Infants not only need love, emotional nurturing, and a healthy environment, but also an environment that encourages the child’s need to learn. The Montessori teaching method provides individual learning activities appropriate for even the earliest stages of the child. “When they are ready, they will do it.” Maria Montessori.
The Montessori philosophy foundation lies with giving the infant attention, time, respect and trust. The primary goals for an infant include development of movement and independence. A Montessori environment is the best place to start, but only if truly a Montessori environment.
Montessori schools sometimes open a Montessori Infant Program, but do not really provide a “true” Montessori setting. A true Montessori environment does not restrict the child in any way. The child is allowed to explore, move, touch and are never tied down or restrained. Restraining may include highchairs, car seats, cribs or playpens. If the child can’t get out of the position or place by him/herself when they are already mobile, they are being restrained.
At The Montessori Garden the environment is free of restraints. Instead of cribs, floor beds are used so children can move in and out of the beds when they are old enough to do so. The environment is set up as a safe place free of possible dangers to the child. Instead of highchairs, small chairs are used when the child is able to sit by him/herself. Highchairs contain straps and a connected table in which children cannot get out of by themselves.
It may seem like a teacher’s job is more difficult because you just can’t place a child in a playpen and do other things. At The Montessori Garden Infant Room the teacher’s attention is totally focused on the children. The ratio is 3 to 1 so the child’s receives a lot of attention. While the child is in the teachers’ care, they are the most important task at hand.
Also, at the Montessori Garden we have Montessori certified teachers with Infant/Toddler Montessori certification through AMS (American Montessori Society). The teacher provides the children with stimulation, activities, music and daily exercises to strengthen different areas of cognitive and physical development. The lessons in the classroom include different textures, sounds, colors and visuals to provide stimulation and interest. The teacher communicates with the parents with an app in which feedings, naps, and any communication of activities are done at the moment they are occurring.
If you are looking for a true Montessori environment look out for what is being offered. Make sure the school offers lessons to help the children learn, floor beds, no restraining furniture and a certified and knowledgeable teacher, not just a caregiver. Just because of school’s name includes the Montessori name doesn’t mean they offer an authentic Montessori education. Visit our school, Website or social media accounts for more information and pictures. We love what we do everyday.