How does the Work Cycle work?

The work cycle in the Montessori philosophy centres around the premise that children work best when there are minimal distractions to their learning and that the environment is set up correctly to enable students to engage in their learning.

Children choose activities engage with lessons for a period of three hours, in that time, Maria Montessori observed that children followed a pattern of behaviour.

At 9:00am, children entered the classroom and repeated known work, this means that children engaged with already mastered activities.

At 10:00am, they entered the ‘false fatigue’ phase of the cycle, which was the most disruptive to the children’s learning. Similar to adults, children became easily distracted and unproductive in their work.. but then something amazing happens.

At 10:00-10:30am, children became the most engaged, attentive as well as present, and most interested in their learning. Maria noted that this was the time that the most important in the child’s day. After this time, the activities quietened down, the children settled into a ‘calm serenity’ and finally ceased work.

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