Wheaton Montessori News
Sewing in a Montessori classroom is more than just an exercise in practical life. It’s even more than just improving fine-motor skills. The movements and tasks command the full attention of the child, but while giving them a “break” from some of the more traditional intellectual challenges.
By working with intense concentration with their hands, these children are able to increase their ability to concentrate, extend the limits of their patience, and bring their entire bodies into control. The entire task is concrete and is forgiving by its very nature: the student can make mistakes and it still looks lovely. And through this perseverence, they get a tangible work product.
We see certain children, who may have a harder time with concentration or self-regulating, feel pride in their work. They exhibit recognition of a job well done. Within a matter of a few sewing sessions, the students become completely different personalities in the classroom. They have a focus, an interest, a sense of accomplishment. They lose themselves in the project and enter a state of “flow.” We could say to them, “It’s time for recess,” and they’ll ask to sew just a few minutes more.
These skills and traits carry over to the other work in the classroom. These children take this newfound ability to focus to writing a story, sitting with a book, attending to a lesson, and even persevering on the monkey bars on the playground.