The St. John the Baptist Catholic Montessori Toddler Community Is...
Our Toddler Community serves children beginning at age 16 months in a classroom of up to 12 children, with a Montessori trained teacher, a morning assistant and an afternoon assistant. Joyful and spontaneous, our program is designed to meet the unique developmental needs of young children, and so it includes a great emphasis on language development, large and small motor coordination, and independence. Our work with toddlers centers on each child’s desire to “help me do it myself.” All furniture and activities are perfectly sized for their small bodies and hands. The classroom environment is beautiful and organized. Between 30-36 months children move to the Children’s House.
Through our program based on the developmental needs of toddlers, we seek to:
- Provide a nurturing environment that fosters a love of learning and a sense of curiosity
- Help children develop self-esteem based on experiencing themselves as capable and as valued members of a community
- Give children the opportunity to develop friendship, empathy, compassion, and generosity
- Activate each child’s full potential. We can do this by taking advantage of their “absorbent mind” (their ability to take in everything going on around them like a sponge) and preparing the highest quality environment for their learning process.
- Help children develop inner discipline and the ability to make good choices by offering an appropriate balance of freedom and discipline
- Support children’s concentration and experiences of being “in the zone” which leads to inner peace
- Feed the child’s intellect through exploration with all the senses, a language rich environment, and fulfilling the child’s need for order (which is the foundation for organizing the mind and critical thinking)
Here is a typical day:
- Arrival: Children arrive for the school day between 8:35 and 8:45. (Children can attend early morning care beginning at 7:00). They start their day by hanging up their coats, putting on their indoor shoes, and greeting their teachers and friends.
- Work Cycle: Children have an uninterrupted morning of hands-on activities, and the staff work with children one-on-one or in small groups. Types of activities include:
Practical Life: Children delight in doing activities from everyday life that are scaled down to toddler size. Examples include peeling and slicing bananas for snacks, scrubbing tables, flower arranging, and practicing zippers.
Fine Motor: We have a variety of manipulatives like puzzles, shape sorters, and stringing beads.
Language: We offer language objects and picture cards to enrich the children’s vocabulary. We enjoy sharing lots of songs, books, and poems.
Art: Our art philosophy is “process not product” and we have different types of art mediums for children to explore including paint, clay, crayons, and chalk.
- Outdoors: We go outside to our natural playscape daily.
- Half-day: Half day children go home at 11:45 am.
- Lunch: Hot lunch is available for purchase, or children can bring a packed lunch from home. We eat our lunch in the classroom. The children set the table, pour milk for themselves, and clean up afterwards.
- Nap: Children rest on comfy cots.
- Afternoon: The children eat a snack. Children go outside again or continue exploring the classroom until their parents pick them up. The school day ends at 3:30 pm and after care ends at 6:00 pm.
- Toileting: Using the toilet is part of the routine throughout the day. To facilitate toilet learning, all children wear underwear (no diapers/pull-ups).
Toddler Community (16 months - 32 months)
- Half-Day Program: 8:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
- Full-Day Program: 8:45 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
- Extended-Day Program: 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
“The education of even a very small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing him for school but for life.” - Maria Montessori