Natasha Williams, Director 3-6 Environment
Through their own interactions with their environment they will construct their sense of self. They will absorb how to move, speak a language, develop deep knowledge and vocabulary on topics of interest and it will all be absorbed effortlessly. It is an exciting time where there is so much growth and development in the body and brain. It is during this time that Montessori said that we must “bring the world to the child”. In the Children’s House (3-6) children are able to choose to work indoors or outdoors and are connected to reality and nature in both areas.
As the child has an absorbent mind from 0-6 years of age they cannot reason between what is real and what is fantasy. They take all that is in their environment as fact, without judgement. It is during this time that we connect the child with reality so that they can fall in love with their world and interact with it with purpose and kindness.
In our Botany area the child begins with the Practical Life activities of caring for their environment. For example, their attention is brought to the dry soil of the potted plants and they are shown how to carefully water each plant in the environment. This activity gives them so much, not only are they coordinating their movements to fill and carry a jug of water without spilling, they are controlling their movements to pour just enough to fill the plant with water. We all know child love to move but asking them to control and restrict their movements within cycles of work helps them to develop their will, concentration and coordination. They are also practising an act of kindness as they help the plant to survive and perform a task that helps to keep their environment beautiful. As the child moves around the room the adult can begin to give them the names of the plants that they are watering and may have a conversation about a leaf shape. This then links into the Montessori materials of the leaf cabinet, leaf puzzle and 3 part language cards and the directress will plan that work based on their observations of the child and their interest. What a lovely feeling that they get from “just” watering plants and how their knowledge can be extended from that one task.
Take a closer look at how we extend the child’s wonder of the natural world in our Botany area.
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