A two-year-old child is a powerful person. Without the vocabulary or dexterity to support the task, the child of two sets out to conquer physical development (both gross and fine motor), self-help skills (including toilet-learning), sensory and perceptual skills, cognitive development and, if that were not enough during these daunting challenges, also works to manage social and emotional development. No wonder the two year old has a “terrible” reputation.
The educational environment for a two-year-old child must be ready to support this enormously important work, and the teachers who guide the child during this time must have the utmost respect for them. As in all of CRA’s classrooms, where children are guided by credentialed Montessori teachers, toddlers are revered. Teachers plan and design the classroom and the daily activities of the child to support this all-important work. The materials available to the children foster exploration, and through experiential learning, the powerful two-year-old child begins to master the tasks of independence and self-regulation. The Toddler environment fosters the stage of autonomy, which is the foundation for the next stage, initiative. Children will enter the Early Childhood 3-to-6 program with the abilities to make choices and care for themselves.
Our Toddler program balances spontaneity and structure; guidance and independence; and freedom within limits. A Montessori program is based on self-direction, noncompetitive and cooperative activities that help a child develop a strong self-image, high levels of academic and social competence, and the confidence to face challenges with optimism. Encouraged to make decisions from an early age, Montessori educated children are problem-solvers who can make appropriate choices, manage their time, and work well with others. They exchange ideas and discuss work freely. These positive communication skills build the foundation for negotiating new settings.