I am very pleased to join the Webster Montessori staff in the opening of another toddler classroom! Ages 18 months to 3 years is a critical time for children to develop their "absorbent minds," moving from the preconscious state of learning in infancy to a more conscious state of learning at the toddler level. Their minds are still like sponges, absorbing anything and everything they are exposed to, including language(s), cultural practices, the way their environments are organized and knowledge gained from sensory stimuli.
A prepared environment is crucial to this physical and intellectual development. Classical music, soft lighting, visual and auditory input, language of exact vocabulary, gentle touches and an ordered environment all play a part in the optimum development of the full person a child is to become.
Developing independence is crucial to a child's self-esteem. In the toddler environment we provide an extensive practical life curriculum where children develop large and fine muscle skills enabling them to dress themselves, learn toileting skills, prepare snack and care for others and the environment. We also have an aesthetically pleasing sensorial curriculum where children develop their senses and learn especially through the tactile sense. We also offer pre-reading and pre-math exploration, as well as science and geography.
Montessori is unique in that it honors the spiritual embryo within each person who is born into the world. The spiritual embryo, like the physical embryo, embodies the full potential of who a child can become. This becomes manifest in a carefully prepared environment which calls forth this embryo. Even at the toddler level, we begin to see the unfolding of a personality and skills and talents unique to that little person! As toddlers pass through sensitive periods of development under the gentle guidance of informed adults, they begin to blossom into who they are created to be!
For forty years I have experienced the joy and awe of watching children who begin the Montessori program as toddlers and remain in Montessori through upper elementary and often middle school. They become the most peaceful, self-aware and knowledgeable students eager to help others and care for the environment at large! They win national spelling bees and represent the United States as ambassadors for world peace before they even enter adulthood!
As a seasoned directress, I encourage all newly enrolled families to consider a long-term future for your children at Webster Montessori School and I so look forward to growing with you and your children in the spirit of Dr. Maria Montessori!
Yours in the Heart of the Child,