I’ve decided to start a new trend of sharing “Montessori Monday” blogs. So, here’s the first!
Think a 1-year-old is too young to do things like water the plants? Think again.
According to Montessori, this is a perfect age to begin what is called “Practical Life” lessons. In Montessori, there are 4 main avenues of learning. They are listed in no particular order, as they are used simultaneously.
The 4 Avenues of learning are:
- Practical Life
- Sensorial Development
- Development of Language
- Early Preparation of the Mathematical Mind
According to Age of Montessori, “Practical Life exercises help develop the sense of order, coordination of movement, concentration, and independence. Children learn a sense of order as well as basic social skills through practical life tasks. These lessons can be further separated into 4 main categories: care of self, care of the environment, grace and courtesy and refinement of movement.”
So, we have started having our “Chunky Monkey” help out with watering the house plants, as his first “Practical Life” weekly task. He is in a stage of life where he LOVES to do anything I am doing (sweeping and vacuuming are VERY popular right now too). So, I figured, “Why not involve him in activities he can do?” He also is really enjoying helping us “cook”, but I will post about that next Monday.:-)
How does it work?
Right now, I walk around with him and hold a part of the watering can, so water doesn’t get out of hand. But over the next year, I should be able to increasingly step back my involvement in the task until we reach a stage where he has access to the watering can and a way to fill the can, and can do the job on his own (I figure this should be possible between age 2-3). At the “watering station” (in the future), I’ll have a towel so he can clean up any messes that get made in the process. The point is to have him do the task as much on his own as possible (even now) because that is what helps him to gain coordination, and increase his sense of self-confidence and independence. What a fun way for him to learn responsibility and to feel like a valuable member of our family, right?!