“As we observe children, we see the vitality of their spirit, the maximum effort put forth in all they do, the intuition, attention and focus they bring to all life’s events, and the sheer joy they experience in living.”
– Dr. Maria Montessori
Journey to Independence
(2 – 3 years)
Some refer to this developmental period as “The Terrible Twos.” We disagree; toddlers are terrific. We love everything about them – their energy, determination and curiosity – and purposefully created a very special place for your toddler to learn.
Help Me to Do It Myself
Your child has a natural drive to be independent which we encourage by creating an environment where everything is just the right size for them to do things on their own. Child-sized tools that fit their tiny hands, allow them to prepare a snack and serve it to friends. A miniature broom empowers them to clean up on their own. They are taught the skills of self-care and toilet training. They learn a set of concrete life skills and self-confidence – but, more importantly, develop the belief that they can choose to make a genuine impact on their world.
The Toddler classroom allows children to move easily from large muscle movement areas to fine motor exercises as their coordination increases. Activities may include pouring, sweeping, dusting, buttoning, zipping, and table setting. A child’s natural inclination for independence at this age is respected by giving them the skills and tools to be able to accomplish tasks independently.
The Importance of a Beautiful Environment
Our bright and sunny toddler classrooms are specially designed for your child between the ages of 18 and 36 months. It is a world scaled down to your child’s size. Here, your child paints, cooks, waters the plants, sings songs with friends and plays with materials that develop fine and gross motor coordination. The Toddler class focuses on several areas that are developing rapidly at this age. These include gross & fine motor movement, sensorial, practical life, and language skills.
Not a Classroom, a Community
Our students grow together into a close-knit, caring community. When children work, learn and grow together, they learn much more than any of them could learn alone. We provide opportunities for freedom and exploration in a safe and peaceful atmosphere. The children learn to take care of themselves and their surroundings and develop skills to communicate with one another. Lessons of Grace and Courtesy help the children develop respect for themselves, for others, and for the environment.
Practice Makes Permanent
Often, children who don’t do things for themselves simply don’t know how or haven’t been given the chance. We take a different approach – by observing your child closely, providing just the right lesson when they are ready and then allowing them to practice again and again (and again!) until they master it. Mistakes are viewed as learning opportunities in an atmosphere of patience, trust, and respect.
Making first friends and learning how to function within a community is a life-shaping experience for your child. Your child emerges with strong friendships that will continue as they move through the rest of the programs in Montessori.
An Environment Conducive to Learning
Where so many early childhood programs are chaotic and overwhelming, parents are often surprised to see the peaceful tone of our toddler classroom. The calm atmosphere and lack of distraction helps young children develop impulse control and concentration, planting the seeds for learning in this classroom and beyond.
A Joyful Experience
Maria Montessori once said, “One test of the correctness of the educational procedure is the happiness of the child.” Take a peek into our Toddler classroom and you will see children who are happy, engaged and deeply connected to their friends and teachers. As a result, your child develops a deep affinity for school and a true love-for-learning.
To be a toddler is to be curious. There are so many things to see, touch, hear, feel and do in the classroom! Beautiful materials that stimulate their senses are rotated frequently on low shelves to pique your child’s curiosity. They are encouraged to move freely around the classroom, to choose activities and explore their own interests. We make visits to our library as well as the gym each week.
Ready to Move Up
Sometime between the ages of 2 1/2 to 3 years of age, your child’s language skills and self-expression will develop rapidly; they will express growing confidence in the independence and a keen interest in broader concepts; they will want to know what lies ahead, outside of the Toddler Classroom. At this point, they are ready to move up to the Early Childhood Classroom, for children from the ages of 3 to 6 years.
The Toddler Program is offered half-day mornings or full-day classes, and parents can choose two, three or five days a week.
Request more information or schedule a tour with Beth, our Director of Admissions
Crystal Lake Montessori School
3013 S. Country Club Rd
Woodstock, IL 60098