MORNING WORK CYCLE:
In the spring and early fall our work cycle starts outdoors, where children play, garden, work and socialize. This includes purposeful outdoor materials, such as rakes, gardening tools, buckets for collecting nature, mini- wheel barrels, mini wagons, small polished logs to build or transport. Outdoor time and the exposure to different seasons and elements is crucial to children as they are finding the connection to the greater world. Being outdoor engaging in active and productive social time is calming and essential for healthy and happy childhood. In the colder season our work cycle starts inside.
After outdoor Montessori time, students continue to work indoors. This cycle is not interrupted by other activities and it is one of the key features of the Montessori method. During the work cycle students take work they like, repeat it as many times as they like and put it away, then they take another work out, etc. They are also allowed to observe other students working or another lesson being given to someone else. The student might also want to go and eat snack or sit in the library or rest quietly. Every child is doing something else and the students are working by themselves developing focus and concentration, which is another important feature of the Montessori method. During the Montessori work cycle, students are encouraged to work on their own, respect each other’s work, use indoor voices, not interrupt or shout across the classroom. The students are also given grace and courtesy lessons as they arise or as a lesson. Grace and courtesy is demonstrated and practiced at all times. This routine happens daily from morning to lunch.
Just before lunch, 2 students will help to prepare the classroom for lunch. They will clean up the tables, set up the tables with plates, cutlery, set up the serving table with bowl, jug of water. They will also help to make sure the rest of the classroom is tidy. Half day children will be getting dressed to go home.
After lunch, students enjoy more outdoor time.
AFTERNOON WORK CYCLE:
After outdoor time, children eat snack and some prepare for a nap and some continue with the afternoon work cycle. The afternoon is a more peaceful time as the number of children is smaller; children can work peacefully with their chosen materials.