This half-day program can be three or five mornings per week and provides a wonderful introduction to Montessori for children who are 18 months old, as well as for their parents. Toddlers are able to experiment with their increasing need for independence in a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment.
The toddler program takes advantage of the child's natural drive to act independently. Pinewoods Montessori advances each child's growth and development through a rich and and well prepared environment designed just for these learners. The classrooms are a special place for the young child to begin his/her steps towards independence and self-reliance.
Dedicated, nurturing and trained teachers implement a toddler-focused curriculum to foster cognitive development, speech and language development, strengthen fine motor and gross motor skills, introduce grace and courtesy lessons and promote independence.
Toddler exercises and activities recognize that children learn by doing. Classroom materials are always accessible, attractive, safe, and geared for a child’s success. Activities are changed regularly in response to children’s need for variety and challenge as they grow and learn. The safe, loving, gentle atmosphere puts children and parents at ease and makes for a trusting, spontaneous transition to school.
Michelle M. lives in Hillsborough, and shared her experirence having her son in the toddler program here at Pinewoods Montessori. Here’s what she had to say:
I learned about Pinewoods from a friend, who found the school while searching for schools/daycares in the area. It was not on my radar before that.
What was your first impression?
I was extremely impressed with my first classroom observation, which was in Ms. Joy's room. My first two thoughts: (1) The kids were so engaged and happily focused on their works. (2) The volume level wasn't loud like in so many other places that I had visited. There wasn't a dull roar, which I had found off-putting elsewhere.
What made you choose Pinewoods?
Pinewoods was unique in that it valued the love of learning at an early age. I liked the Montessori model, and once I saw it in action, believed it to be the right environment for my son. Pinewoods embraced "play" as an opportunity to learn and explore. The children were never "babysat" with videos or computer games, and the "works" were incredibly thoughtful exercises with learning points. My child is active and inquisitive. Pinewoods embraced his natural inclinations and nurtured them for learning. It is a great school.
My son adjusted extremely well...and fast. The policy of having the teacher come to the car at drop-off and escort the child to the classroom is brilliant. My son as a toddler had a difficult time leaving me, but with this approach to drop-off, he adjusted seamlessly. I am still amazed!
What was a special moment you remember from his first year?
I remember an instance where Mrs. Joy recognized that my son was growing bored with some of the usual works in her room (puzzles, books, matching, etc.). She brought out new, more advanced works - and if memory serves - let him visit the primary class that day to test the waters for being moved up to that class. I appreciate how in tune she was to his needs, and without pushing, allowed him to flourish in whatever environment was best for him.
Anything else you'd like to add about the toddler program?
I was quite happy with the toddler program and as a result chose Pinewoods for primary classes. If my son had not had such a wonderful experience as a toddler, I'm sure that I would not have considered the primary classes at all.