Author: littlewondersmontessori

montessori education

montessori infographic

Overview of Montessori Method

  • Developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in the early 1900s.
  • Learning and movement go hand-in-hand
  • Emphasizes respect for children as different from adults

Advantages of a Montessori Education

1. Individualized Approach

  • Every child is unique and treated as such
  • All learning styles are accommodated so your child moves at their own pace
  • Fosters a sense of independence and gives your child a solid foundation

2. Self Regulation

  • Students are encouraged to think critically about what they are learning
  • Classroom materials and activities are designed to foster self-regulation

3. Community-Based

  • Multi-age classrooms mimic the family structure
  • Older students act as role models and tutors to younger students
  • Gives all students confidence and a role in a cooperative dynamic

4. Teacher Support

  • Montessori teachers create supportive environments
  • Students are encouraged to discover answers
  • Self-directed learning is actively encouraged

5. Conflict Resolution

  • It is an important skill in life to have no matter what career a student chooses.
  • Co-operation is emphasized for productive and respectful relationships
  • Teaches students to value themselves as well as others 

6. Freedom in learning

  • Students participate in deciding their areas of focus
  • Results in a lifelong love of learning

7. Skills for life

  • Students learn to work together and empowered to achieve goals
  • Students learn to objectively self-evaluate
  • Recognizing and correcting errors is part of the learning process

Proven Results

In studies comparing Montessori students and “traditional” students, Montessori students

Montessori

  • Are more active, enthusiastic, relaxed, and take pride in their academic work
  • Attend to work, paying attention to detail 

Traditional

  • Are motivated to learn resulting in higher education
  • Get more enjoyment out of their learning
montessori education

At the heart of Montessori education is fostering independent thinking and extending children’s skills and capabilities in alignment with their strengths, interests, and talents.

The tenets of Montessori education pay as much attention to physical and social skills as their mental ones. At the end of the day, motor development is just as vital to enriching cognitive and artistic abilities. The same goes for developing language, speech, empathy, and responsibility.

But are these the only areas that the Toddler Montessori program prioritizes?

What, ultimately, are the goals of the program?

In the end, knowing the answers to these questions will serve to enlighten parents about the value that Montessori education brings to young children. 

What Is the Toddler Montessori Program?

Essentially, the program nurtures a learning environment that is ideal for extending toddlers. The program is only available for children 18 to 36 months old. 

One unique aspect of the program that is immediately apparent is that students are largely learning independently. Many of the toddlers who would normally need supervision manage to learn without much intervention from the teachers. 

Such a scenario proves one of the five main principles of Montessori learning, which claims that children are capable and competent learners.

It works in smooth synergy with another major tenet which declares that children are naturally equipped and eager to absorb new knowledge and information.

Overall, the program seeks to stimulate their five senses and immerses them in active collaboration early on. 

The Toddler Montessori curriculum is characterized by mostly hands-on activities that are done within a prepared environment. You can expect the program to teach a plethora of subjects and skills that will be crucial to their later education. These include but are not limited to:

Sensorial Skills – These are the skills pertaining to all five senses.

Cognitive Skills – Mental activities that include reading books and taking part in tasks that require concentration are included in these skills.

Motor Skills – Any kind of physical activity that improves their ability to move falls under this category. Usually, sports and dancing are the best activities that educators use to hone these abilities.

Math Skills – Learning to distinguish quantitative number concepts, recognize patterns, and solving simple problems are vital for laying the foundation of a child’s mathematical skills. 

Language Skills – Conversational skills are important for optimal communication development. To strengthen this area of a child’s development, teachers usually rely on regular conversation, sandpaper letters, fingerplay, and storytelling. 

Practical Life – This aspect of learning immerses the child in nature and more importantly, taking care of the environment. For this, teachers rely on activities like gardening, cleaning, washing, and sweeping, to cite a few. Personal hygiene practices also belong to this category. 

Geography – Feeding the child’s natural desire to learn more about the world, geography lessons early on should allow him to grasp the vastness of the world, as well as the framework it is made up of. Your child’s innate ability to learn from the world will be satisfied with the help of these lessons. 

