Practical Life for Older Children and Teens

When people think about Montessori schools, some of the most prominent materials that come to mind are the beautiful practical life opportunities in our primary environments. There are small wooden trays with pouring and transferring works. There are whole lessons dedicated to the arrangement of flowers. The children prepare their own snacks and wash their own dishes. They use special frames that teach them to tie, buckle, and snap.

Those practical life materials at the primary level are so important. They are also very visible, because they take on the form of a standard material on a shelf, so it can sometimes appear that practical life is a part of our education for children up to age six, but not after.

What happens when children reach the elementary years and beyond?

The work of practical life does not stop, nor does it become any less important. It does, however, take on different forms and blend into the rest of the program somewhat. The following skills are critical steps toward becoming an independent adult; we ensure to present them when the child is ready. Is learning to tie one’s shoes any more or less important than learning to balance a budget? Of course not. Both are necessary but are best presented at different times in our lives.

The following are just a sample of some of the practical life skills taught to our older students. Often embedded into the curriculum, they still help kids reach independence milestones.

Remember that while practical life work is critical for the primary years, it is certainly not the end. This work continues for our students into adolescence. Want to learn more? Contact us to have a conversation about Montessori education or to schedule a visit.

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