Last week we welcomed our new and returning toddlers and tomorrow morning we will begin our regular schedule. We are looking forward to a wonderful year! Below is some information about the toddler class at COLCMS and some pictures of our toddlers from the phase-in week.
There are many firsts in toddler-hood, and starting school for the first time is often an occasion marked by mixed feelings. From the time your child was born, you have been the center of her world. In ever expanding concentric circles, her world has expanded. First to immediate family, then to other trusted caregivers, then to new friends, and now the whole new world of school. It is our hope that this blog will keep you updated and informed about what is happening in this exciting new world.
- Ms. Stefanie and Ms. Lise
The toddler class provides a safe environment for children for children to grow and learn based on their particular needs. Tables and chairs are very small and the teacher/child ratio is lower. The environment offers toddlers a special atmosphere of understanding, respect, and support as they explore and grow.
Toddlers have many opportunities throughout the day to work towards developing language, art, music, motor, social, and practical like skills. The practical life area of the classroom provides students an opportunity to care for themselves and the classroom. The wipe up spills, set the table for lunch, clean up after themselves, etc.
Repeated successes help the child build self-esteem through these very real activities. Self-esteem is not something that we can give children, but rather a feeling that comes from within - the satisfaction of knowing 'I can do it!'
Gross and fine motor development is fostered through a variety of manipulative activities which increase in difficulty as the child's skills become more refined. Simple sensorial activities allow the toddlers to respond to the urge to use their whole bodies to explore everything around them. There are many exercises which also help strengthen and develop the necessary muscles needed for writing.
The toddler program is also designed to meet the very young child's sensitive period for language by offering creative concepts to expand their growing vocabularies. Stories, songs, games, poems, objects representing everyday items, books, and language cards all help nurture growing language skills. The toddlers also learn the names for the feelings they experience as they have some of their earliest social interactions.
Self-help skills that lead to independence are another vital part of the Montessori toddler program. Children are gently encouraged to hang up their own jacket, put on an apron, or carry a large puzzle, rather than say 'I can't.' At all times the adults strive to answer the child's need to 'help me do it by myself!'
Guided and independent work, freedom of choice within limits, creative outlets such as art and music, and opportunities for movement all come together to create a safe space for growth.
As a parent you will always be your child's first and most important teacher. Remember, you are not teaching a child, but the adult he will one day become. Have faith in your child and know that in this first of many steps toward independence, you have made an excellent choice at COLCMS!
"If help and salvation are to come,
they can only come from the children,
for the children are the makers of men."
Dr. Maria Montessori
We are an AMI accredited Montessori school growing daily in spirit & intellect!