Practical Iife

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montessori schoolPractical Life skills permeate the culture of the classroom where independence is fostered in each child.

“Help me to do it myself” is the prevailing philosophy of the classroom.

Practical Life

A child juicing oranges to make fresh orange juice for morning tea

 

All the various skills which are used throughout the day are integrated into the program.

Hygiene practices such as hand-washing, toileting and cleaning have specific training activities. Washing up, scrubbing tables, beating mats and mopping are everyday tasks undertaken by adults which children just love to achieve success at—when provided in a child-friendly format. Sinks are low, mops have short handles, and scrubbing brushes fit neatly into the child’s hand.
Food preparation is greatly enjoyed by children who cut, peel, spread and mix with great intent. The children are concentrating, using hygienic procedures and have the bonus of a healthy, yummy snack as they conclude the activity.

Practical Life

The garden or a planter is a wonderful place for children’s learning. Linking in with science, gardening provides opportunities for skill development, along with a sense of wonder in the natural world.

Parents may wonder why “daily living” is such an important part of the curriculum when it seems to be “things I can have my child do at home”. Whilst this is true, many homes do not have the child-sized resources to provide the child with success, and being able to participate in the social environment develops concentration, socialisation and the behavioural expectations of school. Many children who struggle in the group environment “settle” with long, happy periods of time with the energetic activities of Practical Life.

Commercially available and Teacher-made resources form the exercises of Practical Life.

¨     Dressing Frames:   Various fastenings are provided on “open out” fabric frames.   Children can commence with a simpler frame such as Velcro or Press-Studs and as their dexterity increases can move to more challenging items such as buckles and bows.

¨   Pouring-type activities can commence with dry materials such as rice and chick peas before fluids are introduced.   Coloured water in clear glass jugs helps the children to see the water levels easily.   Later, opaque jugs can be introduced.   Small sponges are provided to allow for the child to mop up any spills.   Being able to simply rectify their error improves their confidence.

¨ A variety of implements such as funnels, pipettes, tweezers, lids, clips, nuts & bolts, pegs and threading provide choice and challenge.   Many of these result in very engaged children who are concentrating on developing fine muscle and large muscle control.

¨ Polishing activities help children feel good about themselves as they transform a tarnished item into something beautiful.  Flower arrangement adds to the ambience of the room—especially at meal times.