Youngest Children’s Community
The Youngest Children’s Community is a gathering of children from eighteen months of age to three years who have established independent walking. Within a nurturing environment, a specially trained Montessori guide fosters the development of gross and fine motor skills, independence, and language. A sense of ownership of place and belonging within a community is cultivated through communal and parallel activities.
These most profound and fundamental early years of life are protected and enhanced according to their characteristics and needs. Montessori calls this the second embryonic period, a time during which the human personality enters an historical and geographical milieu and is immersed in a particular culture. The child’s individual essence differentiates and expresses itself as an emerging social being.
The Children’s House – also known as the primary level –is a gathering of children from three to six years who live and learn together in a prepared environment that offers choices of individual activities that aid the child’s work of “self construction.” The Montessori guide cultivates in the children the ability to choose freely, to sustain focused and concentrated attention, to think clearly and constructively, and to express themselves through language and the arts. Through the active development of the will and the satisfaction of their authentic needs, the children become self-disciplined and socially cohesive.
Guided by their human tendencies, following their sensitive periods, the children experience great joy in educating themselves. They become normalized and reveal characteristics seldom recognized as typical of young children. Over the three-year cycle, children develop expertise, become leaders of their community, and manage the social and practical affairs of their classroom. To insure success after initial struggle new challenges are prepared for indirectly and presented only after indicated by careful observation.