DISCOVER OUR TODDLER PROGRAM
Ages 18 months – 3 years
Your toddler has a once in a lifetime opportunity to absorb information from the environment, like a sponge.
The LCM Toddler Room is rooted in the Montessori philosophy and aims to help children grow in independence, self-discipline, social and emotional awareness, and physical development of the body.
This is why Montessori for toddlers is more than just childcare. At LCM we provide toddlers with an ideal environment to make the most of this irreplaceable period of time.
Dr. Montessori discovered that during the toddler time, a young child has a special aptitude for learning certain things:
Children are especially sensitive to order and are re influenced by their surroundings. It's important to start young when teaching habits, especially considering that children develop habits by age nine. At LCM we introduce healthy habits and build on their interest to establish good habits that last a lifetime.
Exposure to the elements of language is critical for this age group. LCM activities are designed to encourage expression, build vocabulary, strengthen word mapping skills and promote linguistic understanding. Toddlers are able to absorb language from their environment, learning even big words easily and with pleasure and become happier as they learn the words to express their needs.
Toddlers are eager to learn to take care of themselves to become independent. At LCM we guide children to learn how to do things by themselves, thereby developing their budding sense of self-efficacy. Focusing on the toddler’s ability to care for themselves also helps them become aware of and begin to care for the environment around them. Through repetitive and precise exercises toddlers learn to gain this independence.
Enrolling your child in a Montessori Toddler Program rather than at a childcare center has many benefits:
Maria Montessori discovered that children go through sensitive periods of learning throughout their first 6 years of life. These sensitive periods are developmental windows where it is easier to learn certain skills. The sensitive period for toileting is from 18 months to three years and, therefore, it is easier for a child to learn toileting during this time. A positive toilet learning experience, done the Montessori way, almost always results in being diaper free before their 3rd birthday.
Fewer struggles! Your child is learning that things don't always go their way. At LCM we help them learn how to deal with these emotions and to make amends. Children need to feel competent, and they love being helpers. Having a sense of independence and purpose is energizing for children. Montessori toddlers learn how to truly do things themselves which makes family meals more enjoyable and fun, and getting out of the house is much easier.
The inability to play independently inevitably increases the child's sense of dependence. Promoting independence is a key component of Montessori, in large part, because it allows the child to feel respected, capable, and content. Montessori toddlers learn to play independently. You may be surprised how your 2-year-old toddler can occupy themselves happily, without your constant attention, no TV or baby-sitting needed!
LANGUAGE & LITERACY
Toddlers language and literacy skills are crucial for his or her overall development. Your child's language development begins long before they enter the classroom. Dr. Montessori asserted that children from birth to age six are in the age of the absorbent mind. During this time, children are able to learn language simply by living around others who are using language. LCM classrooms incorporate both spoken and written language into the environment to further enrich this early learning.
MONTESSORI VS DAYCARE
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
& TRADITIONAL DAYCARE:
Traditional daycare centers focus on structure and determine the activities that all of the children will collectively do each day and will provide a time frame in which each activity must be completed.
Montessori programs emphasize the individual needs of each child and will allow the students to work and move at their own pace. Children are encouraged to move and learn freely by engaging in activities that interest them and collaborating with others while working and learn at their own pace until they fully comprehend a topic.
CHILD-LED EXPLORATION VS ADULT-SET GROUP ACTVITIES
Have adult-set schedules in which children are shuffled into a new activity every 20-40 minutes:
* circle time
* followed by art
* followed by outside play
* followed by another activity, etc.
Typically, the whole group is required to move together from activity to activity, whether they’re engaged in the current activity or not. Instruction happens in a group setting, at a group pace, even if some children move more slowly or more quickly.
In contrast, the Montessori toddler program supports a child’s budding independence and his self-discovery.
Children have the luxury of time to choose their own activities, and to fully explore them at their own pace.
Most instruction is one-on-one:
* teachers give short 5-minute presentations to individual children after which they are given an opportunity to continue practicing until they’re satisfied.
CALM & ORDERLY ENVIRONMENT VS MESSY & NOISY
Many daycare settings have a high noise level, and some seem proud to announce how messy they are!
While there is a time for messes, AND WE LOVE for children to play in the mud, to finger paint, or explore foam, in general, the Montessori toddler environment is surprisingly calm and orderly.
Since our goal is to enable children to learn to focus, to engage joyfully in a chosen activity, we need to provide them with an environment where they can do so without constant interruption and distraction!
DELIBERATE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM VS ALL-DAY PLAY
We absolutely agree that free play is important to children, and encourage parents to provide imaginative play activities at home. At the same time, we know that in the right environment, toddlers are eager to learn through exploration and practice.
Toddlers in a Montessori program are surrounded by exciting opportunities to develop their skills:
* they practice opening and closing containers
* they learn to button shirts
* they identify objects by touch
* sort things by color
* transfer items with spoons
* learn to pour water
* put together puzzles
* learn to cut with scissors
* sew with laces
* string beads
* and so much more!
The activities we offer in the toddler program provide a welcome change from what children typically find at home. This is in contrast to many daycare settings, where shelves and boxes are full of the same things your child already has at home—Duplo Legos, blocks, wooden trains, cars, dolls, dress-up cloths, noisy plastic toys, and the like.
GRACE & COURTESY VS GROUP CONFORMITY
Many parents want their child to become socialized when they enroll her in a daycare or preschool program.
But “SOCIALIZATION” can mean different things in different settings.
In a Montessori toddler program, we guide children to develop what we call grace and courtesy. We establish some clear rules that support a peaceful classroom. For instance:
* children may only take activities from shelves, never from another child
* we give children the language they need to express their needs
~ “I am working with this; you may have it when I am done”
~ “I don’t like it if you talk loudly"
~ “I feel angry because you messed up my work”
Teachers model benevolent and cooperative behavior by:
* by shaking hands while looking int a child’s eyes as the child comes to class
* demonstrating how we politely offer food to a friend at snack time.
The Montessori focus is on teaching individual, pro-social skills which is different from the group conformity at many daycare programs.
Daycare programs focus on developmentally inappropriate skills, such as sitting still for an extended circle time, or indiscriminate “sharing” of toys may be expected from toddlers, without regard for the actual cognitive and emotional needs of the child.
INNER DISCIPLINE VS OBEDIENCE TRAINING
In Montessori programs the goal is to help children acquire self-discipline. We want children to understand the right course of behavior, and to be internally motivated to behave well.
LCM teachers don’t expect immediate obedience from toddlers. They do not offer rewards like praise or stickers for good behavior. And they do not give punishment time outs for bad behavior. Instead, we believe that children naturally want to do and be good, and that by setting up the right environment, and modeling kind, respectful behavior, we can guide the child to develop inner discipline.
When a child misbehaves we emphasize positive alternatives. For example, when a child runs in class, we don’t chide him, “No running in class!”! Instead, we calmly explain, “We walk in class. Let’s go back and walk to the sink together.”
And because we have mixed aged classrooms, older returning students are able to model healthy behavior; younger children benefit from the example of their older peers, and older children benefit from the opportunity to mentor and guide their younger peers.
DOES MONTESSORI WORK?
We invite you to come and see for yourself! Most parents are astonished to see how calm, capable, confident and serenely happy the children in our Montessori toddler room are.
If you doubt that your own rambunctious, active toddler could ever be like our current students, rest assured that the children you will observe calmly seated eating a snack together came to us no different than your rambunctious kind hearted child.
We look forward to sharing all the LCM can provide your child(ren) and Family!