The foundation of the Primary classroom is the curricular element termed "Practical Life," which provides the initial bridge between the child's home and school. As every parent of a toddler knows, children this age are eager to participate in the activities of daily living. "I can do it myself," they proclaim time and again - and quite correctly. The Practical Life curriculum allows children to perform adult tasks as a means for acquiring fundamental skills, including sense of order, focus, coordination of movement, hand strength, concentration, and independence.
Adults may regard caring for themselves and their surroundings as a repetition of mundane chores. To young children, however, tasks involved in dressing, caring for a home, and tending to others are exciting, meaningful, and filled with appealing physical movements. Children regard mastery of such work as a marvelous achievement, allowing them to function with confidence and independence in the adult realm.
The Primary classroom provides children the opportunity to care for themselves, their environment, and those around them. Tasks such as sweeping, flower arranging, and food preparation all include purposeful sequencing of steps and attention to detail - core skills which are preparation for all other areas of the classroom. Learning materials have been designed and sized for young children. The environment allows students to master skills at an unhurried pace, with adults nearby to provide guidance as needed. An important aspect of exercises in Practical Life are the lessons of Grace and Courtesy. These are the lessons that enable the children to positively interact with each other and the environment.