Practical Life

“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.” Maria Montessori

The Practical Life area is generally the first area a young child is introduced to in a Montessori Classroom. It forms a wonderful bridge between home and school. The children are familiar with bowls, jugs, trays, vases and glasses and many of them find great comfort in this area of the classroom. We often observe a Toddler simply fascinated by pouring water from a jug into a glass, a four year old becomes truly mesmerized as they create more and more bubbles while washing a table, scrubbing it ‘round and ‘round, putting their whole body into their work. As a child moves into their final year of Casa and they approach the second plane of development, we witness deep concentration as they iron clothing or embroider a piece of linen, often taking opportunity for social interaction and creating handiwork for a friend.

Through their work in Practical Life, the children develop and build their concentration, their independence and their ability to focus. Their coordination of movement is enhanced, they develop strong work habits and begin to understand that the work cycle begins with choosing a piece of material to take from the shelf, carrying the materials carefully to a table, working on the activity through to completion, then finally, putting it back in its spot as they found it, ready to be used by a classmate.

Last week, we welcomed Sandra Girlato, the Primary Director of Training at Toronto’s Foundation for Montessori Education, into our school to host a Parent Education Evening. She spoke about human development and how a Montessori Education meets the needs of developing children. The trained Montessori Teachers carefully prepare the classroom environments to meet the children’s needs.

Mrs. Girlato spoke about the Practical Life area of the classroom and discussed children wanting to help at home, she told us to give them tasks in the “real kitchen”, rather than a play kitchen with plastic vegetables and a sink that doesn’t work, we must show the children to wash real fruits and vegetables, to cut them and place them in a pot with water. Children mimic the adults in their life and they want to contribute at home. Young children are extremely capable, provided the environment is prepared for them with small tools and other items they can access independently, set up on a low shelf just like in their Montessori classrooms. It is amazing to observe our young students in deep concentration, happily working away in their classrooms.

Enjoy the below photographs that Gosha took of the children working with the Practical Life materials.

Image 13.jpg, Image 20.jpg, Image 21.jpg, Image 22.jpg, Image 18.jpg, Image 131.jpg, Image 83.jpgImage 4.jpg, Image 12.jpg, Image 14.jpg

November 21, 2013. Uncategorized. No Comments.