Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Practical Life Presentations - in practical life

The presentation style given in practical life at first may seem unnatural, awkward, strange.

The focus when showing a child *how* to do something:
  • silence (except at very specific moments to make a strong point)
  • independent movements - pause between EACH step to give the child time to comprehend and start to remember, and to start seeing each step. 
  • sit or stand on the appropriate side of the child so he can best see what is going on while *you* have natural movements (he will copy what he sees!)
  • adult's turn FIRST - child does not help until the adult has done the complete cycle once through
  • children can, however, take over part-way through a presentation if the steps are very clear as to what comes next (ie polishing the other side of a wood object)
So how does this apply to real life? 

Everything is easier to present this way!

Some recent things I wish I'd presented sooner to my 7 year old son: 
  • how to open a sugar/flour/other-food-paper-bag
  • how to open a cereal-type box
  • how to open the bag inside the cereal-type box
  • how to close a bag of rice (so it doesn't spill all over the bottom of the fridge)
(can you tell what we've been doing lately :) ). 

These things are not in a practical life album, but they can be. AMI trainees write their own EPL presentation (mine was sewing a pillow - my son can do that! even if I apparently missed showing him how to open the boxes!); and charts are provided for other activities that children should be doing at certain ages, particularly in the chore area. Before it becomes a required chore, the child should have already been given time to become competent at it. 

So yes, the style of presentation overflows into every area of life and should not be held strictly to the album pages.



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