“These lessons, exact and fascinating, given in an intimate way to each child separately, are the teacher’s offering to the depths of the child’s soul.” Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind
Because the child is a natural observer and imitator, he strives to do exactly as we do. After all, his primary goal or “work” is to become independent. While answering this innate need, he can rely on all that he observes around him. It is the child’s active “work” that leads to his cognitive, emotional, physical and spiritual growth an development. Naturally, he’s eager to know how things work and seeks opportunities to practice activities on his own. But as his teacher, it is my responsibility to guide him to activities prepared to foster his fullest potential. And equally important, I must present these activities with exacting movements and wonder. By following his interests, I offer him learning experiences that are meaningful to his growth and a life-long love for learning.
Home activities can offer deeply meaningful work.
As an example, he worked with our ‘Sea Life’ activity for months. At first, he used small sea ocean figures that paired with the beautifully illustrated book, Hidden World Ocean. This combination was perfect for his developmental stage, 2 to 3-years-old. With enthusiasm, he identified each sea creature by name. Next, he opened each corresponding book flap for more details and discovery. While he was engaged, I offered rich and descriptive language about the sea life. Of course, he had observations and descriptions to share as well.
Later, he found counting the fish very rewarding and has added it as an extension to the activity. As he counted, he placed the corresponding sea life figure on its matching illustration. With this, he was able to confirm his findings. Lucky me to witness the joy in the ebb and flow of his ‘work’. Meanwhile, as the ocean continues to call to him, he will be happily engaged in depths of learning.