A Montessori Worldschooling Insight: Practical Life Skills are Greater than IQ

practical life skills worldschooling

Montessori Cosmic Education & Practical Life Skills

Montessori’s Cosmic Education teaches children their place in the universe. This lesson shows itself in many ways, but one of those ways is due to the inclusion of normal, day-to-day activities, like practical life skills. Many children are raised having all their meals made for them, doing their homework while mom or dad washes the dishes, or having a parent come in behind them to clean their room because they didn’t listen to the parents’ earlier requests.

In Montessori, as in many cultures across the world, chores don’t have a negative connotation. In the same way you don’t complain about having to shower (or… maybe you do?), many cultures don’t complain about basic things like taking care of a child, washing dishes, keeping floors clean, doing laundry, tidying up, etc.

In developing countries especially, it’s not uncommon you see a young girl (maybe seven years old) holding and taking care of her 1-2 year old sibling. She will carry her around, put her on her lap and nurture her. It’s not uncommon to see young boys running errands and helping their parents at the market.

Practical Skills are Core Component of Psychological Development

While academics are a key component of a Montessori curriculum, Dr. Adele Diamond, Cognitive Researcher based out of Vancouver, has done extensive research on how executive functions and practical life skills are a far greater indicator of success in later life than IQ. They teach work habits that are foundational groundwork for mental, social and physical development.

How are children supposed to practice taking care of themselves and others, when we don’t let them? If all the work is left to “others,” how are we going to expect our young adult to know how to cook for themselves? If we don’t teach our 8-year old how to regularly sweep as part of life, how are we supposed to expect that same child to clean their room at 17?

Healthy Young Adults and Practical Life Skills

If we don’t teach “Matthew” that hard work is rewarding in itself and is just something you “do,” how can we expect him to be an entrepreneur like he desirea? Or, that he can make his own way at 25, even starting from scratch?

If we don’t teach “Giselle” that being organized helps keep a clear mind, as well as space, how are we supposed to expect her to navigate all the conflicting mental pressures she will face in her late teens into her thirties?

In order for a more clearcut path or to help accomplish a life vision, there needs to be habits and work ethic in place. That is very hard to teach later in life because a person is already working against 20+ years of experiencing or witnessing the opposite.

Academics & Practical Life Skills in the Montessori Environment

Because Montessorians don’t separate academics and practical life, practical life skills are part of the curriculum. Practical life skills give children a purpose and plan for their own importance as part of a family or social group. Both academics and practical life skills all work together to develop a whole and complete vision of awareness and connectedness with the world.

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