Montessori at Home – Practical Life

Practical Life Sewing

Maria Montessori designed the Practical Life curriculum to teach children concentration, independence, and a great love for work. She discovered that children have an innate need to imitate the activities of adults, as this is their way of learning about their role within society and their environment. Thus, Practical Life exercises are designed to meet this need by providing children with the skills to move and manipulate materials independently.

The objectives of the Practical Life curriculum are based on teaching children skills that are relevant to everyday life, such as control and coordination of movement, independence, concentration, care of self, and care for the environment. Practical Life work also gives children the opportunity to develop a sense of pride in their work. Through contributions in the classroom, home, and the wider community, children learn to gain a sense of independence and satisfaction in what they have achieved. In effect, this provides children with the building blocks for positive self-esteem, and a sense of place within their society.

To achieve the greatest benefit from Practical Life Education it is essential that children understand the importance and value of an activity. For example, if the activity is watering plants, it’s important that children know that watering plants keeps them living and healthy. The skills that children learn from the Practical Life Curriculum also assist with the development of their social, mental, physical and emotional faculties. Through Practical Life Exercises, children learn to become independent and come to fully realize their potential capabilities.

Practical Life Stringing Beads
Stringing Beads
Practical Life Washing Dishes
Washing Dishes
Practical Life Dusting
Dusting
Practical Life Cleaning a Stool
Washing a Stool
Practical Life Folding Laundry
Folding Laundry
Practical Life Preparing Snack
Preparing Snack
Practical Life Mopping
Mopping

Education for parents too!

Learning about the oceans

Does this sound familiar?

Parent, “What did you do in school today?”

Child, “I don’t remember.” or, “Nothing.”

If you are like most parents, you have had this same conversation with your child day after day. Try using one of these “lead-ins” instead and see if you receive a more informative response.

  • What was the best/worst thing that happened at school today?
  • Tell me something that made you laugh today.
  • How did you help someone today?
  • How did somebody help you today?
  • When were you the happiest/saddest today?
  • Tell me one thing that you learned today.
  • Who would you like to play with at recess that you’ve never played with before?
  • Tell me something good that happened today.
  • What word did your teacher say the most today?
  • What do you think you should get to do more of at school?
  • What do you think you should do less of at school?
  • Who in your class do you think you could be nicer to?
  • Where (what) do you play the most at recess?
  • Who is the funniest person in your class? Why is he/she so funny?
  • What was your favorite part of lunch (or snack)?
  • If you got to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you do?
  • Tell me about 2 different times that you used a pencil (paint brush, crayon, etc.) today?

If you ask questions like these, you may hear about great work like this!

Phonograms, The Montessori Academy of Arlington, Private School Arlington TX