The lessons of Practical Life provide the basis of all the work in the Primary classroom. This is the area of Montessori education that helps the children connect to the world around them. Children engage with a variety of objects that they encounter at home. These materials highlight real life tasks such as: apple and cheese slicing, polishing silver, and using a zipper or buttons, which all foster order, coordination, concentration, and ultimately, independence. Through these activities, children learn that caring for their environment, dressing, and eating, as well as lessons of grace and courtesy are essential to the foundation created each day.
On an academic level, many of these activities that foster fine motor skills are paving the way for activities like writing. Polishing and pouring, meanwhile, promote hand-eye coordination, which will also ultimately support his or her ability to read and write. Each task is broken down in to individual steps, which contribute to the child’s ability to use logical thinking. These activities enable each child to contribute to his or her group and to feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment and increased self-esteem.