The Exercises of Everyday Life are the ordinary tasks of home culture. The child is attracted to these activities as they are the ways of his people. They are meaningful, easily understood, creative, and filled with intricate movements. They appeal to his will, lead to greater physical skills, perfection of movement and concentration. They are purposeful and engage his intellect, and he is increasingly attracted to the order and precision that is required to perform them. They help him function independantly.
There are four groups:
- Care of Self : Dressing activities such as Buttoning, Bow tying, and Lacing Development of Social Relations
- Good Manners : Greeting, Serving, Accepting, Thanking etc
- Care of the Environment : Cleaning, Gardening, Sweeping, Polishing, Movement: Balancing, Walking on a Line etc
Children, from birth, are driven to explore their world using their senses. The world is a profusion of Colour, Size, Shapes, Smells, Touch and Tastes. Sensorial activities allow total development through the senses.
The Montessori Sensorial Material is mathematical material, presented with exactness and used by the child with exactness. As the child works with the materials, he compares things on a qualitative level and becomes conscious of each of the physical properties of the environment. This helps the child to order his mind, and to classify experience. To store up the impressions in his “muscular memory”; and to develop the use of certain muscles and movement patterns.
The Sensorial work is a preparation for the study of sequence and progression: a basis for the development of skills such as music, language and mathematics. By performing
these activities the child’s motor movements are further refined, his senses are sharpened, and his intellectual appreciation of his environment is increased.
At The Magical Years, preparations for language development gently surround the child from the very first day. He has a variety of experiences and his capacity to talk is mobilized. He hears and is encouraged to use a precise vocabulary, one that increases everyday. His pronunciation is perfected. His hands are benefited by the motor preparation for writing.
The three senses of sight, sound and touch help the child associate each letter with the sound it makes. He is fascinated with the relationships among letters that form words, the order of words in a sentence and the grammatical analysis of the parts of a sentence.
Writing and eventually reading are often acquired spontaneously, accompanied by explosions of intense activity. He discovers that through reading and writing he can explore any subject.
Children are naturally attracted to the science of numbers. Mathematics, like language, is a product of the human intellect.
Sensorial activities and sensorial exploration have helped the child look at the qualitative aspect of his world. Now, he begins use clear, precise and abstract ideas for thought. He suddenly wants to look at the world around him quantitatively. The mathematical mind tends to estimate, needs to quantify, to see identity, similarity, difference, and patterns, to make order and sequence, and to control error.
Materials are provided to help him count, to show numeration, place value, addition, subtraction, division and multiplication. The child moves from concrete experiences towards the abstract.
In The Magical Years, children are encouraged towards higher order experiences. Culture, art, music and theatre are some of the meaningful activities that aid the evolution of the child from basic, foundational learning to more layered engagements.
The Magical Years is a world where all festivals are celebrated with great joy. Special Day activities stimulate a child’s interest, appeal to his senses, offer active participation and encourage exploration and discovery. Traditional foods, artwork and performances that have meaning to the occasion are present, and the child learns to respect the traditions of others.
Art and Music, as forms of self expressions enhance the childs ongoing explorations. The materials are integrated into the environment.
Various media such as paint, clay, various paper as well as opportunities for singing and and playing instruments along with moving to rhythms are available. A sensorial and intellectual appreciation to art and music is encouraged.Art and Music is also explored culturally with regard to historic periods and geographical places.