Overview of Practical Life Work and Studies"Considering the method as a whole, we must begin our work by preparing the child for forms of social life and we must attract his attention to these forms...At a given moment it happens that a child becomes keenly interested in a piece of work, showing it by the expression in his face, by his intense attention, by his perseverance in the same exercise. That child has set foot upon the road leading to discipline...The exercises of Practical Life are formative activities, a work of adaptation to the environment. Such adaptation to the environment and efficient functioning therein is the very essence of a useful education."
The Practical Life exercises are important elements in Montessori education. They provide the fundamental building blocks on which the entire Montessori method is constructed. The Practical Life exercises are those first presented to the young child entering a Montessori school.
The aims of these exercises are both developmental and environmental in nature. By developing the child's coordination and concentration, enhancing his natural sensitivity to order, the child accumulates successful interactions with his environment. This grants the child ever greater self-sufficiency and independence. Practical Life exercises are simply various kinds of everyday domestic activities such as pouring water, scrubbing a table, polishing silver, etc.
The Practical Life Area also includes the integration of graceful movements with graceful behavior and courtesy. Opportunities are provided for the continuous physical, psychological and moral growth of the child, and as such, builds a foundation for behavior upon which all the more "academic" achievements of a Montessori program are set.
The Practical Life Lessons consist of: