Infant/Toddler Immersion Programs "The Nest"

We speak/sing in both English and Spanish as this is a highly absorbent period for language! Baby sign-language is used simultaneously where it is appropriate. As the child grows in the environment they may be ready for more complex spoken language, laying the foundation for more conversational language in both English and Spanish between staff and each other.

Infant Program (6-18 months) "The Nest" (EL NIDO)

Peaceful, loving environment that develop basic trust in which caregivers respond appropriately to the infant’s communication of his/her needs. Constant observation followed by appropriate responses to assist in the development of his/her own emerging personality. The Infant is respected as a whole person and affected by the quality of holding, feeding, and quality of physical care. Assistance to individual learning which leads to independence when infants participate in their daily routine of care.

Toddler Program (18 months - 3 years) "The Child in Transition"

The Toddler Program emphasizes providing ever expanding social, physical, and intellectual opportunities for the young and older toddler to challenge themselves. The classroom provides simple daily living exercises designed to meet their growing need for independence (i.e. "I'll do it myself!"). Potty training is begun when parents and staff agree that the child is ready. Constant observation followed by appropriate responses and additions to the environment to meet her/his ever-expanding needs for self-development. As the individual toddler shows his/her need for more independent activities, they are introduced to more challenging exercises that support success in her/his endeavors. This process lays a foundation in all areas for future learning that builds confidence, problem solving skills, and social skills.

"INFANT & TODDLER IMMERSION PROGRAMS"

We are continuing over 40 years of Quality Education in order to further our commitment to the individual development of each child.

The following is a description of our Infant/Toddler Immersion Programs. Also included in the packet is an outline of the various full time and part time programs, the appropriate Tuition Schedules and copies of some articles on Montessori Philosophy and Method for this age group. We speak/sing in both English and Spanish at this highly absorbent period for language. As the child grows in the environment they may be ready for more complex spoken language, laying the foundation for more conversational language in both Spanish and English between staff and each other,

There will be daily written communication about your child's changing needs and their development, fostering trust between child, parents and staff.

We encourage you to call for a tour of our fully equipped environments to see for yourself the difference a layered Montessori foundation can make in assisting your child in their development.

TODDLER IMMERSION PROGRAMS (18 months – 3 years)

A basic schedule of the day has been developed to cater to the developmental needs of this specific age group. The Toddler's need for order, routine and a peaceful environment is achieved through consistency and trust. Dr. Maria Montessori discovered that the Toddler's need for freedom of movement is directly related to their development. Therefore, the environment at Milford Montessori provides many opportunities for the Toddler to challenge themselves with physical, social and pre-academic activities appropriate to their needs.

"Follow the child" is the basis of Montessori Philosophy. Therefore, the role of the teacher or directress is to "assist the child” in their development by helping them make appropriate choices in the environment. The classroom is prepared daily, so the child is able to make independent choices from the environment. The environment is changed to meet the needs of the children who will be present, according to the observations of the directress. These choices or "exercises" are each designed to challenge the child through self-discovery in the following areas:

Practical Life: Everyday living exercises to aid the child to be more independent.

  • Care of Self (bathroom independence, hand washing, care of belongings, dressing etc.)
  • Care of Environment (setting a table, table washing, sweeping etc.)
  • Daily Living Skills (table setting, assistance with food preparation, clean-up etc.)
  • Grace and Courtesy is always a part of every daily activity (through modeling and role playing)
  • Fine Motor Skills (hand transfer, pouring, scooping, tonging, rolling, folding etc.)

Sensorial:  Sensory activities in which the child is learning through the five senses.

  • Shape and color matching (followed by recognition)
  • Sounds (instruments, recognition exercises)
  • Smelling &Tasting
  • Touch (different textures, weight etc.)
  • Grading (small, medium, large etc.)

