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Welcome to CYB| Chea-Yee's Blog.

This blog captures the musings and anecdotes of the daily life of a Malaysian who is now living in Melbourne, Australia.

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Montessori: The science of Muscle Memory

In the morning I worked the Odd & Even counters with a group of the children, whereas Lilian worked with the girls on another mat working the dressing frames with them. The children who worked the dressing frames were Nico, Seen Yan, Mouneeswara, Ai Lin, Annette and Angel.

The thing about working on practical activities such as dressing frames, pouring, sewing or binka cards is that there is more muscle memory involved, then there is on the academic activities (meaning the mental and cognitive activities).

In medical terms, this means that the person’s muscle retain the memory of having worked with the particular exercise, or equipment. This is the same for riding a bike, whereby for example, if a person has learnt to ride a bike from a young age, and has not rode a bike for the last 10 years, they can still remember how to use the bike even after that long period of time.

It is also the same reasoning why we can use a keyboard or typewriter and type looking at the paper/ monitor w/out looking at the keyboard after many years or time spent using it. It really is a matter of conditioning, but that is another topic altogether. (please refer to Pavlov for that though...*lolz*).

The principles in the Montessori syllabus, among which, consists of working from concrete to abstract, moving from simple to advanced, and isolating the senses, and also muscles, so that the child can strengthen each part separately. This is actually Sequin's method and discovery which Montessori adapted into the design of her syllabus.

I have found this to be true and applicable to even many physical activities, such as belly dance, or taekwondo, whereby those instructors who are trained and have knowledge of biology, keeps spouting out the term "isolating the muscles", whereby the term did not make any sense to me till I read about it whilst during my Montessori course. Then only did my brain "lighted up"!

With children, whereas for intellectual and mental feats and activities, such as working on Odd and Even, it takes more repetition on it before the children are able to internalise the knowledge.
The Odd and Even activity incorporates kinesthetic movement, and therefore muscle memory as part of it. As so, it would help the child to remember the concepts, as it is something that they have concrete objects to work hands on with as well.

The weather has been really bad the past one week. The haze, as a result of the forest burnings in Indonesia, was blown over by the monsoon winds to these parts. The skies are overcast, and the public is asked to avoid going public till it clears up.

The children were supposed to go to playground today after their break time, but the principal reminded us that they are not to go out due to the haze. So instead, they worked on their concert dance instead.

Joyce has been sick for the past one week. Since last Thursday to be exact. Her mother came in to get her worksheets and whatever work she has in the classroom for her to do at home.
Her mother said that the girl could barely sleep due to her incessant coughing.

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