How does the practical life exercises help children in their daily living?
What is Practical Life
Practical: means basic, useful, purposeful
Life: means the way of living.
Practical life Exercises are just that, they are Exercises so the child can learn how to do living activities in a purposeful way.
Reason for Practical Life Exercises
Children are naturally interested in activities they have witnessed. Therefore, Dr. Montessori began using what she called “Practical Life Exercises” to allow the child to do activities of daily life and therefore adapt and orientate himself in his society.
It is therefore the Directress’s task to demonstrate the correct way of doing these Exercises in a way that allows the child to fully observe the movements. Montessori says, “If talking don’t move, if moving don’t talk”.
The directress must also keep in mind that the goal is to show the actions so that the child can go off and repeat the activity in his own successful way. Montessori says, “Our task is to show how the action is done and at the same time destroy the possibility of imitation”. The child must develop his own way of doing these activities so that the movements become real and not synthetic. During the child’s sensitive period between birth and 6, the child is constructing the inner building blocks of his person. It is therefore important for the child to participate in activities to prepare him for his environment, that allow him to grow independently and use his motor skills, as well as allow the child to analyze difficulties he may have in the exercise and problem solve successfully.
Montessori also saw the child’s need for order, repetition, and succession in movements. Practical Life Exercises also helps to aid the child to develop his coordination in movement, his balance and his gracefulness in his environment as well as his need to develop the power of being silent.
Dr. Maria Montessori developed her philosophy of education based upon actual observations of children. She said children prefer work than play, and they can only be in their natural self, when their natural self is satisfied through work. It's also through work they acquire independence, order, the power of concentration and be normalized. Exercises of Practical Life was introduced and was recognized as the very heart of Montessori Education for it provides the opportunity for the child’s development of physical co-ordination, social skills, emotional growth as well as cognitive preparation. Having a rich and stimulating prepared environment equipped with purposeful materials and trained teachers are important for the child to grow to their full potential. Practical Life Activities are the first activities the child is introduced to within the Montessori environment. These exercises are prepared based on activities children witnesses in their day to day life. That is why children can immediately satisfy their inner needs and desires by mastering these exercises independently. Also Practical Life area allows children to do the things what adults do everyday, for example cleaning, dressing or greeting people. As we know that children construct their knowledge by themselves through their life experience. Categories of Practical Life Exercises
Practical Life Exercises are grouped into four categories, development of motor skills, care of environment, care of self and social grace and courtesy. Exercises in each of these categories provide the opportunity to do purposeful work and are designed to teach the child life skills, so that they may become confident to do their daily chores at home. Activities grouped under ‘Development of Motor Skills’, such as carrying, pouring, squeezing, and twisting, sorting, etc. give the opportunity to exercise and co-ordinate body movements of the child. Movement is very important to the child; because it contributes not...
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