Montessori Elementary Homeschool Blog - with documentation of our infant Montessori, toddler Montessori, and primary Montessori experiences; as well as preparation for the upcoming adolescent Montessori homeschool years.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Practical Life in Elementary - Primary works?

There are some primary practical life skills that can still be worked on in elementary - whether because the child needs extra practice or because there was no primary level experience - or because of a significant emotional event that causes a child to backslide a bit. In these cases, a specific tray for a specific skill could be set up. But clear it away as soon as it is no longer a work of meditation, development of concentration and skill practice. Once one of those three components falls away, remove the material and offer alternatives that use that skill and continue to develop concentration. We do NOT want the children "hiding" behind work or choosing work simply to be "busy". We do want them fulfilling their inner needs - and YES sometimes that means a simpler activity already mastered. We just need to have the proper balance of work options --- an older child wanting to do some simple pouring, could pour drinks for snack/meals, prepare various works for other children that require pouring, etc. At home, go play in the bathtub with some pouring items - and get clean in the meantime ;)
1st grader practicing pouring between two pitchers
Skill needed: not touching the pitchers to each other

For the most part in elementary, practical life just looks more practical. There are not a gazillion individual trays, one for each skill. BUT in addition to having perhaps 1 or 2 trays to work on a particular primary level skill, you might put together a basket or box of items that go with a research project or a chosen area of study - just to keep the materials together. One example might be a basket that has mapping skills pulled together as an activity box for the children. This would be more appropriate for at home rather than at school, where those same materials will be displayed differently (according to each school). At home: a nice activity basket :) 

No comments:

Post a Comment