The Montessori preprared environment is attractive, ordered, inviting for the child and answers his developmental needs.
In this environment, every day the 3-6 year-old child spends 3 hours working, observing and learning.
For some parents it is hard to understand how it really happens. Others keep asking how it is possible that their child works day after day with teh same material, i.e. the Pink Tower. The truth is that the child repeats one activity as long as he needs to master the skill and competences this material helps developing. By the Pink Tower, for example, the child learns to grade, to visually discriminate by size and dimention. By working with the Pink Tower, the child develops muscle control of the hands and arms; develops control of intentional movement;refines hand-eye coordination and is called upon to concentrate. This material serves also as a preparation for the Mathematical Mind of cubing.
Some parents could not understand why the child needs so much time to complete such an activity. For us being adults, it is a piece of cake, but for the child it takes lots of efforts and requires certain concentration. Answering such questions often brings some clearness for the parents but sometimes confuses them even more.
That is why we offer our parents to become children for 60 minutes. We prerpared instructions for the materials step by step as the child does them at school every day. Parents use the children’s furniture, rugs, etc. For the practical life activities, for example, they had to put on an apron, unroll the placemat, arrange the materials on it left to right, do the activity and then clean up.
Parents have to try activities from all the learning areas. It is truely rewarding for them and for us as teachers to see their challenges and joy when they complete an activity. Their feelings and thoughts shared after the Silent Journey encourange us to keep offering them such experience because it proves that together with observation in real time, the Silent Journey supports parents in understanding their child’s every day life. Being in child’s shoes even for an hour helps parents understand and support their children in their conquest of independence; helps them understand and answer better their children’s needs. After these 60 minutes,parents often stop asking why their child cannot complete a whole activity or why the child does not concentrate because some parents have the same challenges. Parents realize how much it takes for a child to become and belong.
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