Language and Vocabulary Development

  • Simultaneous naming of everyday objects in the environment in Spanish and English.
  • Encouraging conversation through interaction
  • Matching, opposites and rhyming
  • Directions in sign and spoken language
  • Memory games, finger plays
  • Sequencing, sorting and simple classification
  • Identification of pictures and objects
  • Stories and songs (listening skills)
  • Creative play and puppetry

Pre-Math Skills

  • One to one correspondence in ever activity
  • Beginning number recognition
  • Rote counting
  • Beginning association of numeral and quantity

Social and Behavioral

  • Develop good listening skills
  • Develop a cycle of activity (independently chooses the activity and returns it to the shelf, and them chooses another, etc.)
  • Learning to follow directions (one step, then two etc.)
  • Following the ground rules of the environment (talking quietly, walking etc.)
  • Developing independence and concentration
  • Learning to be responsible for self and toward others
  • Acts of kindness and manners

Basic Schedule of the Day (for children not enrolled in before care)

Welcome

Each child is individually welcomed into the environment, followed by assistance in placing belongings in their cubby. The child is then invited to join their friends who are already present and choose an activity from the shelves.

9:45 Circle Time

The children are invited to put their activities away and come to circle. This is a time in which we may have a song or finger play, the calendar is shown and we talk about the weather.

10:00 Snack

Nutritious snack in which the children are involved in it’s preparation, and grace and courtesy are practiced.

10:30 Individual Activities

This "work" period will be used for introducing new activities on an individual basis, or group activity such as art or music.

Outdoor Activities or Indoor Gross Motor Activities

11:30 Dismissal of Half Day ChiIdren

11 :45 Circle Games and Lunch Preparation

12:00 Lunch Time and clean up

12:30 Dancing or Creative Movement

12:45 Nap and Story time (nap or rest time will vary with the need of the child)

As children awake from their rest period they are cuddled when needed, and assisted to put away their bedding. This will be followed by activities in the environment of their choosing and snack. We will follow PM snack with outside time or gross motor activities.

2:45 Dismissal

Dismissal time will vary, depending on the needs of the family.

*Please keep in mind, the times may vary with the needs of the children. But the order of the routine will remain the same on a daily basis. Trust in the environment for the young child is developed through knowing what happens next, or "their inner clock"!

FAQ about MONTESSORI programs

"The human being develops with the greatest intensity during the first three years of life. To this period, more than any other, it is imperative to give active care."
Dr. Maria Montessori

Why should I send my child to a Montessori Infant or Toddler Program?

Dr. Maria Montessori, a pioneer in child development, was one of the first educators to believe the first 3 years of life are the most crucial to human development. The Montessori Infant/Toddler program offers the very young child a tender, nurturing environment and support for the self-development of his own emerging potential.

Dr. Montessori defined this early stage of life as going from the "unconscious absorbent mind" (Infant) to the "conscious absorbent mind" (Toddler). This gradual transition from unconscious to conscious learning is done by absorbing the influences of the environment layer by layer, mirroring brain and body growth. Montessori teachers are assistants to this growth, supporting the growth of each individual child through careful observation and preparing the environment daily to meet the child's evolving needs& develop themselves.

What is meant by the Montessori Approach to learning?

Simply put, it is to "follow the child." The essential Montessori principle is that children hold the key to their own self-development, knowing what it is they need to focus on at any given time. Dr. Maria Montessori called this the child's "inner guide". In a Montessori prepared environment the young child is given the "freedom of movement" to choose from the environment that which she needs for their own development at every stage of learning.

What is meant by the Montessori Prepared Environment?

Critical to the Montessori approach is the prepared environment, which is a safe, "ordered" environment that speaks to the young child's strong need for order. The Montessori teacher, a trained observer, prepares the environment daily according to the individual needs of each child. In short, the room and materials are evolving with the children's needs.

Why should my child attend the Montessori program 5 days?

