THE FOUNDATION: LEARNING INDEPENDENCE
Our youngest Montessori students, toddlers ages 18 months through 3 years old, build their educational foundation in an age-blended classroom, directed by AMS-certified Montessori teachers. In a supportive, nurturing environment, preschool children are given freedom and direction to empower their independence, to expand their language skills at the most sensitive period for language and to awaken their joy of learning.
The nurturing environment of The Ratner School offers children safety and security for risk-taking and self-expression. Students make their own educational choices within a fundamental structure. The teacher/directress assesses and appreciates the unique learning style of each child, noting progressing developmental and social levels. A child’s self-confidence is built on individual successes. The prepared environment and predictable routine are carefully structured to expand and build upon a child’s background knowledge. Encountering new learning techniques allows a child to repeatedly experience the joy of learning, both of which are primary goals of the program.
Children aged 18 months to three years have an innate drive to respond to their own enormous curiosity, motivation, and intellectual eagerness. Therefore, the ideal toddler environment is a world of exploration and discovery filled with concrete “hands-on” experiences. The students learn quickly from watching their peers —processing what they see.
The Ratner School toddler schedule is designed to be predictable. Through this dependable sequencing of regular events young children acquire an understanding of the passage of time. The daily routine includes opportunities for free exploration of the classroom; for language growth (speaking, listening, and singing); for large and small muscle development; and for activities involving individual children, small groups, or full-group participation.
The Toddler Program promotes learning that will serve as the foundation for a child’s growth by fostering:
- Development of speech/language
- Coordination (large and small motor skills, body/spatial awareness)
- Sense of self
- Care of self
- Grace and courtesy