Practical Skills Children Should Learn in Montessori Primary

In the Montessori primary environment, practical life skills take precedence. Because this is a sensitive period in a child’s life, it’s an appropriate time for them to start learning how to navigate life successfully and independently. 

Still, it’s not always clear which practical skills will help them achieve this. Whether you’re a Montessori guide or looking for ideas for your home classroom, here are four practical skills children in any Montessori primary program should learn to help them grow physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Cleaning Up Spaces

Montessori primary children are growing to understand their individual responsibility as members of a community. Because communities thrive best when things are in order, it’s critical for children to learn how to care for their space to maintain that order. 

In the Montessori classroom, child-sized tools like brooms, mops, and dustpans help children learn the practical skill of cleaning up after themselves and helping others do the same. A class pet or garden can help them learn the responsibility that comes with feeding and cleaning up after animals and keeping plants watered. 

If your classroom has an outdoor space filled with leaves, this is a perfect opportunity to give students a rake and let them clear the leaves. These practical skills will follow them for a lifetime and ensure they contribute to their communities wherever they go.

Caring for Self

Primary-aged children are at a stage in life when they are gaining more independence and learning to lead themselves. 

This independence means they must be able to take care of their own basic needs, including using the bathroom and washing their hands, blowing their noses with a tissue, and getting dressed by tying their shoes, buttoning a shirt, or zipping a coat.

These practical skills make it easier for children to get ready for activities. However, it also gives them an opportunity to help others who may not have mastered the skill yet. This is yet another way a Montessori education instills leadership skills in primary-level children.

Interacting With Others

It is important for Montessori primary children to learn to interact with others in a way that fosters and promotes a calm classroom environment. Guides should always model grace and courtesy in how they speak to children and each other.

Additionally, it’s important for children to learn to greet everyone politely, wait their turn to speak in a conversation, and interrupt gracefully and appropriately. They should also learn to maintain a respectful tone when they don’t like something or disagree with the person speaking.

Coordination and Control of Movement

Balance, coordination, and motor skills are essential for Montessori primary children. These skills can be learned through fun and practical activities such as walking in a straight line while holding an object in their hands or carrying Montessori materials and items to their workspace. 

Montessori materials are also excellent for helping children refine their fine motor skills. For example, learning how to thread a needle or transfer small objects from one container to another can help them learn to move carefully and maintain control of themselves in the process.

Developing Practical Skills Now for a Lifetime of Personal and Academic Success

When a Montessori primary program is structured correctly, children are able to learn practical skills that encourage concentration, logical thinking, and attention to order and detail. In turn, these skills lead to lasting independence and a sense of self-control.

Our primary program has five areas of focus that help children grow and develop their character interests, including language, math, sensorial experiences, cultural exploration, and practical life skills. Whether your child is just transitioning into a primary program or you are looking for a change, contact Montessori West to learn more about how our prepared environment can hone your child’s curiosity and help them learn foundational skills for lifelong success.

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