Consistent daily routine for all classes
Children prefer routine, to feel safe and to help them understand what is expected of them. Upon arrival, kids change their shoes to signal a transition from outside to inside actions. Our days start with a breakfast meal and interacting with friends. Children slowly move towards the first work period of the day, at their own pace. There is circle time, allowing for children to connect to each other and to be informed about their day. Twice a day children go outside as the weather allows. Naps are a part of each day, and children have access to snacks and water throughout the day, allowing their bodies to lead. This schedule is gentle and lead by the community instead of by the clock, but it is consistent.
Home Care (age 4 months to 18 months)
We understand that the first experience of baby leaving home can be a stressful time for both parents and baby. To ease this time of change, we start our youngest friends in the home daycare. This first home-away-from-home provides a nurturing way to start the path to independence, while still providing the attention, care, and snuggles that you seek for your newest family member. As babies learn their bodies, we follow their lead for naps, feedings, and care, and we work with each family with any established rhythms. We support nursing mothers, and will feed your little one using your preferred method.
Nido (age 6 months to 18 months)
We trust babies; they are really smart. Our youngest friends are able to work within the Montessori framework right away. Exploration with their senses is encouraged. Babies know their bodies and are able to make decisions: they lead their schedules. They touch, smell, move, and are encouraged to explore. They can learn from older friends by watching. Sign language supplements Spanish to make communicating easier for our babies.
Classrooms include structures to practice motor skills and to learn reflexes, skills they will need as they become brave enough to walk. Natural learning is allowed, which does mean kids can get messy as they try new things. As children grow, you will see cots instead of beds, tables and chairs instead of high chairs, and cups in place of bottles (Note: nursing mothers are supported and breast milk is served). They learn early to put things away when they are done using them.
Orugas (age 18 months to 2 years)
Children this age can relate to each other and the world around them. Language skills begin to develop, and words are tried out in Spanish and English. As you are surly seeing, our toddlers want to learn their boundaries and how they might expand them. Each child is offered 3 activities to begin, and are able to select which appeals the most. New activities, from simple to complex, are introduced as teacher see that a child is ready to move on. Children lead these decisions, giving them confidence and a sense of accomplishment. We often see children teaching the skills to others at this age, which is exciting.
Mariposas (age 2 years)
At this age our friends will receive some academic exposure. Children are often curious about counting and letters and are exposed through games and songs. There is no rush to achieve academic milestones; rather students follow their own interests as they continue to challenge themselves. Montessori method understands that children are capable and each is different, so they are allowed to explore in a safe caring community. Relationships with other friends are more prominent and they learn how to relate with each other. We support potty learning as each child shows interest and readiness.
Libélulas (age 3 to 5 years)
Maryland parents, rejoice! Our mixed-age communities provide care through age 5. In the Montessori tradition, classrooms include children of mixed ages as a benefit to all. The youngest look up to the oldest and learn from them, while the older friends are able to teach and develop leadership skills naturally. Concentration levels increase through the practice of work periods, and activities increase in complexity, led by each child's interest.
Class placement is based upon available space and child development, and are rough guidelines. It is tradition in Montessori classes to have children of mixed ages so that they may learn and teach each other.