Science – Science also involves the natural world so it is just as important for a child that has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge about it. Usually, educators rely on the concept of the trial and error method to effectively teach this specific subject to toddlers. 

Sign Language – An area of learning that is often overlooked in other educational institutions, teaching sign language greatly benefits the child’s communication skills because it allows him to understand and express himself via non-verbal means. Children do not develop their verbal communication skills at the same rate, after all. With this considered, sign language will allow them to overcome this hurdle immediately and minimize their frustration. 

Art – Your child’s creativity always needs to be tweaked to enhance their ability to express it freely. This way, their talents will also be discovered early in life, allowing them to strengthen their abilities. Art gives meaning to our lives and sharing it enhances our social connections. All children should be made aware of the gifts that they possess. 

What Is the Main Goal of the Program?

Knowing what the Toddler Montessori Program is all about, what then do its proponents hope to achieve?

Ultimately, teachers want young children to develop key skills that will allow them to handle future formal education comfortably and achieve their potential. 

The program also teaches them about the value of being independent and learning to work together as a community with compassion and camaraderie.

Everything about the Montessori classroom readily reveals this. Since toddlers will be taught to take care of themselves independently, it will only aid parents in the long run as the child will not need additional instruction to develop these vital life skills. 

The Toddler Montessori Program Is On Track in Achieving Its Goals

We can confidently state that the program is already achieving its goal because more parents are now relying on Montessori-style education than conventional kindergarten schooling.

Montessori-trained children are often better equipped with the proper mindset to tackle challenges that are not just limited to what was discussed in a standard classroom.

In short, the Toddler Montessori curriculum approach is beneficial in that it implements its own methods as well as integrates the best aspects of the conventional kindergarten curriculum

Now, more parents are realizing the value of imparting to their children the importance and gratification that can be derived from being self-reliant which the Toddler Montessori program prioritizes as much as proper instruction in various subjects and skills. 

Conclusion

The Toddler Montessori program has achieved a great reputation over the years for a number of good reasons, and most of them are already outlined here.

As a closing note, children should definitely receive the best education from the outset. Why? 

Because research has shown that this period in a child’s life is a period of robust physical and cognitive development. So, to unlock your child’s genius potential, Enrol them in a good Montessori program without further delay. 

montessori activities

The coronavirus pandemic is showing no signs of waning any time soon. As is apt for any parent, we should be constantly vigilant in protecting our children from exposure to the virus.

What’s good is that lockdowns are enough to greatly minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19. 

However, as these lockdowns are bound to be in place for a long while, we can’t overlook the activities that our children will be doing while they are in isolation.

A home will always serve as a child’s first learning environment, after all. All the more so for toddlers who are in their crucial developmental years. That said, what activities should you encourage them to do? 

Admittedly, it can be very hard to come up with ideas if you are not an educator. At best, these activities should help engage them while providing the potential for learning. 

As much as you should focus on academics, you should also pay attention to emotional, social, and physical development.

Well, if you want a solid recommendation, then you don’t need to look further than the Montessori-style of doing daily activities. 

Why the Montessori Method Is Valuable During This Time of Prolonged Lockdowns

Principles like fostering children’s innate interest in the world, day-to-day movement, choice, and establishing order in their minds and the environment are central to Montessori teaching. These tenets are vital during the era of COVID-19 because they help ensure that our children will still be able to maintain their vital development as human beings.

For one, the attention to movement or how they conduct their daily physical activities negates plenty of the restricting effects of the lockdowns. A focus on ordering their mind, on the other hand, helps them cope with the lingering stress and anxiety brought about by uncertainty and the hovering presence of the pandemic.

And, of course, what responsible parent doesn’t want to enrich their child’s innate interest in the world?

Even in the confines of our homes, there is still a social microcosm that is well worth exploring. The same goes for choice, as it is a hallmark of freedom. 

These are the reasons why Montessori learning is nothing short of vital in these times of crisis. Its methodologies are well worth following simply because of its holistic educational nature.

