By Stefanie Graper
At birth, humans are born with a limited number of reflexes which disappear in the first few months of life. Movement is not inherited, but is a learned behavior that involves the senses, the brain, and the muscles. It is through repeated effort and practice that movements become automatic.
In the above picture, the child is working on a 'Dressing Frame.' These frames are in the Primary and Toddler environments and give the child the opportunity to practice dressing him or herself. The buckle frame is pictured here, other frames include button, snap, zipper, lacing, and tying. We often underestimate what our children are capable of. By simply showing them how and giving them the opportunity, they are often able to do much more than we think.
Each of our movements is a learned skill perfected though practice. It takes thousands of tries before a baby learns to lift her head, crawl, walk, then jump, balance, etc...We must give our children the time it takes to learn how to move. Once they have mastered a movement, we should give them the opportunity to do it on their own.
Even after 13 years in the classroom I am always astounded to see children fold a whole load of towels. The concentration, persistence, and exactness of movement this takes is impressive!
The same qualities necessary for folding laundry carry over into the later language and math work. This girl, age 5, is drawing a picture of different leaves in her journal and writing the name of the plant it came from.
The development of movement in the human being is completely and inseparably tied in with the development of the intellect and personality. The way we move creates our relationship with the world and our view of the world. What a privilege it is for our teachers to work with children in an environment that meets their needs so beautifully!
"To overlook movement is to overlook its close connection with the developing mind" - Maria Montessori
We are an AMI accredited Montessori school growing daily in spirit & intellect!