Primary, week of 9/30

This week I wanted to focus on the Practical Life area of the classroom

The purpose of the Practical Life area is to:

Provide a link between school and home

Provide a haven or retreat for the child to renew him/herself

Provide a place for the child to perfect his/her skills (without fear of failure or judgement)

Help the child develop concentration through repetition

Help establish a sense of order

Allow the child to develop fine and gross motor skills

Provide meaningful work

Foster a sense of responsibility

Help the child establish social skills

Help the child establish problem-solving skills

Help the child develop independence and competence

Prepare the child for other areas of the classroom

Prepare the child for life

The materials in Practical Life are placed in sequence in order of difficulty e.g. dry pouring, pouring water and pouring water with a funnel. Each material has a practical and developmental aim and on mastery, the child is then prepared to move naturally at his/her own pace to other areas of the classroom. All materials/works are placed on shelves and set up from left to right, top to bottom to prepare the child for reading and writing. The materials are set up to have a control of error enabling the child to visualize their own mistakes with minimal guidance. Once a child has completed a full “cycle of activities” in the Practical Life area he/she is then ready to move to other areas of the classroom. In conclusion, Practical Life is the premise on which children build independence, concentration, self-esteem, and organization. The child who finds him/herself in a well prepared, well thought out environment develops a love of learning and a hunger for knowledge.