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Montessori Monday 25 2013-14

Added May 13, 2014

Shoe Polishing

It's an often overlooked art, and one that many children have never experienced except in the lessons of the Montessori classroom. But while their velcroed sneakers may not require as much upkeep as your grandmother's patent leather shoes, children are nonetheless fascinated by the Shoe Polishing lesson.

Shoe Polishing is a standard lesson in the Practical Life curriculum, fostering those tried-and-true objectives of Practical LIfe: Concentration, Coordination, Independence and Order. The carefully repeated steps develop the child's concentration. The various tools, brushes, clothes and buffers help develop the child's fine motor skills. The practical skill is one more task in the child's repertoire for independent care. And the challenge of keeping a very messy work under control helps to develop the child's sense of order. Imagine the excitement when the child sees scuffs polished off the leather of the shoe, or notices how the shoe shines when the polish is buffed off. Imagine the tiny fingers working the brush into the crevices of the leather design or shimmying and soft final cloth over the tip of the shoe. It may be a pedestrian chore but, given the right environment, shoe polishing is a lesson filled with wonder.

Catherine McTamaney, Ed.D.

Christopher Academy Alumna

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