Head of School’s Letter

Developing Practical Life Skills

Posted by Joanna on January 9, 2020

Practical life is everywhere! Coordination, order, concentration and independence (COCI) are initially developed in the Practical Life area of the Children’s House classroom, though can be observed throughout our Montessori environment.

Coordination – Fine and gross motor coordination are developed through the many works in a Montessori classroom. Pouring water from a teapot into a tiny cup helps to develop the pincer grip, fine motor muscles and eye-hand coordination. These skills also help to prepare a child for writing. Other activities help to develop large muscle control and help with balance, grace of movement and control.

Order – All materials in the classroom are organized by curriculum area, size, color and sequence. Children develop discrimination and organizational skills through understanding that everything has its place. When finished with a work, students prepare the work for the next child who will use it, and returns it to its place. They internalize the process of beginning, middle and end.

Concentration – Engaging in one work at a time from start to finish helps the child to focus, develop a longer attention span and to persevere. This prepares the child for longer, difficult, and more abstract works.

Independence – Learning to choose work, cleaning up after one self, and solving problems through peaceful means are examples of ways that children learn to develop confidence, self-reliance and good decision making skills.

No doubt you have witnessed your child’s growth in these areas. I am always amazed by what our young children accomplish and how they learn to manage themselves. The value of the COCI skills has served my own two Montessori children, well into adulthood!

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