New Englad School of Montessori
New Englad School of Montessori

Practical Life Curriculum

The Montessori curriculum pays attention to practical life skills. Montessori students acquire these skills repeating the following exercises many times:

  • caring for plants
  • cleaning up spills
  • polishing shoes
  • setting the dinner table
  • fastening clothes
  • washing hands
  • using scissors
  • washing linen

These exercises offer the child the means of caring for himself and his environment. As well, they build confidence in the young child and allow his independent nature to flourish.


NESM Montessori teachers encourage the children to form gracious and courteous habits--and to be respectful of others and of their environment. These activities provide the base on which the children approach more intricate academic exercises.

The Practical Life tasks in a Montessori classroom encourage children to work at controlling and mastering movements. Beginning with large motor skills and working toward fine motor abilities. Pouring dry beans, then later liquids from one pitcher to the next and back again. Children learn to put away their work as they found it out of respect for the next person who chooses to use it.

Meaning and Purpose of Practical Life

The purpose and aim of Practical Life is to help the child gain control in the coordination of his movement, and help the child to gain independence and adapt to his society. It is therefore important to “Teach teaching, not correcting” (Montessori) in order to allow the child to be a fully functional member in his own society. Practical Life Exercises also aid the growth and development of the child’s intellect and concentration and will in turn also help the child develop an orderly way of thinking.

Exercise Groups

Practical Life Exercises can be categorized into four different groups: Preliminary Applications, Applied Applications, Grace and Courtesy, and Control of Moment.


In the Preliminary Exercises, the child learns the basic movements of all societies such as pouring, folding, and carrying.


In the Applied Exercises, the child learns about the care and maintenance that helps every day life. These activities are, for example, the care of the person (i.e the washing of the hand) and the care of the environment (i.e dusting a table or outdoor sweeping).


In the Grace and Courtesy Exercises, the children work on the interactions of people to people.


In the Control of Movement Exercises, the child learns about his own movements and learns how to refine his coordination through such activities as walking on the line.

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International Montessori Council
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Click FAST logo to apply for Click FAST logo to apply for a partial scholarship


Scholarship program available to Primary (3 - 6) and Elementary (6 - 12) aged children.  All information is provided to FAST and kept confidential to Independent School Management FAST advisors. Opens Jan. 1st for the following Fall school year.  Closes April 30th.

"The child is truly a miraculous being, and this should be felt deeply by the educator."

Dr. Maria Montessori

Some of our favorite Montessori videos on and


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NESM Promo Video


Google Founders attribute success to their early years in a Montessori School:

GOOGLE Founders Talk Montessori


A day in the life of a Montessori Child:


We couldn't have said it better:


Education NEEDS to Grow with Society...TEDx Mid-Atlantic:

Click for TEDx Video with Anna Lee - Looking to Montessori to Guide Education Reform.

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