The Journey to Independence (18 Months – 3 Years)
Montessori educators refer to the child from birth to three years as “the joyful child.” Arbor’s Toddler Program aims to fulfill that intrinsic nature. The program focuses on joyful, yet purposeful, learning that fosters independence, creativity and self-esteem.
Help Me to Do It Myself
Your child has a natural drive to be independent which we encourage by creating an environment where everything is just the right size for them to do things on their own. Our teachers toilet train your child so that they are independent in the bathroom. They also teach them other self-care skills. Child-sized tools that fit their tiny hands allow them to prepare a snack and serve it to friends. A miniature broom empowers them to clean up on their own. Your child learns a set of concrete life skills but, more importantly, develops self-confidence and the belief that they can choose to make a genuine impact on their world.
Not a classroom, a community
Our students grow together into a close-knit, caring community. When children work, learn and grow together, they learn much more than any of them could learn alone. Preparing the communal meal is a wonderful example of this group dynamic. The children help prepare the food, set the table, eat together and clean up.
A Beautiful Environment
Our bright and sunny toddler classrooms are specially designed for your child between the ages of 18 and 36 months. It is a world scaled down to your child’s size. Where so many early childhood programs are chaotic and overwhelming, parents are often surprised to see the peaceful environment of our toddler classrooms. The calm atmosphere and lack of distraction helps them to develop impulse control and concentration, planting the seeds for learning in this classroom and beyond.
Here, your child paints, cooks, waters the garden, sings songs with friends and plays with materials that develop fine and gross motor coordination.
Freedom to Explore
To be a toddler is to be curious. There are so many things to see, touch, hear, feel and do in the classroom! Beautiful materials that stimulate their senses are rotated frequently on low shelves to pique your child’s curiosity. They are encouraged to move freely around the classroom, to choose activities and explore their own interests. Teachers observe your child closely, providing just the right lesson when they are ready and then allowing them to practice again and again (and again!) until they master it. Mistakes are viewed as learning opportunities in an atmosphere of patience, trust and respect.
We surround your child with rich and stimulating conversation to support this once-in-a-lifetime period of rapid language development. Your child, trying to blow bubbles, might be encouraged with “Blow! Can you make the air move just like the wind?” Your child’s mind effortlessly absorbs the new vocabulary, which plants the seeds for reading, writing and self-expression in the future.
Making first friends and learning how to function within a community is a life-shaping experience for your child. Your child emerges with strong friendships that will continue as they move through the rest of the programs in Montessori.
A Joyful Experience
Maria Montessori once said, “One test of the correctness of the educational procedure is the happiness of the child.” Take a peek into our Toddler classroom and you will see children who are happy, engaged and deeply connected to their friends and teachers. As a result, your child develops a deep affinity for school and a true love-for-learning.
Ready to Move Up
Sometime between the ages of 2 ½ to 3 years of age, your child’s language skills and self-expression will develop rapidly; they will express a growing confidence in independence and a keen interest in broader concepts; they will want to know what lies ahead, outside of the Toddler Classroom. At this point, they are ready to move up to the Primary Classroom, for children from the ages of 3 to 6.