The focus this week in the classroom has been on creating harmony and encouraging kindness to one another through reinforcing our grace and courtesy lessons. In particular we have revisited lessons on showing admiration, care of books and offering and accepting help. In order to be able to help someone else we must first be able to help ourselves. The Practical Life exercises are essential for this and thus play a vital role in children's days at school.
Practical Life materials are the first point of contact for children starting in the nursery and form the foundation for all other areas to develop from. They serve a meaningful purpose as the child masters each piece of work, such as tying shoes, pouring water, sweeping, cooking and the essential care of self procedures. As with all lessons in the Montessori classroom these activities follow a sequential order and ideally, each lesson builds upon the last.
The skills developed through this area not only refine manual dexterity but also build self esteem, determination, confidence and independence. They provide a sense of order and involve high levels of concentration. These processes require the child to act intelligently, giving the memory and focusing skills required for the later numeracy and literacy materials.
They are the basis for the meticulously prepared environment that is specifically designed to meet the needs of the child both physically and emotionally.The benefits of engaging in and repeating the Practical Life exercises contribute to the harmonious community feeling we encourage in our classroom.