Does the same adult need to attend the Parent/Infant class each week with the child?
Young children thrive on consistency, so while it is recommended that the same adult attend for the sake of continuity for your child, it is not required. Parents and/or other caretakers can alternate if needed. We do request that only 1 adult attend with the child per class, to be mindful of the space and size of the classroom.
What if my child’s nap schedule conflicts with the timing of the Parent/Infant class?
Often some of our younger students may still be taking 2 naps in a day (and this may change over the course of the year to 1 nap a day). We want to respect your child’s need for rest and recommend you try and come to class weekly, even for just a short while (if you have to come in late or leave early). We can suggest strategies to try and help your child slowly make a shift in their nap schedules as the year progresses.
Can you elaborate on some of the activities and materials these young children work with in the Parent/Infant classroom?
The classroom is designed for the young child to learn through movement and hands-on exploration. The materials are designed to strengthen and refine both large and small motor movements. A few examples of works which develop large muscles are carrying heavy items in a purposeful manner such as buckets of water; or big arm movements at the easel for painting; or scrubbing a table. Examples of works which develop small hand muscles are: knobbed puzzles, nesting rings, squeezing sponges, chopping food, making biscuits, coloring, water color painting. The set-up of the classroom environment also fosters independence in young children, helping them to develop the skills to direct their own interests and learning, allowing them the opportunity to follow their curiosities and explore with materials that are safe and educationally stimulating.
Can we choose to attend class on either Thursday morning or Friday afternoon Parent/Infant class?
When applying for this program, you can give your preference for the Thursday or Friday class, however, should you be offered a space it will only be for one of the classes. We enroll these classes at capacity (12 children) and children are assigned specifically to either the Thursday or Friday class, and therefore it is not an option to attend another day if for some reason you had to miss class one week.
The range of 6 months to 23 months seems very big. How does this work in terms of meeting each of the children’s various needs?
Yes, the beauty of Montessori’s philosophy is to have children of mixed ages together, to learn from each other. The classroom is designed as an extension of the home and having children of mixed ages gives the class a feeling of “siblings,” learning how to live together in community. The environment offers materials that are appropriate for the various ages. If a young child chose something that he was not ready for, we can guide him into a work that was more suitable. Young children benefit from being around the older children, as they may soon pick up and learn from them, such as how to set up their place-settings at the table or put their work back on the shelf. The older children learn how to be gentle with the younger children and may enjoy the role of helping a younger child, building their social skills and empathy for others.