The need to be gracious and courteous is a desire that is naturally present in the child. The need to find their purpose (orientation and order) in life is found by learning where they fit in the world.
In our Montessori classroom, the lessons of grace and courtesy are continuous. Maria Montessori believed that grace and courtesy is a part of everyday life. That’s why many of our lessons in grace and courtesy coincide with our practical life works in the classroom
These lessons allow the children to become cognizant and attentive to what they are doing (thought process and knowing where they are in time and place) in the Montessori classroom.
For instance, a lesson can be on how to walk slowly in the classroom or how to close the bathroom door or refrigerator door quietly. We do this by modeling the behavior: “I am closing the bathroom door quietly; or “I am walking slowly in the classroom.” We greet them each day in the same format warmly and on their level.
Grace courtesy lessons teach vital practical life skills. Each lesson teaches social norms and customs such as how to enter a room, to walk around a defined work area (rug or mat), not to disturb another’s work, how to ask if you may join in an activity. It also teaches one how to decline and invitation graciously, table manners and most importantly, how to give an apology, if any of the above are missed. Consistency is the key is the lesson being internalized.
Here are a few links to assist you in helping your child with lessons on grace and courtesy and interactions.