Success in school is directly tied to the degree to which children believe that they are capable and independent human beings. If they knew the words, even very young children would ask: Help me do it by myself!

As we allow students to develop a meaningful degree of independence and self-discipline, we also set a pattern for a lifetime of good work habits and a sense of responsibility. In Montessori, students are taught to take pride in their work.

Independence does not come automatically as we grow older; it must be learned. In Montessori, even very small children can learn how to tie their own shoes and pour their own milk. At first, shoe laces turn into knots, and milk ends up on the floor. However, with practice, skills are mastered, and the young child beams with pride. To experience this kind of success at such an early age builds a self-image as a successful person and leads the child to approach the next task with confidence.

In a very real sense, Montessori children are responsible for the care of this child-sized environment, which is why Dr. Montessori called it a “Children’s House” or “Community”. They sweep, dust, and wash mirrors and windows. They set tables, polish silver and steadily grow in their self-confidence and independence. The lessons in practical-life skills do much more than help children learn to wash tables.

The process helps them develop an inner sense of order, a greater sense of independence, and a higher ability to concentrate and follow a complex sequence of steps.