MONTESSORI PRACTICAL LIFE: ACTIVITIES FROM 0 TO 6 YEARS
Montessori practical life is one of the basic elements of the pedagogy devised by María Montessori, which places the child at the center of learning. This practical area of learning refers to the acquisition of knowledge through life experience, and basic and daily activities, which allow the acquisition of skills in the first years of life.
THE MONTESSORI METHOD, WHEN THE STUDENT IS AT THE CENTER
The Montessori Method seeks to promote autonomy and adaptation to the needs of each child. It is an educational model based on different levels depending on the development of the boy or girl.
Childhood is considered the ideal time for the minor to internalize the necessary tools for effective learning, with the ability to make decisions autonomously. Thus, this pedagogy could be summed up in two fundamental principles: following the boy or girl and helping him to do things for himself.
The practical living area In Montessori
The Montessori practical life is nothing more than involving children, from a very young age, in the basic activities of daily life. Allow them to collaborate and guide them in the learning process during which, above all, they should be happy. On this journey, it is essential to show respect and interest in their world and adapt to their preferences and concerns.
In this sense, the objectives of the Montessori practical life are to promote the autonomy and physical and mental independence of the minor through exploration and experimentation in tasks that are carried out in everyday life.
MONTESSORI PRACTICAL LIFE ACTIVITIES FROM 0 TO 3 YEARS
The promoter of Montessori pedagogy defines the mind of babies as “absorbent”. Therefore, the environment where the baby develops should be as positive and interesting as possible. One of the fundamental aspects is to give the baby freedom of movement. Movement is associated with brain development. Thus, by offering the baby freedom of movement and encouraging her to move, we will be helping her discover her ability to do things for herself. This will greatly enhance her curiosity to discover the world around her. As an example of Montessori practical life activities at this stage:
We put a toy or stuffed animal that he likes nearby so that he moves to pick it up.
We create a psychomotor circuit with cushions and encourage the child to do it.
As the baby grows and his gross motor skills increase, it is essential to offer him opportunities to do things for himself. For example, offering toys that allow learning through the trial-error formula. We can use puzzles, stackables, or elements to insert. These types of activities help develop hand-eye coordination and encourage concentration.
In this phase, it is essential to explain the world around you. If we base ourselves on the fundamentals of Montessori practical life, we must promote the development of language from the exploration and explanation of the environment. The little one becomes familiar with the objects of daily life and learns to name and describe them. For the acquisition and promotion of language, the Montessori Method establishes three stages:
Naming (“this is a plate”).
Point (“can you point to the plate, please?”).
Recognize (“what is this?”).
For learning to be meaningful, we must let the baby manipulate the objects, play with them, and appreciate their texture, size, etc. And it is that the simple memorization of concepts is far from Montessori pedagogy.
From 2 to 3 years old, the baby goes through a fundamental stage in its development, since he is acquiring more and more autonomy and independence. Children must be allowed to manipulate, browse, stumble, make mistakes and begin to carry out activities of daily life by themselves. For example, eating alone, starting to get dressed, etc.
His space, which is usually his room, should remain tidy and with toys, books, and other materials within reach. It is important to let the baby choose for himself, but based on limited options. To do this, we can allow him to choose between two or three toys or allow him to decide what clothes he wants to wear, showing him several options. It is about making the little one aware that she can make decisions. This will improve his confidence and his self-esteem.
MONTESSORI PRACTICAL LIFE FROM 3 TO 6 YEARS
Practical life from 3 to 6 years is when this type of daily learning takes a greater role. From the age of 3 (or even earlier, always depending on the rate of learning and growth of the child) the child must be involved in the acquisition of habits and routines. In addition, you must allow him to collaborate in the tasks of daily life. María Montessori talks specifically about 3 practical areas, in addition to the preliminary activities described above.
Self–care translates into actions such as: washing your hands and teeth by yourself, learning to dress and tie your shoes, explaining when you feel bad, hanging only your backpack on the corresponding hanger, taking out your lunch, drinking water, etc.
Helping with household chores is basic to the Montessori philosophy. No specific Montessori practical life material is needed. When the child feels that he can collaborate and that his contribution is important and valued his self-esteem and self-confidence increase.
Therefore, it is important that the child collaborates, for example, in washing vegetables, putting clothes in the washing machine, washing plastic dishes, feeding pets, etc. Thus, the introduction of responsibilities must be progressive and adapted to each child.
On the other hand, it is necessary to guide children in the acquisition of social skills such as courtesy (say please and thank you, say hello, say goodbye, etc.) and empathy. The way to address these issues should be calm, explanatory, and progressive. You should not get angry or punish him if he does not respect social norms. It can be difficult for them to acquire this skill and we must show empathy and respect for their rate of learning.
Therefore, in the face of tantrums or disrespectful behavior, it is better to explain that this is wrong. It is important to make him understand that there is another way to behave. In this case, it can help to give some simple examples of moments in which mom or dad have also made a mistake and have rectified their behavior.
If you are planning to give your child a Montessori environment then you can choose Mutendi Montessori. Mutendi Montessori creates a favourable environment that invites creativity and exploration, and that, at the same time, enhances the cognitive, physical, sensory, and socio-affective abilities of the little ones. In this context, our educators assume the role of observers to guide the child’s development, but always respecting the child’s ability to learn on his own.