For many children it is like living in the land of the giants. As adults working and caring for children it is our duty to provide an environment in which the child can fully, happily and actively participate in daily life. Some children will enter the Infant Community having had very little experience of assisting or being part of their daily life on a practical level. Whereas some will enter having had a lot of experience and sometimes a child will already know how to do part of an activity. We must honour each child's varying experiences. We must realise that the child will not do the activity as well as we do it and we must accept the child's abilities.
At the 0-3 level we develop the skills needed for Practical Life, through modeling and collaborative presentations. On the 3-6 level we refine these skills giving formal presentations, working towards increased concentration, exactness and precision. On both levels, the Practical Life exercises teach the child sequencing, develop concentration and aid in language development. The Practical Life exercises prepare the child for the Sensorial Exercises of the 3-6 environment and the everyday activities of his life, producing a contributing independent member to his world.
“The adult must acquire the sensitivity to recognize all the child's needs; only thus can he give the child all the help that is necessary. If we were to establish a principle, it would be that what is necessary is the child's participation in our lives, for in that period in which he must learn to act, he cannot learn well if he does not see how, just as he could not learn language if he were deaf. To extend to the child this hospitality, that is, to allow him to participate in our lives, is difficult, but costs nothing; it depends solely on the emotional preparation of the adult………… Dust cloths ought to be multi-coloured, brushes brightly coloured and soap interestingly shaped. Attractive objects invite the child to touch them and then to learn to use them; he will be attracted to a brightly coloured cloth and learn that it is used to dust tables, or to the brush for his clothes, or to the soap with which he must wash his hands. In this fashion, beautiful things will attract him from every corner and instruct him practically by themselves. Now it is no longer the teacher who says to the child entrusted to her, "Carl, brush yourself off", or, "John, wash your hands". Any child who is self-sufficient, who can tie his shoes, dress or undress himself, reflects in his joy and sense of achievement the image of human dignity, which is derived from a sense of independence.”
Dr. Maria Montessori, The Child in the Family.
Show MoreDMT 104 Practical
Montessori in the Absorbent Mind writes that “the hands are instruments of man’s intelligence”. It is therefore critical that children develop the ability to control and coordinate their hand muscle so that these can come into contact with the environment in intelligent ways.
Discuss the principles underlining the practical life exercises and how it fosters independence in children.
A child in the first six years becomes a full member of her particular culture and family group absorbing language, attitudes, manners and values of those in which she comes in daily contact. A child develops properly if they are in an environment full of affection, love, caring and support. They…show more content…
By giving the exercise of practical life in his early years of the child, he goes through a period when he wants to or likes to learn to do all the work he sees the adult doing. At first, he likes to learn the works at home. This age will pass, but if it is used, the child will know how to do everything well in the home environment. He will grow intellectually. It requires real intelligence to run a modern home. The indirect aim of Practical life exercise is to meet the child’s needs, to encourage and facilitate development, and to facilitate the child's adaptation to the world.
It is very important that the child is given freedom to do these exercises at a time the child pleases; he should be allowed to try, make mistakes and correct his mistakes by himself without any help. The satisfaction of completing an activity drives the child towards independence.
"Man achieves his independence by making efforts. To be able to do a thing without any help from others: this is independence. If it exists, the child can progress rapidly; if it does not, his progress will be slow"
The Absorbent Mind, chapter.XIV, pg 155
The power of Concentration is one of the most calming activities for a child. This is something which is controlled by the child and it challenges his body and his mind. With concentration the child is able to focus on purposeful work. I’ve witnessed to the concentration that my 3 and half year old niece had for folding