Toddlers (12 mo.-24 mo.)
“Help me help myself” is one of the most quoted phrases from Maria Montessori and it means just that – help the child to a point where they can then help themselves. This sort of independence is heavily implemented throughout Montessori Kids Universe Toddler classrooms in addition to a well-rounded introduction to academic materials.
Maria Montessori focused on the “Needs and Tendencies” of man while forming her Montessori pedagogy and believed that if a child’s environment meets the ability to carry out these human needs and tendencies – they will be more successful and productive as citizens in society.
Five main Needs and Tendencies that MKU Toddler classrooms meet are:
- Order – humans need both internal and external order to feel like they are functioning properly. We provide order to the toddler environment by ensuring that their materials, furniture, and teacher stays consistent throughout the school year.
- Manipulation – like infants, it is imperative that toddler-aged children are able to explore and manipulate their environment. ‘Manus’ means “hands” in Latin and this definition gives us more perspective on the word “manipulation” – we have to hold objects to understand them.
- Precision (or exactness) – in order to have exactness, we must be able to repeat an action/task until we have perfected it. Montessori Kids Universe provides a two-to-three-hour, unbroken amount of time, called the Work Cycle, every morning. During this time, students are receiving individualized presentations with the didactic materials and then given ample time to repeat the activity. Montessori teachers take care to create activities that include a control of error. This way, the child can correct themselves and not rely on an adult’s approval on their success.
- Communication – we all know this is key! And some forget that communication starts at birth. Infants provide ques to us to imply they are hungry or uncomfortable. This communication continues in the Toddler environment with the inclusion of sign language (for those not verbal yet), and the introduction of a foreign language. All MKU programs provide a daily foreign language enrichment program for all students. Language and grace and courtesy lessons support this need to learn language but also the need to communicate with others in a mixed-age environment.
- Exploration – toddlers have ample opportunities to explore their environment. You do not have to ask permission to use the restroom, get a snack, or speak in MKU classrooms. Students are given lessons on how to do these daily activities and are treated with respect as they learn to do them correctly.