Montessori Monday 2 2013/14
Throughout the year, but particularly in these first few weeks of school, children are drawn to the basic lessons of Practical Life. Our newest children find peaceful opportunities for repetition and mastery as they begin to understand the classroom. Returning children often choose the Practical Life basics as a way of reconnecting with old favorites at the beginning of a new year.
Pouring is one of those basics, presented with new pitchers or different trays throughout the year. Children learn to pour first with small quantities of liquid in child-sized containers. Children who are developing their fine motor control may hold the pitcher with both hands. As that control is refined, they may begin to hold the handle with a single fist, as this child is doing here. Learning to pour helps to develop the child's concentration, as they are absorbed in mindfully watching the liquid flow from one pitcher to another. It also supports the children's developing coordination, as they manage the pitchers and trays. Their sense of order is established as the colored liquid helps them to see what drops may have gone astray. Finally, the work is intrinsically motivating to the child in developing independence... pouring on one's own opens the doors to other satisfying work in the classroom, from washing tables with large brushes to enjoying less stressful snacks with friends!
At home, you can help your child to develop this skill by keeping a small pitcher with his or her beverages on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, where your child can easily find and retrieve it. Measure a serving of juice into the pitcher for your youngest children: they may not be able to judge when to stop pouring into a cup, but they can still enjoy pouring out their own portions. For more adventurous children, measure as many servings as there are guests at your dinner table and ask your child to fill glasses while setting the table. The Practical Life materials are primarly driven to support children to contribute in valuable ways to their families and communities: try it at home!
Catherine McTamaney Ed.D
Christopher Academy Alumna