Children are born curious and enter the world with a desire to learn how the world works. This motivates them to seek out new experiences and the world becomes an endless source of wonder to a child. It is important to nurture this curiosity and motivation that comes naturally to children.
The Montessori method realises this and takes full advantage of a child’s motivation to learn new things at a tender age. The focus is not on mere academic areas but on practical learning. Many parents might ask “Why is it important for my child to learn practical exercises instead of academic subjects like Language and Maths?” To answer this question, it’s important to understand Exercises of Practical Life or EPL correctly.
What exactly do the exercises of practical life include?
The EPL teaches children to run around and walk properly without any guidance, to go up and down the stairs without any assistance, dress and undress themselves, to pick up fallen objects, to wash themselves, to express themselves clearly, to satisfy their own needs without any assistance and so on.
How are these activities beneficial to a child?
The EPL activities when taught in a sequential order help the child to improve dexterity, fine motor skills, inculcate discipline, develop self confidence as the child is no longer dependent on others for his own work and lastly it also helps the child to increase concentration.
So EPL is important as it lays the foundation (in a very subtle way) for later academic work without rushing through the idea. Academics require a child to focus, concentrate, follow logical and sequential steps and also need the child to have the patience to see a task from start to finish. As the Montessori children have already learnt these skills in Practical Life Learning, they will be able to deal with academic concepts better while developing themselves into confident and holistic individuals.
Despite this, we must not look at EPL from the narrow prism of academics only. EPL goes much beyond that. It is the foundation for the child’s future and enables success in all areas of life.
At Little Newton Montessori, we have been helping children in and around Chandra Layout and Vijayanagar areas in Bangalore to become independent through Exercises of Practical Life. Reach out to us if you would like to know more on how Montessori in general and EPL in particular can be beneficial to your child.