While we do offer 2 and 3 day programs, we do believe the Montessori emphasis on 5 consecutive days is particularly important at the 0-3 and 3-5 age groups in order to allow the spontaneous learning of the child to flow smoothly. Further, the development of trust that occurs between the caregiver, child and the environment allows for stronger emotional and social development. Consistency and order are critical to the young child 0-5 years, and allows more opportunities for him to pursue his developing interests. To the end, if you only need 2 or 3 full days because of your work schedule, we encourage you to combine this with the remaining days as half days.

What developmental needs of the Infant does the Montessori approach fulfill? (2-18 months)

This is a time of great sensitivity to language, spatial relationships, the approach of self-discovery and nurturing behavior. The Montessori approach involves the infant in their care with a supportive, nurturing approach which develops trust between the child, their caregiver, parents and the environment.

What developmental needs of the Toddler does the Montessori approach fulfill? (18-30 months)

The toddler mind is more like that of an acute observer or scientist, eager to learn, explore, try new things and master new skills. He is empowered with the need 'to do it myself". The freedom of movement and developing their strong sense of order at this stage is critical to their development. Scaled down furnishings, activities at his level, nudge the young child toward self-sufficiency.

How can I follow my child's development in the Montessori setting?

Daily oral and written communication between teacher and parent is critical to you and your child. The development of trust between child, teacher and parents is a key concept at Milford Montessori. Besides daily written reports in which the teacher documents care-giving needs such as diapering, feedings, etc., we want to share your child's milestones big and small with you by sharing our observations. You will know exactly how your child's day progressed and be able to follow their own self-development.

How will my child handle transition with separation?

There will be a parent orientation before attendance begins. The gradual separation of each child from their primary caregiver (mom, dad, etc.) is fundamental to developing an easy transition. The parent is invited to attend a gradual orientation period of 1-3 days where possible in the classroom.

How do children interact in the Montessori environment?

A key concept to Montessori schools is developing a sense of community. At the 0-3 age groups this begins with developing a sense of "family" in the Montessori environment. Critical to the development of this concept is a mixed age group at each stage of development; 0-3; 3-6; 6-9; and so on. Children interact through a variety of activities such as music and movement, art experiences, gross motor activities and outdoor play. Through interaction, values such as respect for self, respect for others and the environment are instilled. They learn signs and words to express their feelings toward others in a respectful way. The is achieved through role playing and modeling,

What is meant by an "immersion Program" at this age?

As Dr. Maria Montessori profiled in the “Absorbent Mind", the child is absorbing everything from the environment through the five senses. The mind of the 0-3 child is highly absorbent for language as their audio discrimination at this stage is very high. We now know the exposure to another language at this sensitive period is not only beneficial to brain development, but forms an inner path to facilitate the learning of future languages.

The Infant: The Montessori teacher involves the infant in their own daily care and routines with simple words, then phrases in sign language, English and Spanish. While singing or speaking softly, "Do you want to eat? Quieres comer?” (while simultaneously signing the word "eat'); "Do you want more?" Quieres mas?" (while simultaneously singing the word "eat"); Repetition is very important. This is engaging the child in eye contact and preparing them for what happens next! Phrases are added as the child develops more comprehension and knows what to expect.

The Toddler: This is a great age for interactive conversation. Knowing the toddler will gradually repeat your last words, phrases are used more and more, expanding the vocabulary by emphasizing the new vocabulary last. "Do you want to play with the ball?" Quieres jugar con la pelota?" etc. Gradually the child uses both languages simultaneously, first in phrases like "Can I play with the pelota?" Quiero play!" I personally can testify how much more quickly young children learn another language, with the various experiences of children from foreign countries learning English in the classroom. It was never taught, but rather absorbed through immersion. Many children have benefitted from Spanish, sign and English from infancy.

There will be an orientation program for parents, grandparents, and caregivers which will demonstrate the above more clearly before school begins.

Seeing is believing! Come see for yourself the joy on the faces of our children and the difference Montessori can make!