Imagine peeking into an early childhood studio window and seeing a learner working with tiny pitchers at a table. Your eyes focus as you watch blue colored water flowing from one pitcher to another on a miniature tray. As an individual looking in, you may see this pouring work and wonder if the learner is working. In fact, this practical life activity is work. Learners learn through manipulation of hands-on materials and through their experiences.
In our prepared studio lie materials that pique the learners’ interest. This is where they can build upon their foundation and plant seeds of greatness within themselves. The areas of the studio feature a plethora of Montessori materials that support the learning design. They embody key beliefs of how a learner can learn and grow throughout life. Montessori is unique as it promotes independence, social skills, and a sense of self and community.
As independence is being fostered in the learning environment, it provides the learner freedom to choose lessons that they would like on a given work. They work toward their goals of mastering a specific work. The knowledge gained from reading, writing, math, geography, and household activities helps learners to gain skills needed to live a competent life.
In preparation of cultivating a whole-child experience to live an independent life, learners are continuously reshaping their thoughts to other learners and guides. Many opportunities are available to perfect their social skills as they navigate the process of recognizing their individual needs. Sharing during morning launches, community meetings, and at outdoor play helps to nurture their innate ability of inquisitiveness.
As the year progresses in Spark Studio, learners become more aware of what they like to do, how to do tasks independently, and as a group. As they continue to practice a sense of self, they learn to take care of their environment. This leads to an increase in their awareness and pride as they are on their own paths of learning about themselves and the world around them.
In the words of Dr. Maria Montessori, “the education of even a small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life.”