Fun Montessori-Inspired Activities You Should Encourage in Your Toddler

Once you decide to go the Montessori route when planning worthwhile activities for your toddler, we highly recommend you start with the following suggestions. Take note that there are literally hundreds of activities you can brainstorm or try out, but these five are the best ones that arguably fit in a lockdown scenario due to their direct connection to education.

1. Encourage them to help out in easy household chores.

This is an activity that ticks a lot of checkboxes in the Montessori method. By allowing them to help you do chores, you not only enrich their communication and expression skills but also gets them moving. Obviously, it also teaches them a whole lot about caring and empathy. 

These can be simple chores like letting them hand you the tools for cooking and utensils for dining. You can also ask them to do easy cleaning activities like wiping the surface of tables, cleaning up spills, or gathering up the kitchen scraps to be thrown in the bin. Such tasks help them realize the value of caring for the environment.

2. Instill a habit of doing various physical activities. 

While this is not exactly just a single activity, we opted to go the collective way because there’s a lot of physical activities you can introduce to your child. Plenty of activities you can do that do not need equipment or tools. The simple act of running, walking, or jogging if you have an outdoor area will suffice.

Otherwise, you can encourage them to try out exercises that will enhance specific aspects of their physical skills. These could be activities like balancing, jumping, and lifting, to cite a few. For example, you can choose to have them lift weighted bags that they won’t have a hard time handling.

3. Get their artistic juices flowing. 

It can be any solid aesthetic activity like drawing, sewing, or painting, anything that will tweak their imagination. These are as vital to their development as mental and physical stimulation.

Doing these activities ultimately unlocks their natural talents, which do well to build their self-confidence over time. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to do any of them, too.

Enhance their mathematical skills by doing finger plays, puzzles, clay modeling, among others. 

Even setting the table or cutting fruits (with strict parental guidance, of course) should serve to enhance their numerical abilities. Also, there are plenty of puzzle toys available nowadays that are well-designed for toddlers. Clay modeling, on the other hand, also stimulates their creativity. 

Another completely no-cost activity is fingerplay. You can teach him simple addition and subtraction this way. Otherwise, you can always just rely on counting beads and other similar educational toys.

4. Immerse in music.

If your child is showing a deep interest in learning to play a musical instrument, we highly recommend that you support the passion. Cymbals, drums, maracas, triangles are all instruments that can capture a child’s fancy. 

Even singing will suffice most of the time. Or better yet, set a schedule for some quiet time together when you just listen to the sounds of your immediate environment. Help them identify which object or living thing produces the sound, for example. 

Conclusion

We hope that you find our suggestions worth trying out. That said, by no means should you limit yourself and your child to them. You can even come up with twists of your own if you want. As long as you are aware of the main principles of Montessori education, you won’t have a hard time coming up with ideas. 

Ultimately, you, as the parent, know what is best for your child. And as long as you’re willing to invest time in doing these activities with your child, you’re already halfway there. 

The Montessori Method of Education, developed by Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children. Montessori’s method has been used for over 100 years in many parts of the world.

The Montessori method views the child as the one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. It attempts to develop children physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively.

Infant and toddler programs

Montessori classrooms for children under three fall into several categories, with a number of terms being used. A nido, Italian for “nest”, serves a small number of children from around two months to around fourteen months, or when the child is confidently walking. A “Young Child Community” serves a larger number of children from around one year to 2½ or 3 years old. Both environments emphasize materials and activities scaled to the children’s size and abilities, opportunities to develop movement, and activities to develop independence. Development of independence in toileting is typically emphasized as well. Some schools also offer “Parent-Infant” classes, in which parents participate with their very young children

Preschool and kindergarten

Montessori classrooms for children from 2½ or 3 to 6 years old are often called Children’s Houses, after Montessori’s first school, the Casa dei Bambini in Rome in 1906. This level is also called “Primary”. A typical classroom serves 20 to 30 children in mixed-age groups, staffed by a fully trained lead teacher and assistants. Classrooms are usually outfitted with child-sized tables and chairs arranged singly or in small clusters, with classroom materials on child-height shelves throughout the room. Activities are for the most part initially presented by the teacher, after which they may be chosen more or less freely by the children as interest dictates. A teacher’s role within a Montessori classroom is to guide and consult students individually by letting each child create their own learning pathway. Classroom materials usually include activities for engaging in practical skills such as pouring and spooning, washing up, scrubbing tables and sweeping. Also materials for the development of the senses, mathematical materials, language materials, music, art and cultural materials, including more science based activities like ‘sink and float’, Magnetic and Non magnetic and candle and air.

