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"A three-year-old educated according to Montessori pedagogy, becomes a master of his hand and undertakes with a joy a variety of human activities.  These activities allow him to develop the power of concentration." (San Remo Lectures, p. 27)

"It is through appropriate work and activities that the character of the child is transformed.  Work influences his development in the same way that food revives the vigor of a starving man.  We observe that a child occupied with matters that awaken his interest seems to blossom, to expand, evincing undreamed of character traits; his abilities give him great satisfaction, and he smiles with a sweet and joyous smile." (San Remo Lectures, p. 28)

"Thus it happens that at the age of three, life seems to begin again; for now consciousness shines forth in all its fullness and glory. Between these two periods, the unconscious period and the one which follows it of conscious development, there seems to be a well marked boundary." (The Absorbent Mind, p. 151)

"So, from the age of three till six, being able to now to tackle his environment deliberately and consciously, he begins a period of real constructiveness." (The Absorbent Mind, p.  152)

"The child must see for himself what he can do, and it is important to give him not only the means of education but also to supply him with indicators which tell him his mistakes……The child’s interest in doing better, and his own constant checking and testing, are so important to him that his progress is assured.  His very nature tends toward exactitude and the ways of obtaining it appeal to him." (The Absorbent Mind, p.  229)

"The little child’s first movements were instinctive.  Now, he acts consciously and voluntarily, and with this comes an awakening of his spirit…. Conscious will is a power which develops with use and activity.  We must aim at cultivating the will…. Its development is a slow process that evolves through a continuous activity in relationship with the environment." (The Absorbent Mind, p. 231)

"The child has to acquire physical independence by being self-sufficient; he must become of independent will be using in freedom his own power of choice; he must become capable of independent thought by working alone without interruption.  The child’s development follows a path of successive stages of independence." (The Absorbent Mind, p. 257)

"The children of three years of age in the "Children's Houses" learn and carry out such work as sweeping, dusting, making things tidy, setting the table for meals, waiting at table, washing the dishes, etc ., and at the same time they learn to attend to their own personal needs, to wash themselves, to take showers, to comb their hair, to take a bath, to dress and undress themselves, to hang up their clothes in the wardrobe, or to put them in drawers, to polish their shoes . These exercises are part of the method of education, and do not depend on the social position of the pupils; even in the "Children's Houses" attended by rich children who are given every kind of assistance at home, and who are accustomed to being surrounded by a crowd of servants, take part in the exercises of practical life . This has a truly educational, not utilitarian purpose . The reaction of the children may be described as a "burst of independence" of all unnecessary assistance that suppresses their activity and prevents them from demonstrating their own capacities. It is just – these "independent" children of ours who learn to write at the age of four and a half years, who learn to read spontaneously, and who amaze everyone by their progress in arithmetic." (From Childhood to Adolescence, p. 66)

"These very children reveal to us the most vital need of their development, saying : 'Help me to do it alone!'" (From Childhood to Adolescence, p. 67)