The Practical Life area of the class must provide a child with a variety of small motor experiences with direct aims and indirect aims. For example, there are several pouring activities. the direct aim is to teach a child how to pour, but the indirect aims are coordination, order, sense of beginning, middle and end.
Each actiivity has a space. Going from top shel to bottom shelf, left to right, the activities are progressively more difficult. For example, the top shelf could have pouring activities with dry items like beans or rice, while the bottom shelf has a variety of activities with water.
it is important that all the activities are real life materials. Other than a pretend Velcro piece of fruit and wood knife, the Montessori class has bananas and real knives. Not only do the children prepare their own snack, they can prepare snacks for their friends. Grace and courtesy skills are practiced throughout the day.
As a child my family relocated over a dozen times due to my fathers career. Though originally from California, our life spanned across the country to the Mississippi and back. With each move came a new school, often mid year. I spent my entire childhood lost and struggling to catch up with the newest class. My big gregarious personality, self confidence, love of reading, sense of humor and strong verbal skills saved me. My constant companion has always been my younger sister. Malissa has and remains my touch stone.
College had a happy accident, as an undergraduate at Saint Mary’s College I discovered Montessori. I wept when I saw my first Montessori class. If only I had had math, language and science presented in this magical way, I would to have struggled. It became my desire to be a Montessori teacher and one day own a Montessori Preschool.
I have a successful marriage, a wonderful adult son and a beautiful school in San Francisco’s historic Presidio. I have traveled the world with my husband, son and school.
My revisit to studying Montessori Pedagogy has allowed me to see the truth in what Dr. Montessori called the most important thing a Montessori teacher can do; support Normalization in a child. The character and personality of the child is developed through Normalization. Looking at my own childhood I wonder when and how a constantly moving child could have found Normalization? I realize my love of needle point is my way to find the state of Normalization.
I live a quiet life in the last place we called home as a family, Danville California. I am enjoying my return to SMC as a graduate student with my constant companion my sister, Malissa.
Lunch outdoors at Playgroup
Street view of 1818 Wedemeyer