The exercises of Practical Life provide the foundation for all other activities in the Montessori Tides Classroom, fulfilling the child’s plea: “Help me to do it myself!” Through exercises in daily living, such as pouring and scrubbing, sewing and gardening, or practicing grace and courtesy, the child gains confidence and mastery of the environment. After individual skills are refined, children apply them in purposeful work, such as spontaneously serving juice.
“The child can develop fully by means of experience in his environment. We call such experiences ‘work’. -Maria Montessori
There are many physical, emotional and mental values in work. Through these activities the child learns to be independent. There can be no intelligent choice or responsibility at any age without independence in thought in action. Specifically, the child learns to concentrate, to control muscles and coordinate movement, to focus, to analyze logical steps and complete a cycle of activity, and develop self-esteem that comes with making a real contribution to the classroom community.
It is precisely because of the valuable work in practical life that children in Montessori Tides are able to concentrate, make intelligent decisions and master the beginnings of other areas of study such as math, language, the arts and sciences. But the real purpose of this work is the inner satisfaction, and the support of the optimum development of the child. Following a successful, complete cycle of daily work, the child becomes calm and satisfied and, because of this inner peace, full of love for the environment and for others.
The main areas of Practical Life activities in the classrooms are:
- The care of self
- Care of others
- Care of the environment