Why Practical Life Activities are so important in a Montessori classroom?
Practical life activity is a way of life for humans. It helps the child to adapt to his/her environment. Children are naturally attracted to these activities. The graceful coordinated movement calls to the soul of this little child.
Practical Life activities not only offer hand-eye coordination for the child but also help the child to build concentration, develop independency and strengthen his/her will.
Slicing a banana is a simple, practical life activity and a food preparation activity for children that aims to Develop CCIO (Concentration, Coordination, Independence, and Order).
Boost self-esteem. Strengthen the finger muscles.
In a Montessori classroom, there is no timetable for lessons. The children are self-driven by their inner timetables. They have the freedom to choose their work. And sometimes, the children’s choices are also influenced by another child.
Culture is customs, beliefs and a way of life for a group of people. By introducing culture early, children are able to absorb the gist and beauty effortlessly.
The “essential purpose” of language is used to communicate, but it also serves many purposes; to establish relations among people, express or clarify thoughts, play, creative mental activity, and gain understanding.
Children in the Montessori classroom learn self-discipline through the enforcement of three simple rules:
- Take care of the people;
- Take care of the things;
- Make it work.
The first rule encompasses being kind to others, helping others, respecting the rights of others (not interrupting other children at their work, using a quiet voice indoors, etc.), and this rule is also expanded to include plants and animals.
The second rule includes the children in the care of their environment. By taking care of the materials that are so vital to their development (dusting, polishing, putting away properly, handling with care), the children grow in self-esteem, and, by controlling their environment, are able to control themselves.
If the first two rules are followed, “make it work” is a matter of course, and the children have the liberty to explore the environment, as their developmental needs demand. Sometimes a child will need adult help as she internalizes these rules and external discipline will need to be exercised. This is our procedure when external is deemed necessary:
- Redirect the child through alternative activities;
- Take time to talk with the indirect child; explore ways of making life more pleasant;
- The Directress will keep the disruptive child with her/him as she/he goes about assisting other children. This allows the child to observe the “normalized” behavior and perhaps find activities to the child’s liking.
- Persistent disruption may be dealt with by temporary removal from the group (time-out). The child may return to the group when willing to abide by the stated ground rules.
If necessary, the staff will seek parental help and guidance in understanding the child. If unable to resolve the problem with the assistance of parents, the staff will recommend professional help to parents. Under no circumstances shall any child be subjected to corporal punishment, verbal abuse, or be deprived of regularly scheduled meals or snacks.
Children learn to respect others after they have the experience of being respected. This is one of the basic principles of the Montessori philosophy and effective discipline. It is important for children to establish a sense of autonomy and self-confidence, to believe that they are worthy of respect, and to know how to live among people in a disciplined way.