Dear Hummingbird Families,
Don’t Forget to buy your tickets for our Keystone Festival this Saturday Nov. 3rd 3pm. It is fun for the whole family!
Let's raise our paddle and hope our Project goes out with a bang!!
For the month of November, the children will continue baking Pumpkin Muffins. It is a great food preparation lesson that our older children are honored to receive. They have gained the skills of following a sequence of steps, great focus and concentration. It gives the younger friends something to look forward to. It will also make our whole classroom smell delicious.
In addition to our baking, the children will be preparing Sweet Potato Fries, slicing apples and on occasion making butternut squash with light brown sugar. This month is going to be filled with a variety of Food Preparation presentations.
Grace and Courtesy
Grace and Courtesy plays a huge part of our every-day interaction and it is a big part of human development. The child’s family and community are his first experiences with communication and he will absorb the models that are being used in his everyday life. Courtesy has to be practiced and the child will absorb it, incarnate it within him and carry it till his adult age.
Our grace and courtesy lessons are not something the children get off the shelf and work independently on. It is something that is modeledby the guides. It is seen in the Keystone Community and it is seen at Home. Every-day starts with a “Good Morning” “nice to see you” and as the day progresses the language heard is: “excuse me” “thank you” “please”, “may I have”, “Your turn”, “I need help”, “Can you help me please"? The vocabulary and body language we use amongst each other is absorbed by the children, whether you realize they were paying attention or not.
Grace and Courtesy is expressed in many ways. One important note to keep in mind when talking to our young explores, is showing them your grace and courtesy by respecting them. We show our respect to them by carefully listening to them when they speak. Lowering our bodies to their level. Keeping eye contact and your full attention on them is showing that they are important and what they have to say matters. We encourage them to be independent and that they are capable of so much. Once they’ve done something completely on their own, they feel great joy. Respect the way they did it without corrections or too much praise.
The opportunity to plant flowers and herbs is here!! Our hopes is to have an Herb garden and flowers in the planters. This allows the child to care for a living thing. Watering our plants is a very popular work in our environment. The children work hard gathering their water, transferring it with their watering can and nurturing the flowers. It also shows them what happens to the plant if no water is given or if it received too much; A natural cause and effect opportunity.
Some flowers have been brought. If you would like to contribute please have your child bring a flower to plant with them to school.
Three months of the school year have passed by already, the children are well adapted to our structure and routine. Most have become comfortable with our environment and are engaged in activities daily. While others have begun their Ego Formation and are making us aware they are their own being. A lot of “no’s” “I don’t want to” “I do it” “it’s mine” is heard amongst our classroom. Since birth the child has been absorbing everything around him and watching our every move wanting to be just like us. Your child craves your company wants to be around you at all times and wants to do everything you do. They want to be just like you. BUT, they want to do it in their Own way, and in their Own time. They want to know that you are there supporting them when needed and respecting their space too. Accepting them develop into their own kind on human beings.
Toilet Learning Vs. Toilet Training
Toilet learning starts with readiness signs, and is not learned through a reward system. Toileting is a skill that needs to be learnt. It cannot be taught overnight. The key to toilet learning is teaching not training the child. Learning on their own is reward enough for them to be able to independently help themselves in remaining clean or not soiling themselves.
Allow the child to learn on their own with a bit of support and help from the adult with the use of toilet training pants and clothes they can independently put on themselves. Toilet learning is linked to the child’s self-esteem, so genuine verbal praise is important. There are no ‘accidents’ during toilet learning, only lessons. Language also plays a big part in keeping a positive attitude with toilet learning.
Adult Attitude and Points to Consider in Toilet Learning
It is important to decide if you are ready to commit to the process and all it entails, this could include loads of washing, wet or soiled carpets and what people may think if you child is not toilet ready by a certain age. More often than not it requires months of learning for the child and it is important to have and maintain a positive attitude and avoid putting a time period or the age you wish your child to be toilet trained. It is possible that children will develop manipulative actions regarding toileting (e.g. wetting self on purpose) if they believe it will affect your behavior.
Every child is different and toilet ready at a different age, these are some tips to help the process and explain the rationale behind the method.
The Montessori approach to toilet learning is to begin at birth and by using cloth nappies. Once the child is walking they transition into cloth underpants, wearing underpants at this stage in the child’s development also aids movement, as nappies can be restrictive. The child will sit on the small toilet when they wake in the morning, awake from naps, before and after all meals, before and after bed. It is central to the approach that babies are kept in natural cotton or soft wool diapers or underpants.
Disposable diapers/ nappies draw moisture away from the skin rapidly, whereas underpants allow the child to feel the moisture and learn to recognize the result of urinating (the wet sensation). The children then learn to associate this sensation to the result of being wet instead of conflicting results as experienced in disposable diapers/nappies.
