DEEP CONCENTRATION DEVELOPED BY SIMPLE PRACTICAL LIFE ACTIVITIES
If teaching is to be effective with young children, it must assist them to advance on the way to independence. It must initiate them into those kinds of activities, which they can perform themselves. We must help them to learn how to walk without assistance, to run, to go up and down the stairs, to pick up fallen objects, to dress and undress, to wash themselves, to express their needs, and to attempt to satisfy their desires through their own efforts. All this is part of an education for independence." - Maria Montessori, The Discovery of the Child.
In todays world, Teachers and parents feel helpless dealing with hyper active children with low Span of Attention, very low concentration level, fidgeting, and many more problems related with concentration. Pre - school children coming to schools are sometimes nightmares for the staff. If we carefully analyse the children in their Free-play in their natural environments we can feel how much they are deeply immersed in activities which is related to Practical life.
Maria Montessori discovered a century ago that Simple Practical life activities creates Long Span of Attention and deep concentration and here how it develops in a Pure Montessori classroom.
In my class my students just loves the Practical life area and here I discovered my most hyperactive ones immersed deeply .
This child is busy in Grating, he is not only enjoying the process, but developing a practical life skill, and in the long run it makes him realize the Importance of deep concentration needed to learn a skill.
Pouring in different glasses not only gives a child the "Sense of Estimation" but satisfies his instinct of playing with tiny objects as it spreads out of the glass.
Simple cooking makes a child feels independent , makes him Sense the different steps through direct participating and thus created a High Span of Attention in his inner psyche.
When the child learns the basic elementary excercises of Practical life , he soon will apply to his work.
Children feels intensely satisfied when they perform daily life activities, folding and unfolding of Napkins is a beautiful way to learn little steps, and makes them highly organized and attentive.
Sewing activity using the needle makes the child sense the Unique skills required to do certain jobs perfectly.
This 3 years old is cleaning a Glass using Newspaper strips....
Practical Life activities never ends, its up to the Directress or a Montessori mom to initiate more activities according to the culture and needs of the time. Children loves to use Everyday Tools and thus attain skills to be used in their daily life.
Children at this age enjoy, and even prefer, spending their time helping adults with their activities. When allowed to do so, the child learns that his contributions are of value, thus boosting his self-esteem and independence. He should be encouraged to use child-size replicas of adult tools. In short, the direct aim of 'Montessori Practical Life' activities is to help develop social skills and independence. Indirectly, Practical Life activities develop fine motor skills, as well as strengthening intellect, concentration, and personal will.
Above all, the need to develop Concentration can never be attained to its max. without the use of these simple Practical life activities at the Pre-school age in different environments.