Practical Life Exercises
How the Practical life activities assist the child holistically in his/her development? Describe the process with reference to Montessori understanding of child’s natural rights of development.
During the child’s sensitive period between birth and 6, the child is constructing the inner building blocks of his person. It is therefore important for the child to participate in activities to prepare him for his environment, that allow him to grow independently and use his motor skills, as well as allow the child to analyze difficulties he may have in the exercise and problem solve successfully.
"If teaching is to be effective with young children, it must assist them to advance on the way to independence. It must initiate them into those kinds of activities, which they can perform themselves. We must help them to learn how to walk without assistance, to run, to go up and down the stairs, to pick up fallen objects, to dress and undress, to wash themselves, to express their needs, and to attempt to satisfy their desires through their own efforts. All this is part of an education for independence. "
The Discovery of the Child, Maria Montessori, pg. 56-57
The first thing to realize about these exercises of practical life is that their aim is not a practical one. Emphasis should be laid not on the word ‘practical’ but the word life. It is important to notice in passing that these practical life activities are real, not make believe environment. The particular exercises of practical which we present to the children should be of the environment that the child lives in.
The Montessori classroom is not just a place of learning abstract ideas but rather, a place to acquire an education for life. The Montessori Prepared Environment with practical life comes together to educate the whole child, not just the academics of the child. The materials teach the child and the teacher is the guide. The teacher is the link between this uniquely...