Training of a Just Eye and Faithful Hand: The Kindergarten 'Occupations' afford opportunities for training in this kind of faithfulness; but in the home a thousand such opportunities occur; if only in such trifles as the straightening of a tablecloth or of a picture, the hanging of a towel, the packing of a parcel -- every thoughtful mother invents a thousand ways of training in her child a just eye and a faithful hand. Nevertheless, as a means of methodical training, as well as of happy employment, the introduction of some of the games and occupations of the Kindergarten into the nursery may be allowed; provided that the mother does not depend upon these, but makes all the child's occupations subserve the purposes of his education.
-- Charlotte Mason in Education at Home, page 124
Esther cut vegetables with a real knife for the
first time this week.
I am strongly drawn to the many Montessori activities designed to train the senses and motor skills. However, in a rich home, many of the purposes of the artificial activities will be accomplished if the child is involved in the everyday happenings of home life, as those mentioned by Charlotte Mason. This fact, I should say, is something many Montessori at home books address very well, and as I understand, children in traditional Montessori classrooms are taught and trusted to use knives for food preparation at young ages, in addition to the more artificial activities.