Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston, Texas. Child care Montessori provider in Champions, The Woodlands, Spring Texas Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston
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PRACTICAL LIFE EXERCISES
Practical life is the foundation of the Montessori classroom. All other areas flow directly from this base. Young children have a compelling desire to know about and participate in the environment in which they live. If he sees his mother dusting and vacuuming, he wants to dust and vacuum also. If he sees his father mowing the grass, the child also imitates this activity. A mysterious inner drive moves him to become a purposeful member of the society into which he was born. One of the most fundamental exercises of practical life is table washing. Its purposes are three-fold. First, it helps the child to feel secure and at ease in his surroundings. Table washing offers the child an opportunity to be purposeful, to participate meaningfully in his environment. It allows him independence. Having accomplished a meaningful task independently, the child feels good about himself, capable and at ease with how things are done.

The second purpose of table washing is to offer the child possibility for gross and fine movement that can be refined. Pouring water without spilling, scrubbing large and small areas of the table, getting the soap off, drying the table, discarding the dirty water, and refolding the floor cloth gives the child many opportunities to perfect his motor skills. This refined motor control is a direct preparation for more advanced work in the classroom.

The third purpose of table washing is to develop the ability to concentrate. Beginning exercises of practical life are simple and call for short periods of concentra-tion. Table washing is a complex task which calls the child to longer periods of intense effort. It includes setting the tools out in a precise order, step-by-step washing, rinsing and drying the table, and cleaning and re-placing the material. This ability to carry out such a complex task with skill, attention to detail, and concentrated effort prepares the child directly for advanced work in the classroom. Having been prepared, the child meets with many successes in his growth towards maturity.

At home, allow your child to work with water. Children love to help and to make their environment beautiful. Demonstrate what your expectations are and then allow the child to do it. An important part of this lesson is the cleanup. If the cleanup really is not acceptable to you, show the child again how to do it better. Patience and tolerance here are virtues. Encouragement for how hard he worked, for how much drier the floor is this time, and for how happily he worked will motivate your child to want more of this happy closeness with you.

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