Our Montessori Baby Unit:
Maria Montessori identified the primary sensitive periods for the birth to three-year-olds to be movement, language, orientation to the environment and order.
Movement and Montessori
Dr. Maria Montessori developed an entire method of education for infants and toddlers as well as older children, based on movement. In her observations of children, she saw that they were always moving, always exploring with hands, mouth, eyes and ears. Her conclusion was that movement is the law of the child’s being and the way to his brain is through his hands.
In Montessori classrooms and homes established on the principles of learning through movement, children can learn to coordinate movement, develop clear sensory impressions, read, write and do math operations through simple hands-on activities.
Language in the Montessori baby unit:
A series of vital sensitive periods occur for the acquisition of oral language and, specifically, the ability to reproduce the sounds of language.
In the Montessori classroom children’s language is encouraged and developed through singing and daily stories – Montessori school do NOT use baby language but instead use proper language vocabulary and sentence construction resulting in a good foundation in language for later life.
Exposing your baby to lots of oral language is one of the best investments you can make in his future development.
Babies, toddlers and order
Babies and toddlers are very sensitive to order. We keep a rhythm to our day. This does not mean we have to operate on a strict schedule, but keep daily activities such as work time, singing time, snack time, lunch, nap, in the same basic order.
During these early years children depend on external order to assist them in developing mental order. It is not the best time to move or rearrange your house. We are aware of this and keep the things at school ‘the same” for order and their security.
These early years are also the time for intense bonding with parents and close caregivers. Babies learn the give and take of human relationships in the first months of cooing back and forth with mom and dad. Researchers have determined that babies actually initiate much of the communication between parent and child.
Your responsiveness to your child’s attempts to communicate builds his self-confidence that he is worthy of care, his exploration is worthy of respect and that his ideas are worthy of being listened to. It also helps the child build and express complex ideas — in other words, to think.
There is also a sensitive period for developing self-control which occurs in the first year of life. Every time caregivers pick up a crying baby and pat her and help her calm down, they assist the development of the neural network for self-control. Our caregivers are sensitive to your child’s needs . Babies are not left to cry as they can then develop into individuals with little or no self-control. Authors Robin Karr-Morse and Sharon Wiley explore neglect and abuse of young children as the root cause of violence in their book Ghosts from the Nursery (1997.)
Our Baby unit: Our baby unit accepts children from 0 -3 years old. We have children of different ages specifically designated to certain areas of the classroom suited to their ages, levels and needs e.g. an area for 0-6 months with their own things, 6 months- 18 months with their own educational equipment and directress and 18 months – 3 years.
Vertical grouping: In all authentic Montessori Schools there is vertical grouping which means children are grouped in ages (0-3yrs) and (3-6yrs) and (6-9yrs) The younger children learn from the older children and the older children learn to nurture and take care of the younger children – this is a natural phenomenon.
They have a large portion of the classroom where they are introduced to the Montessori areas of the class (practical life, sensorial, language, maths, farm animals/jungle animals) and culture (puzzles of different plants and animals)
The children are taught to choose work and PUT AWAY!! AND THEY ALL DO IT….. This is called the Montessori Work cycle.
What to bring to school:
Daily : * your child’s bag with message book and snack
• Spare set of clothes
• Nappies / cream and wipes (if still in nappies)
• Blanket and pillow (if your child is full day )
• Nicely decorated box (for nappies if applicable)
• Toiletries (once a term) toilet roll/ tissues and cleaning product
From a visiting parent:
“The staff at Maya’s were bubbly and energetic, and all the other children their seemed really happy and contented, we just turned up unannounced and asked for some info, and the principal was more than happy to show us around (every other nursery said we needed to pre book to do this… which worried me a little!)the rooms were nice and big, bright and airy, not pokey and stuffy like some we visited, the garden was lovely and the children loved the birds in the aviary…”
Bianca Van Der Mere: I saw the room’s new layout this morning. It is soooo lovely!! Heidi ran/crawed to the toys and started playing! Ms Wanda is also really wonderful with the babies. You can tell she really loved each one of them. It is really a special school you have Coral! x