beautifully with the overall sustainability responsibility that we have to our planet. The United Nations have issued 17 major sustainability goals that humankind need to address by 2030 in order to achieve and sustain ourselves in an equal and equitable manner.
Let’s see how we can support these in our own homes.
*THE IMPORTANCE OF A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT*
In previous lockdown blogs, we have addressed the importance of healthy eating and have engaged the children in helping with household chores that keep us clean.
When you next clean the house or prepare a meal, engage your child in a discussion of why we need to keep our environments clean and why we need to eat nutritious foods.
- Explain how a dirty environment invites vermin and how this affects our health and safety.
- Discuss the nutritional benefits of the food that you are preparing. Why do we eat fruit? What are vitamins? Why do we need them? What happens if we do not eat enough of them? Where can we find these vitamins?
- Also, discuss foods that are delicious but sadly not so healthy. Why should we not eat too much sugar? What we want to achieve with this discussion is an awareness of what is and is not healthy for our bodies. We want the children to learn to make informed decisions about what they put into their bodies. This is not about prohibiting the children from eating chocolate, but rather about them understanding that they should (for example) eat a whole fruit and a piece of chocolate, rather than a piece of fruit and a whole chocolate!
*WAYS IN WHICH PEOPLE POLLUTE THE ENVIRONMENT*
This should (sadly) be an easy topic for discussion as there is so much pollution around. A discussion about pollution can be linked to our Lockdown Post #64 where we discussed land, air and water. Have a discussion with the child about the importance of discarding their rubbish in a responsible manner. Show how pollution affects the land, the air and the water on our planet. Extend the discussion to the effects of polluted land, air and water on plants, animals and humans.
Montessori spoke about our ‘Cosmic Task’ as human beings. We need to instil in our children and ourselves the understanding that we are responsible for the planet on which we live. The better we are at looking after it, the longer we will be able to live here.
*THE IMPORTANCE OF RECYCLING*
We will assume that you are all aware of the three Rs of recycling: reduce, reuse and recycle.
That is no longer enough.
Our challenge to you this week is to extend the Rs to the seven Rs listed below. Engage the child in conversations about these Rs on a daily basis – when you go shopping, when you discuss ‘wants and needs’, when preparing a meal etc.
- RETHINK: Before buying something or throwing it away – think about whether this is necessary, or whether something else could be done with it.
- REFUSE: Refuse plastic bags and single-use plastics.
- REDUCE: Reduce the amount of good purchased. Reduce unnecessary packaging.
- REPURPOSE: Instead of throwing something away, consider whether the item can be repurposed. What else can this be used for?
- REUSE: Consider how you can reuse everyday household items.
- RECYCLE: If the item really cannot have another R applied to it, please recycle purposefully. This is a good sorting activity for children.
- ROT: Consider which of your food scraps can be put to use to feed birds, on the compost heap or in the wormery.
This is yet another topic that has so much more benefit when applied in ‘real life’ rather than on a once-off worksheet.
For more information on how you can engage your child in the sustainability goals please visit the World’s Largest Lesson here: https://worldslargestlesson.globalgoals.org/
Find all of our lockdown tips here – https://montessorisa.co.za/blog/