Our Toddler Program serves children who are comfortably walking (approximately age eighteen months to age three) in a small and intimate group of ten children and two trained teachers.
Materials are designed to help the child adapt to life, to develop muscular coordination and to develop the ability to follow a sequence of activities. They lead to independence in care of oneself and the environment.
The children utilize real objects which serve as a connection between the home and the school. Here, the child will always feel successful as there is no way to do an exercise wrong, increasing precision and exactness.
Materials are designed to allow the child to consciously classify the sense impressions that he/she has received since birth – and before. Each piece of material isolates a quality they have experienced and gives them an opportunity to name it.
Language underlies everything in the child’s life and in the classroom. The child is deeply interested in anything to do with language so they are constantly given opportunities to express themselves in language, in stories, poems, and in conversation.
At age four and a half to five or six, the child learns to write and read – a new way for them to express themselves. In our classroom, components of writing are prepared for indirectly so they can explode into writing, thinking that they have taught themselves.
These materials are designed to allow the children to find points of reference in the mathematical world working with math in a very concrete way emphasizing numbers and the decimal system.
All these branches of mathematics are integrated: arithmetic, geometry and preparation for algebra.
These lessons are closely allied with language lessons, yet they remain concrete and give the children a manual activity they can perform independently. Toddlers absorb the ideas from the world around them through their sense of sight, sound and touch.
Children choose activities of interest from the prepared indoor and outdoor environments. They go through their work period (e.g. learning to name colors, count objects etc.) and develop fine and gross motor skills.
Children can use the materials with the minimum of adult assistance and they are allowed to complete the tasks without interruption or interference. They enjoy circle time where they learn how to listen, follow directions, sing songs, and enjoy story time.
Ultimately, the child will find his own voice; define his own world, needs and personal space in harmony with the environment.