The Toddler and Pre-Primary Program are designed for children 16 months to 31/2 years of age. The pre-primary program offers an exceptional opportunity for parents to introduce their children to the Montessori philosophy and method. Our primary goal is to provide a positive school experience for the children in the pre-primary classroom. The children who have completed 31/2 years of age by December will be eligible to graduate to the primary program that same school year. A decision will be made by the school administrator to determine the child’s readiness for the primary program.
Children at this age are constantly learning and absorbing everything in their environment. The first three years of life are significant as the children demonstrate a “sensitive period” for the development of independence, movement and language.
The classroom materials and activities are specifically designed to guide the children through the beginning phases of the Montessori education. The classroom materials aim to appeal to the child’s natural curiosity, sense of order and desire for independence. The pre-primary classroom creates a “prepared environment” that allows the children to freely explore and learn through their senses, practice new skills in a safe and nurturing environment with freedom of choice and movement within clearly defined limits.
These exercises aid to develop and refine their senses and enhance the physical, emotional, social and intellectual development of the children. Through care of “self” and “environment”, the children take pride in accomplishments, develop their concentration, independence and motor skills. The children are encouraged to develop positive social experiences, participate in parallel and cooperative play, use words to express feelings, accept limits, overcome separation anxiety and bond with the class teachers.
The class teachers will create an enriching nurturing environment, establish a daily routine and model grace and courtesy behavior with the children. These experiences will serve as a building block to easily transition to the primary classroom. We work in partnership with families for a successful toilet learning experience for each child. We set up our environments in such a way that when a child is developmentally ready, he is made aware of his bodily function in a normal manner without rewards or punishments. There are scheduled bathroom breaks for all the children and it is easily accessible to the children who are already independent. We will work with the parents to actively encourage and help any potty training.