THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

Scientific Methods As Applied To Child Education In "the Children's Houses"

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Muscular Education                  145
example, in hoeing, in getting down to plant things, and in rising; the trips which children make in carrying objects to some definite place, and in making a definite practical use of these objects, offer a field for very valu­able gymnastic exercises. The scattering of minute objects, such as corn and oats, is valuable, and also the exercise of opening and closing the gates to the garden and to the chicken yard. All of these exercises are the more valuable in that they are carried on in the open air. Among our educational gymnastics we have exercises to develop co-ordinated movements of the fingers, and these prepare the children for the exercises of practical life, such as dressing and undressing themselves. The di­dactic material which forms the basis of these last named gymnastics is very simple, consisting of wooden frames, each mounted with two pieces of cloth, or leather, to be fastened and unfastened by means of the buttons and buttonholes, hooks and eyes, eyelets and lacings, or auto­matic fastenings.
In our " Children's Houses " we use ten of these frames, so constructed that each one of them illustrates a different process in dressing or undressing.
One: mounted with heavy pieces of wool which are to be fastened by means of large bone buttons — cor­responds to children's dresses.
Two: mounted with pieces of linen to be fastened with pearl buttons — corresponds to a child's underwear.
Three: leather pieces mounted with shoe buttons — in fastening these leather pieces the children make use of the button-hook — corresponds to a child's shoes.
Four: pieces of leather which are laced together by means of eyelets and shoe laces.
Five: two pieces of cloth to be laced together. (These
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