Introduction to EPL
EPL means exercises in practical life. The word by itself conveys what the subject is about. It deals with the day to day activities in one’s life. Dr. Maria Montessori described Practical life is the foundation of the Montessori environment, because these activities, are designed to teach a child the life skills.
EPL activities are called settling down activities. When the child enters the Montessori environment, the child is too young and unsettled. The child here is introduced into purposeful activity, and therefore helps a child to settle down into an environment without getting distracted.
In this environment, the motor skills, the cognitive growth, the personality, self confidence and most of all his independence is developed. The controlled movement of hands, legs, eyes, arms etc helps the child to achieve independence and mastery over his environment. Practical life activities give the child an understanding of his environment and how it works. The child enjoys all types of activities in the environment. This helps him to build his self- confidence.
The main reason to introduce EPL as one of the first activity when the child first enters a Montessori environment is to make the child stable in a new environment. The practical life activities will be those that are seen in their homes. This will be carried in a realistic manner in the prepared environment. Nature urges for the children to learn this, as it helps the children to become a part of their environment easily. In the Practical life class room, the exercises and activities help children perfect their coordination as they repeat and become absorbed in the activity. This further helps in developing concentration and also pay attention to the small details they are performing. In conclusion it can be said that the child will learn lifelong working habits.