The child has a deep love and need for purposeful work. He works, however, not as an adult, for completion of a job, but for the sake of an activity itself. It is this activity, which enables him to accomplish his most important goal: the development of himself –mental, physical, and psychological powers.
In our Toddler level, under the guidance of a head teacher and assistants, children participate joyfully in purposeful tasks, such as slicing bananas or tending the garden. They develop the skills needed to foster independence and care for themselves and each other. The environment is rich in opportunities to move with balance and control as well as lessons in art and music. The child’s development of self-confidence and understanding that he or she is part of a community are fostered. The children work together at tasks such as setting the table for snack or dressing for the outdoors. They gather as a community to play musical instruments, sing nursery rhymes, or listen to stories. Once the child has shown readiness, usually around age 3, he or she moves into the Primary Program.
The Primary classroom is an atmosphere of calm, order, and joy, as children ages three through six learn together. The younger children are guided by the teacher and by observing and working with older students. Primary students literally absorb information, experiences, and life around them. The older children learn leadership and compassion in this mixed-aged setting. Children learn to work at a task from beginning to end and develop their self-discipline and the capacity for deep concentration. Respect for others and good manners develop naturally as the children grow within the Montessori environment.