There are many important pieces to building the foundation for the house we call learning. Key among them is the power of concentration. In our Montessori classrooms we nurture this power, even with our youngest members. In fact, in our early childhood program nurturing this power is the very aim of many of the materials. Another way this is nurtured is by the Montessori teacher’s discipline to resist the urge to hurry up to help the child and “fix” something for them. Instead the Montessori teacher waits and observes, allowing the child to build focus on the problem at hand. Of course, she is there if needed and if the child just needs the comfort of not being alone in their quest. Additionally, concentration is aided is by allowing children to finish what they start. In our early childhood classrooms, it is rare for a child to be interrupted while focusing on a work.
Concentration has always been an important cornerstone for human learning. One might argue that in today’s world, building this power in our children is more important than ever as children must learn to remained focus in an age of an undeterminable amount of information and interruptions.