When your child is a still young make it a habit to change their nappy when they have been soiled so he/she does not get used to the feeling of being soiled but being always clean. Soon they will be used to the clean feeling that if they are soiled they will let you know in some way.
All children are put on the potty after each nappy change. Often they feel the sensation of urinating or passing a bowel motion but don’t feel the end product because of super absorbent disposable nappies. A child is physiologically ready to use the toilet at 12 months but with the use of disposable nappies a child usually starts at two to two and a half years old. Introducing a potty as young as 12 months to just to get the child used to it as a part of toileting routine, before the power struggle starts or as we say in the under threes movement- the crisis of self-affirmation (tantrums). It doesn’t take long to associate the potty with regularly urinating once they feel the potty under their body. They are not yet toilet trained but they’re definitely going through the process of learning.
The regular use of the potty allows the children to become familiar and comfortable with both the toilet and potty. It is a positive experience and the children enjoy exploring the environment. This allows the children the freedom of movement so that they can teach themselves to move on and off the potty/toilet at their own learning pace, additionally this allows the child to be more independent.
Clothing For Toilet Learning
We recommend that all clothing be two piece set during this learning process. The bottoms should be elastic waist allowing the child to independently pull up their own trousers/skirt. Also this allows the child to pull down cloths quickly if they need to use the toilet urgently. There are toilet training pants that can be bought that are made of thick fabrics, terry toweling so the moisture is absorbed but still lets the child feel the wetness.
Underwear needs to be cotton and elastic should not cut off any circulation, be sure to buy appropriate sized underwear to allow for ease of dressing the self. Plastics are plastic covers placed over underpants and are used for outdoor play they will sometimes protect clothing form getting wet but still allow the child to feel the sensation.
Toilet Learning and Language
It is important that children understand the language you use during toilet learning. Quite often there is some embarrassment in using certain words, remember to consider you attitude when interacting with children, if you are embarrassed talking about certain body part or bodily functions your child could also learn this attitude. Using the toilet is an everyday event and being comfortable explaining the process and body parts to children is important as it is a natural part of our lives.
It is important to feel comfortable using adult words around children like to describe body parts and functions. This ensure that your child will not have to use ‘baby words’ (e.g. wee and poo) and demonstrates that you see your child as a capable toilet learner.
We recommend considering your language when inviting children to use the toilet always keep it clear, direct and positive, for example “You may go and sit on the toilet/ potty” if the child refuses maintain positive language “you need to sit on the toilet so that you can urinate”. Never force a child on the potty or toilet against their will or use language in a negative way saying they “must sit on the toilet”.
When a child urinates on themselves try not to refer to this as an ‘accident’ tell them “you have urinated we need to sit on the potty when we urinate” making sure to sit the child on the potty after the event and change wet underpants. Always remain calm and in control of emotions model this behavior for the child.
Bowel Movement Control
In toilet learning urination is often the focus; this is usually because it is a much harder skill to control liquids rather than mass. However, in many children bowel movement control occurs much later. There are many individual factors that can contribute to this including physical, emotional and mental readiness.
Bowel movement control often happens before urinary control. If they are regularly going to the toilet to urinate, chances are they may have a bowel movement while urinating. It is for this reason that boys should preferably sit instead of stand during the first stages of toilet learning until they have mastered bowel movements.
Every child is different in learning this skill; many children are aware of when they are having a BM but will often be shy in telling an adult or not know what to do. It is important to build up trust and reassure the child that everything is ok. Many children who are showing signs of readiness will want to ask questions and look at what is happening while you are changing their BM. It may be helpful to talk the child through what is happening in their bodies and include them in the process as much as possible.
Many children have Bowel Movements at the same time each day; this predictability can be used as a tool in helping the child succeed in BM control. Writing a chart of times the child is likely to have a BM and looking for other signs (body posture and facial expression) can help signal that the child should sit on a potty or toilet. It also helps chart the frequency of the child’s BMs, on occasion if the child is feeling anxious about passing BMs they may hold them and become constipated.
There should be no pressure put on children to be toilet trained. Toilet learning is a natural process and should be done at a pace the child is comfortable with. Allowing children to become aware of their bodily functions from the sensitive period of development allows for less distress when the child is older and more physically able to control their toileting abilities.
Please remember although the child is urinating in their underpants they are not ‘failing’ at toileting rather learning the sensation to need to go and the discomfort of having wet underpants. This is part of the learning process that is Toilet Learning.
“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in that action.”
Dates to Remember:
Nov. 12th Monday, Veterans Day
Ø School closed-extended care available
Nov. 13th Tuesday, Community Classroom Meeting
Thank You For Your Support,
Ms. Wendy & Ms. Torie