Why we need to keep everything beautiful and attractive?

Madeswaran

 Montessori was very much concerned about the maintenance and setting an environment for the children inside a school and house also. The reason is not to get the rewards from the parents or educational officers. The reason is to make the children to imbibe the sense of neatness, beauty and attraction. By this a child is directed to shape out the inner discipline , life activities and work.

A Montessori school invest  lot of money to set up the environments. The Montessori materials are very expensive but reasonable. Their availability is also limited. The effort to make them with perfection is a must. The workmen  must be educated and well experienced in making the materials. So the environment setting makes us very very challenging.

But if we explore deeply into the materials, we will be able to design many materials with simple objects , with out diluting the methodology and philosophy. There are many village schools in Tamil nadu state [ a south Indian state] have started making such materials .

But the schools are expected to set the materials properly according to the succession. The materials must be maintained properly and placed carefully. The children in the preprimary environments are very particular in maintaining their materials.

But the 6+ age group children are not very particular about this. We need not blame them. Now they  are ready to abstract the ideas which they have obtained from the materials. So the inner urge makes them to ignore the proper - perfect maintenance of environment. So very often we need to insist them in proper winding up activities.

Example: A child in grade 1 put back her pencils, rubber, pad, and desk after my language presentation . She came and put back my mat after I got up. This is the character of 5 years.

When ever I need to get into 2, 3 or 4 th grades I always need to count 1 to 20 to arrange the desks, mats and settle properly. Slowly the children started organizing them self before my arrival. This is the uniqueness of 6+ age group children. So we need to be very patience in handling them and we need to wait for the inner change.

Now in this age , we have to explain why we need to be well organized. In each and every step they have to be just remembered to be organized.

Example: When ever I give home work, I ask them to note down the various tips like, putting the date, where to begin and leave space, where to stick a picture etc. This age group children need to be often guided for remembering their work, dead lines and perfection.

So the materials are expected to put properly in the respective places and maintained well. This makes them to imbibe the sense of beauty and perfection in life. The whole world is beautiful and always ready for  man to do his duty. It is his lack of attention towards the world. The children are not to be blamed for that. The adults in home and school are just making them to work to gain marks and do all actions mechanically. There are children who have never visited the near by beach .

So the 6+ age children are in need of guidance but not our preaching or  dictatorship. They will never respond. But mild talk and firm follow ups will  make them to reconstruct their  perfection, beauty and attraction in their work.  But we need to wait for that. Take the children towards these targets from where  they are.

Example: One of my 4th grade boy never submitted his work. Slowly I started talking to him. After long time he has started bringing his work . But they were not up the mark. But I have never scolded him. I have appreciated his little work and slowly gave ideas to improve his perfection. Last week he brought his home work and it was good.

Even when man is formed inside mother's womb, it takes 9 months to grow with perfection. We are caring the embryo very carefully in each stage. But why we are not realizing the fact that that space, care and attention has to be given to the child after birth in every age level?

So the beauty and attraction of the child has to be brought through pregnancy, child care in home and school. The beauty has to be in the work, action, thinking and way of living.

All the Montessori materials are designed to achieve this task . The adult must care the class room just like his \ her home. Even a small change we make in the class will have its effect on children. The  children will be attracted by materials and new items, changes brought into the class room. They help in settling soon and to begin the work.

Example: When ever I enter inside my class , I just draw a picture related to the topic which I am going to do. Immediately one by one come and start settling down . They also start analyzing the drawing , discuss among them self and some go out and make their friends to come soon also. Within few minutes I will begin my class.

The second graders are much excited even with my little star in a corner of their note book. It is a difficult task for them to complete the board copying in given time. Every day I give 2 targets.

Yesterday I said , '' Dear children, today I am going to check your fastness and date''. Immediately they  said, '' O.K sir., but we need you to draw a picture in our note book''.

It may look funny and simple for others to see my tiny fish, stars, tree, lotus, duck, jelly fish, car, Lilly, sun, moon, rain bow, smiling face, temple tower etc. I have mentioned these , because they are very easy to draw.

The need for a cover, eraser,  why it is a must to leave a line? , underline the answers , date and many aspects has to be explained to them very often to  show the beauty and perfection in work. So every action, card, work sheet, material inside our class room must be attractive. We need not spend much money in buying costly things to decorate our classes and homes. Let we organize our rooms with what ever we have in a simple, neat way.

Example: 1.  Coimbatore district is one of the district in Tamilnadu state. There is a particular community in which the men and women look very clean and well dressed but not very luxury. It is because the family maintains the homes and farms very  clean . The homes do not have luxurious things but the family maintains the objects properly and place them in order. This order, tidiness and  beauty has made the young generation to follow the same .

 2. When I made the very first work sheet in Tamil with a  computer software, the children were very much excited and asked how I can type in Tamil? When I explained, they appreciated and asked whether they can start working with it?

So let us maintain our homes and  class rooms beautiful and clean to help children to sense the beauty and attraction . It will express in their work. We need to wait for the change. Let us listen to   Dr. Montessori about the beauty and attraction of materials,

       '' The objects possess an eloquence which no mistress can ever to attain to.  ''Take me , '' '' see that I am not damaged . Put me in my place''.

Thank you!