Our Parent/Infant program is an enriching program for parents looking to begin their children in Montessori. Here are answers to a number of frequently asked questions:
Q: Does the same adult need to attend the Parent/Infant class each week with the child?
A: 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.
Q: What if my child’s nap schedule conflicts with the timing of the Parent/Infant class?
A: 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 (you can come in late or leave early to meet your child’s needs). We can suggest strategies to try and help your child slowly make a shift in their nap schedules as the year progresses.
Q: Can you elaborate on some of the activities and materials these young children work with in the Parent/Infant classroom?
A: The classroom is designed for the young child to learn through movement, hands-on exploration, and manipulative language materials. The materials are designed to strengthen and refine both large and small motor movements. Purposeful works, such as carrying buckets of water and using big arm movements to scrub a table are discreetly building a child’s large motor skills. Interesting materials and works engage the child in developing small hand muscles through squeezing sponges, chopping food, making biscuits, coloring, building puzzles. There are a variety of language materials which allow the child to absorb and classify their natural world. The classroom fosters independence for children to direct their own interests and learning. Children follow their curiosities and explore with beautiful, safe and stimulating materials.
Q: 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?
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, having children of mixed ages gives the children the benefits of “sibling dynamics.” Children of mixed ages naturally teach each other valuable lifelong skills such as collaboration, turn-taking, and patience, as they practice being together in community. Younger children benefit from being around older children, as they watch and learn how to set up place-settings at the table or put work back on the shelf. Older children learn to be gentle with younger children and enjoy the role of helping a younger child, building their social skills and empathy for others. A variety of age-appropriate, stimulating materials are offered for the various ages.