practical life

Just a word in support of Ithaca Nancy’s comment about engaging children in the everyday activities of garden, kitchen, household.

I’m a former Montessori teacher, still in love with her insights.  One of her really important ones is the importance of children to engage in these activities for the development of their ability to concentrate.   She encouraged parents to make our daily work as accessible to children as possible.  Even 3-year-olds can help with dishes, with washing vegetables, sweeping, and mopping.  I remember my children using small sharp knives to cut vegetables and they never got hurt.  A lot of the frantic activity I see that some children have could be mitigated with this kind of work

Tangentially, I remember noticing as a young teacher that the children who spent a lot of time in front of the TV were less able to do the “work” of the class than those whose fanatic parents limited the TV.

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