By Montessori Trainer, Danielle Binny
Grace and Courtesy lessons are an important part of Montessori Academy’s Practical Life Curriculum. In fact, the skills children learn as part of the Grace and Courtesy lesson program are just as important as Maths, Music and Language. This is because lessons on Grace and Courtesy provide children with explicit instructions on how to interpret and react to different social situations and behaviours.
Children between the ages of two and half and six years are in the Sensitive Period for learning Courtesy and Manners. This is why the focus for this age group is based on providing students with the vocabulary, actions and steps that they need to develop their interpersonal skills, and respond to their environment.
At Montessori Academy, Grace and Courtesy Lessons are presented in small groups by the Educator who role-plays different social situations. Examples of Grace and Courtesy lessons include learning how to:
1) Say “please” and “thank you”
2) Greet one another
3) Politely interrupt a person engaged in activity
4) Introduce friends and acquaintances
Through lessons of Grace and Courtesy, a student is able to develop and refine social skills while building self-esteem and independence. These lessons also assist children with learning to orientate themselves to their environment, and answers children’s questions about how they belong and participate in the world at large.
In summary, Grace and Courtesy lessons provide children with the social skills they will carry for life. As Doctor Maria Montessori states: “A child who becomes a master of his acts through repeated exercises of grace and courtesy, and who has been encouraged by the pleasant and interesting activities in which he has been engaged, is a child filled with health and joy and remarkable for his calmness and discipline.”