Our Preschool Year 3 students have beautiful handwriting. For an art project that could expand their writing skills, we invited Kirani’s mum to spend an afternoon in our Garden Class. Fifien Hendrosoebono is a passionate calligrapher who has become a Copperplate font expert. As she showed the elegance of her horizontal and vertical strokes, the children were instilled with the pleasure and excitement of calligraphy. As she told the children, “For me, calligraphy is more than just beautiful handwriting, my heart flows in it.”
Language is the most important part of the Montessori curriculum and underlies all the work done in our school, not only in the Casa classrooms, but at all age levels. Language in our Montessori classrooms is not considered a separate subject but is integrated into everything the child does and learns. We provide a language filled environment for the child to explore and language is not taught as an abstraction, but is connected to life, to activities and meaningful experiences.
Maria Montessori discovered that writing develops quite naturally before reading with indirect preparation. Practical Life exercises such as unscrewing and screwing bolts and nuts or opening and closing pegs, as well as Sensorial materials held by their little knobs, prepare the hand before the child is actually holding a chalk stick or pencil. Sound Games make the child aware that words are made of individual sounds. The use of the senses with the Cursive Sandpaper Letters enhances the total process. Each sound, each letter is absorbed by the child audibly, visually, tactically.
You might wonder, why cursives? Learning to write in cursive is shown to improve brain development in the areas of thinking, language and working memory. Cursive handwriting stimulates brain synapses and synchronicity between the left and right hemispheres, something absent from printing and typing. As a result, the physical act of cursive writing leads to increased comprehension and participation.
Thank you so much, dear Fifien, for inspiring our Montessori Bali students with your beautiful passion!