The Toddler program is designed for children 18 months to 3 years of age. The children are offered a small, secure environment and given the time they need to develop inner discipline, learn to be actively independent and improve coordination.
The Montessori Toddler program offers children a chance to start learning about themselves and the world around them in a safe, nurturing, educational environment. The Montessori Academy is a school. Our primary goal is to give children the opportunity and the tools to discover the world for themselves—learning all the while.
The classroom is divided into 5 areas: sensorial, practical life, language, math, science and geography. During the day, the children may choose the area in which they would like to work, and they ‘work’ within the area that interests them. Many of the ‘works’ are designed to be self-correcting; that is, a child can see for him/herself whether they have made a mistake or not. Of course, as the child progresses through the works, they become more challenging, and an adult’s direction may be required when the child is first experiencing the project.
Toddler Goals and Objectives:
- Social Skills
- Gross/Fine Motor Skills
- Develop Sensory Skills
- Expanding Their Language
- Number Recognition
- Science (Identifying and Naming)
- Creativity (Developing Art and Imagination)
This area is a favorite with the children. They ‘learn’ to scrub, sweep, set the table, pour without spilling, and manipulate small objects and puzzles to gain concentration and coordination. Good working habits are developed, as he learns his materials must be put away, before attempting another activity—areas of development which indirectly and directly prepare the child for other areas in the curriculum.
The children feel, hear, and smell the similarities and differences in our world using sandpaper, cloth, graduated size puzzles, etc. This sets the brain up for later sorting, organization, and patience.
Toddlers love to count! They learn to recognize and learn the names of the numbers. They are introduced to the concept of counting using familiar objects as ‘counters.’
Toddlers are just beginning to use language—some better than others. The Toddler program emphasizes beginning word sounds, repeating them daily. Each child brings in an object which starts with the assigned sound to reinforce their personal contribution to group learning. The use of sandpaper letters enables them to start using muscle memory for writing as they trace the letters, as well as learning what sound each letter makes.
Science & Geography:
The program also exposes the children to the shape and size of our earth, and their place in it. Plants, an aquarium, and maps on the walls all let the children know that they are not alone in the world.
Why a 5-day program?
Maria Montessori believed that children would teach themselves to learn, if they were given the chance and the tools to examine life without interference from adults in their lives. However, in order to accomplish this, the children must have enough time to quiet their minds and bodies, and enough opportunities to repeat the experiences. The children enjoy circle time, work time, and a snack during their daily time in the classroom.
Future Impact for the Child:
A Montessori education is a chance for children and their parents to learn. It is an academic experience, and emphasizes order, organization, patience, respect for people and property, and the love of learning.
The Montessori Academy program is a place where a toddler will develop:
Sense of order—important in establishing self-confidence and a positive attitude towards work and rules.
Self-direction—building self-esteem and good relationships between adults and children, increases the desire to try new things and to ask for help when needed
Concentration—the Montessori works teach a child to concentrate and focus on the materials long enough to experience the work and its concepts; when body control is gained, the child is able to concentrate with their mind
Coordination—practices moving around the room without bumping into others, begins pencil control, carries objects without spilling or dropping
Cooperation—following one and two part directions, listening to stories without disruption, waits patiently to speak or to use materials.
Social interaction—doesn’t interrupt others at work, seeks adult help when needed.
Transfer From Toddler to Preschool:
Most toddlers, as they reach the age of 3, will benefit from moving up to the preschool class. This move will allow the “new” three-year-old to interact with older children, to work with increasingly challenging works, and to benefit from the example of the older, more experienced children.
This move will be at the discretion of the Toddler Directress, who is most familiar with the child’s abilities in the Montessori environment, in conjunction with parental consultation. Children who are academically and socially ready for preschool must be completely toilet-trained when they move up to preschool. Pull-ups are not permitted and although we understand that accidents happen, the preschool classrooms are not designed nor equipped to change a child on a regular basis.