Young Children's Community
Young Children's Community
Ages: 18 months - 3 years
Hours: 8:30 am - 11:30 am
Maria Montessori described the first plane of development, from birth to six years, as a time when the mind is truly absorbent. The child effortlessly absorbs knowledge of movement, language, mathematical ideas, and social behavior from his or her surrounding environment.
At Forest Bluff School, a child’s first experience in a Montessori classroom is in a small group of no more than ten children, with a teacher and an assistant. A small and nurturing environment gives the children an experience of living in a community of others and enjoying activities that support their development in age appropriate ways.
The students in our Young Children's Community come to school daily and engage in activities that they have seen adults perform in their homes such as preparing food, setting the table, and washing their dishes after a mid-morning snack. They choose from many appealing materials in the areas of language, sensorial exploration, coordinated movement, and the arts.
Additionally, special focus is placed on practical life activities, which assist the children in their quest for independence and include self-care skills such as dressing, feeding, and toileting. Visitors to our Young Children’s Community frequently comment on the peaceful atmosphere and joyful spirits of the children. In a culture that expects toddlers to behave in a rambunctious and disorganized manner, many parents are surprised to find these children concentrating deeply on an activity and behaving in a calm and kindly manner.
Remarkably, this is the true nature of childhood, as recognized by Montessori and supported by the specially prepared environment she describes. New families are delighted to see how easily and cheerfully their children adapt to life in the classroom, and parents enjoy the support and close communication with their children's teacher throughout their time in the Young Children’s Community.
When choosing books for children under age three, look for a variety of beautiful illustrations of differing mediums and themes that reflect the reality the children see in their daily life. Animals, foods, weather, and familiar objects will excite and help children because they are grasping for connections to understand their surroundings. Avoid as much as possible, books that portray clothed and speaking animals or other images of fantasy. Children will delight in such things when they are older and are not so easily confused in their quest for information about the real world.
We suggest reading to your child at set times everyday to establish his/her important introduction to language. You may find that some children under age three, even at very young ages, will sit and listen intently to books on our Primary book list as well. We encourage you to see that list for information on books that have more written words