SERVING CHILDREN AGES 6 WEEKS TO 3 YEARS OF AGE
THE VISTA MONTESSORI SCHOOL INFANT & TODDLER PROGRAM OFFERS:
A loving, calm environment
Montessori trained teachers experienced with young children
Low student to teacher ratios
Materials appropriate for each child’s developmental level
Dr. Montessori defined the first three years of a person’s life as the “unconscious absorbent mind stage.” She observed that infants and toddlers absorb everything from their environment without any conscious censorship and learned about the world around them through sensorial impressions in their environment. She believed that children should enter this world in a protected environment. At VMS young children are provided a developmentally appropriate environment that is safe and nurturing.
Personal bonds formed in the young child’s first years of life are the foundation of all future relationships. A bond with the child is nurtured daily through feeding, diapering, and developmental play. The orderliness of the environment and the consistency of care provide the child with a sense of trust in the world.
Young children are absorbing everything from their environment; they absorb language, the movements of those in their vicinity, facial expressions, and even the feelings of those close to them. At VMS, the teachers use proper grammar and correct pronunciation when naming objects and describing actions, walk slowly and quietly, and perform tasks while the children are observing. The loving interactions help create an environment where each child’s basic physical, emotional, and cognitive needs are met.
One goal of Montessori education is to offer children an environment supporting their need to gain control over their physical movements. Infants and toddlers are encouraged to explore objects and their environment. Caregivers observe each child carefully keeping notes on their development. The children observe caregivers and want to care for themselves and their environment using real objects, such as pouring water, cleaning tables, washing windows, and sweeping. Letter sounds, counting, and musical notes are also absorbed by the young child. The developmentally appropriate environment stimulates development of large and small muscles, visual and auditory discrimination, and refinement of the senses through active involvement with materials and the world around them.
Children graduate to the White Pine Classroom when they are fully toilet trained and have effective communication skills. Stages of development mature at different age for each child. Children from the Syringa Classroom will only transition to the White Pine Classroom if they will be attending VMS for preschool.