Without getting into all the Montessori principles behind it, or the whys and hows and details and extensions, let me just say that this line is CRUCIAL to a child's development. Period.
What children do you know that DON'T seek out lines to walk in - balance beams, parking bump things, cracks in the sidewalks, curbs, garden edging, stone walls - you name it, kids walk it!
|The line in the level 1 atrium|
I once had a young man, kindergarten. He had a wonderfully responsive school teacher and a wonderfully set up (non-Montessori) classroom, but he just wasn't settling in. His needs were being met, yet something was still amiss - and they were considering testing for ADHD. He came with his classmates to a level 1 atrium for 45 minutes once a week.
I introduced the walking on the line and it set off a spiral of events that allowed this child to do seriously productive work in that short span of time in the atrium. His regular teacher brought in a make-shift line for use in her classroom and it worked WONDERS. If he could just whip around that line a few times, of his own accord, he could then SIT and WORK for 5 minutes at a time! (the first time he sat for 30 seconds at a time we thought a miracle had occurred!).
|The line in our Montessori co-op for ages 3-10|
In the process of walking on the line, they centered themselves, refocusing; peace was brought to their internal selves and even Abbot and Costello found some level of quietude (more on these two another day - I have one of them now again, but I am missing the other...).
I rang the bell to pause walking and to gather around the Good Shepherd material. As I began the presentation, you could have heard a pin drop onto the carpeted floor.
I firmly believe it was a combination of the line and the presentation itself.
There are so many benefits to walking on the line - the only one that matters is inner peace.