“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

Whether in a Montessori classroom or in a home setting, working with the child individually on an activity or lesson offers the him an inner nourishment that serves him in many ways. He is a natural observer and imitator, and masters those skills very early on. He loves to do exactly as we do.

Although not always as obvious, the young child is naturally driven to learn from within. He’s responding to urges which enable him to develop cognitively, emotionally, physically and spiritually. He’s eager to know how things work and will want an opportunity to practice the activity on his own. The activity, however, will be most meaningful if it’s first introduced to him in a very clear and concise way. He needs our guidance.

As the child follows his innate need to work, he will be drawn to the same activities over and over for some period of time. This repetition is critical and helps him process, order, internalize and master various skills. Once the need to do so has been met, he will feel deeply satisfied and most likely lose interest in the activity.

One of the activities we have worked with for months now is our ‘Sea Life’ activity. We use small sea ocean figures paired with the beautifully illustrated book, Hidden World Ocean. This combination has been perfect for his two to three years old developmental stage. He loves to identify each sea creature by name and then open the corresponding flap for more details. I offer as much descriptive language as he’s receptive to on any given day. It’s really fun to hear his observations and thoughts too.

Most recently, he has found counting the fish very rewarding and has added it as an extension to the activity. As he counts, he lays a sea life figure on each corresponding illustration to confirm his findings. It’s wonderful to observe the ebb and flow of his ‘work’. Meanwhile, as long as the ocean continues to call to him, we will be happily engaged in depths of learning.

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