Why do we call it “work”?

Why do we call it “work”?

September 13, 2023

We call the activities “work,” but it is not labor for the young child.

As adults we associate work with toil and labor, but work is meant to be a fulfilling activity. Work was present before the Fall. It was after sin entered into the world that work became laborious. When we speak of work, it is something that is meant to engage and energize the child. The child is doing the great task of building their mind, their understanding of reality and order, through experiences and the work of their hands. Here Dr. Montessori speaks more about work and the child:

“Fatigue is not natural. It is not the result of work, but of working the wrong way. The child does his work without getting tired and proves to us that we have immense untapped energies. It is obvious that man is born to work both with his hands and with his mind. This makes man the creator unique, and his hands and his mind must do their work together in functional unity. We have evidence that man has worked ever since human life began. Man has a different way of working compared with other forms of life. He does not always do the same thing: unlike corals, for example, he does not have a static cycle of life and work. Man has taken upon himself every possible task in the world – the tasks of all the animals, of all inanimate things, of water, and of air. Man is able to adapt to any form of labor and make all forms his own.” (Education and Peace by Dr. Maria Montessori)

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