"The education of even a small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life.”"
- Maria Montessori
The Little Einstein's Montessori Preschool is one of a few schools applying the Montessori philosophy in an educational program for two-year olds. Toddlers are introduced to an environment enriched by a community of university-trained Montessori curriculum experts who believe in the unlimited potential of a child's ability to learn. The sunny and peaceful toddler classrooms are rich in materials that stimulate explorative learning.
While coordination skills are still developing at age two, brain research indicates the toddler mind is absorbing information exponentially. Three- to six-year-old Montessori lessons have been re-designed and scaled down to activities suitable for two-year-olds with an emphasis on learning independence.
"There would be the tendency to think that all you have to do in creating a two-year-old Montessori program would be to just make it a little watered down," "In fact, that is not the case because two-year-olds are unique individuals. They are in a different developmental stage."
While most preschools work with toddlers in groups, teachers at Little Einstein's Montessori Preschool present projects in a group circle and then place them on a shelf. Teachers act as guides as children select the activities that interest them, work on them individually and progress at their own pace.
Little Einsteins Toddler Program addresses the three primary developmental needs for a child under age three and provides objects, relationships and an environment which fulfill the toddler's innate inner compulsion to learn:
Movement: Children strengthen their gross muscle and coordination skills through planned activities like scrubbing, pouring and balancing. Movement enhances thinking and learning.
Language: A robust and language rich environment is vital for toddlers. At one year of age, a child may only have a few words in their vocabulary. By age three, the child has a 1,000-2,000 word vocabulary. Because two-year-olds are acute listeners, activities include singing, rhyming, reading stories and naming and labeling of materials.
Order: The Montessori environment creates predictability that lets children concentrate and focus on learning. Materials are kept in an orderly manner and activities follow a predictable routine that lets children build self-esteem because they can feel in control of their decisions and take initiative in learning new and challenging skills.