As a physician, Dr. Montessori took a keen interest in children’s physical development. She refers to the brain, senses and muscles as a network that people utilize to express their actions and thoughts.
This stage in a child’s life is a period of growth where their physical abilities can be developed to their highest potential. That’s why movement is woven throughout a Montessori education to develop three key areas of a child’s physical development: motor control, motor coordination and sensorial information.
During physical education activities such as yoga and unstructured time outdoors, children can engage in developmentally appropriate games and movement activities that help them build resiliency and stamina while developing the knowledge of how to live an active life.
Physical Fitness at Endeavor Montessori
Exercise and movement are built into the curriculum at Endeavor Montessori. Children begin and end the day with a short yoga session to enhance their strength, flexibility, body awareness, and more. In addition, children are given ample time outdoors to engage in structured exercise activities, as well as more freeform play, to develop their gross motor skills.
Yoga is an integral part of the Endeavor Montessori curriculum we teach our students a range of poses and proper breathing techniques to get the most out of this powerful and beneficial exercise. Not only do we begin and end each day with yoga stretches, but yoga mats are available all day for children who want to practice when they want. By learning yoga at an early age, our students gain a skill they can utilize throughout their life to build strength, reduce stress and promote mental wellbeing.
Children are not meant to be confined to desks for hours at a time and we take that fact to heart by making outdoor learning a regular part of the day. Playing outside allows children to learn social skills and spatial awareness while developing their physical strength. Activities range from free-form play where children learn to use their imagination and develop social skills to guided explorations that dig into science, geography and sociology.
Practical Life at Endeavor Montessori
Practical life skills are crucial to helping support a child’s socio-emotional development and independence. We teach children these skills by dividing them into four categories; care of self, care of the environment, control of movement and grace and courtesy.
For example, we help children learn how to properly take care of themselves by teaching them practical self-care skills like washing their hands, blowing their nose, preparing food for themselves and much more. This helps children develop motor and control skills by utilizing larger muscles to engage in ‘work’ that connects to practical life. We believe that encouraging our students to engage in purposeful work is beneficial because it improves their overall health, self-esteem and confidence.
Other practical life activities include:
- Watering plants
- Flower arranging
- Wood polishing
- Mirror polishing
- Dish washing
- Food prep
- Metal polishing
- Folding clothes
- Opening & closing
The purpose of Sensorial Materials in a Montessori classroom is to help a child develop and enhance their senses. As a child enhances their knowledge of their senses, they improve their ability to process information from their environment.
The Sensorial Materials we use were specifically designed for children to draw on their senses as they have experiences with the materials. These materials enable children to focus on their senses, which become broader and more refined. By refining their senses, children become more perceptive and aware of their environment, which vastly improves their ability to process information.