Practical Life Skills: A Key Component of Montessori Early Learning 

Montessori early learning is a method of education that focuses on the development of the whole child, not just their academic abilities. This learning approach provides children with a prepared environment that is rich in materials and activities that cater to their interests and needs. It also respects the individuality and independence of each child, allowing them to learn at their own pace and follow their own interests. 

Practical life skills for future success 

One of the benefits of Montessori early learning is that it helps children gain practical life skills that are essential for their future success and well-being. Practical life skills are the skills that enable children to take care of themselves, their environment and others. These skills are not only useful for everyday living, but also for developing self-confidence, self-reliance, self-discipline, social awareness and emotional intelligence. 

For example, here at Monash Early Learning Centre, children learn about grace, courtesy, self-care and environmental care. They also have time and opportunities to learn and practice cleaning, food preparation and watering plants. These activities and skills, although common, can actually help children strengthen their independence and concentration. These traits can help them better prepare for the big school (where there’s less supervision and there will be a lot of unfamiliar and challenging situations). 

How Montessori early learning help children gain life skills 

Montessori early learning fosters the development of practical life skills in several ways. First, it provides children with real-life materials and activities that are appropriate for their age and stage of development. For example, in a Montessori classroom, you will find child-sized furniture, utensils, tools and clothing that allow children to practice and master various tasks. You will also find activities that involve sorting, matching, counting, pouring, transferring, cutting, sewing, gardening, cooking and more. These activities are designed to stimulate the child’s senses, motor skills, cognitive skills and language skills. 

Second, Montessori early learning encourages children to be independent and responsible for their own learning and actions. Children are free to choose what they want to work on, how long they want to work on it and where they want to work on it. They are also expected to take care of their own materials and environment by putting things back where they belong, cleaning up after themselves and helping others when needed. Children are also given opportunities to make decisions, solve problems and face challenges on their own or with peers. 

Third, Montessori early learning supports children’s social and emotional development by creating a community of learners who respect and care for each other. Children learn to interact with others in a positive and constructive way by observing and following the rules of the classroom, such as taking turns, sharing, listening, speaking politely and helping others. Children also learn to express their feelings and needs in appropriate ways by using words or gestures. Children also learn to empathise with others by understanding their perspectives and feelings. 

More than just literacy and numeracy 

Montessori early learning is more than just a way of teaching children literacy and numeracy. It is a way of helping children undergo holistic development and gain more practical life skills they need to thrive in the big school and beyond.