Activities in Children’s Houses are typically hands on, tactile materials to teach concepts. For example, to teach writing, students use sandpaper letters. These are letters created by cutting letters out of sandpaper and placing them on wooden blocks. The children then trace these letters with their fingers to learn the shape and sound of each letter. Another example is the use of bead chains to teach math concepts, specifically multiplication. Specifically for multiples of 10, there is one bead that represents one unit, a bar of ten beads put together that represents 1×10, then a flat shape created by fitting 10 of the bars together to represent 10×10, and a cube created by fitting 10 of the flats together to represent 10×10×10. These materials help build a concrete understanding of basic concepts upon which much is built in the later years.

The early years of a child’s life are the most crucial. It is the period when their brain develops exponentially as they begin to explore their surroundings and expand their cognitive ability. They form their earliest memories in these years. This is also the time when they are constantly picking up stimuli from their immediate environment and manipulating it in meaningful ways. Nudged in the right direction, the child has the potential to develop essential skills that will help them develop into rounded independent thinker and confident communicators.

Unfortunately, the traditional schooling system leaves a lot to be desired. It is based on an outdated philosophy of rote learning and competition, which is notoriously detrimental for the majority of children. However, the Montessori education method recognizes this special time in a child’s life, and is specially designed as student-centred pedagogy that lets the child learn through ‘hands on’ interactive activities and experiences, rather than traditional teacher-centred methods.

In this article, we explore how choosing ‘Montessori education’ for your child can benefit them by fanning their natural curiosity to foster a life long love of learning.

Child Focussed Education System

The Montessori system focuses on the child, instead of the teacher. What do we mean by that? Well in a school, there is a set syllabus, which has to be conducted in a finite amount of time. In other words, the pace of learning is set by the teacher. However such a method does not account for student differences. Someone who might be gifted in literacy may struggle with numeracy and vice-versa. For some, the problems may not be academic at all, but rather rooted much more sensitive areas, such as confidence and self-esteem. It is imperative to identify a child’s strengths and weaknesses early on giving them the best chance to address both to achieve their potential.

The Montessori system encourages children to explore their interests at their own pace. There is no segregation of children into classes or grades – each one is in a class of their own. This also encourages cross-level collaboration with peers. The pedagogy of the Montessori instead focuses on creating carefully constructed and guided activities for the kids to participate in. Each of them is designed to teach them something valuable.

The difference is that, the children are encouraged to take their own time to explore the lesson according to their level of developmental, not limiting their potential to their age. This ensures that once a lesson is learnt, it’s learnt for good.

Socialisation, Discipline and Self-confidence

The Montessori environment is an ideal ways to introduce your little ones to socialising with others for the first time prior to encountering a strict and rigid environment like school. School can be a stressful environment for many kids who find it difficult to make a place for themselves amongst so many peers at once. It also frequently leads to fights amongst classmates as children largely remain unsupervised in large groups outside their class-room and at recess.

An encouraging and collaborative environment created by Montessori, instils among children values of cooperation, teamwork and mutual respect. A study, reported by The Guardian Newspaper confirmed that Montessori students, when compared with traditional school kids, showed a greater measure of “justice and fairness” with each other and mingled in an “emotionally positive” manner leading to less “rough play” during recess.

Those of us who have had some less than pleasant days with our school bullies will surely appreciate this a little bit more. Most importantly, by ensuring that children take part in learning by completing activities themselves, Montessori education produces individuals who are confident, critical and creative thinkers.

Superior Hands on Learning

Simply stated hands on learning involves gaining knowledge and experience through actual participation in activities rather than only reading a book, listening to a lecture or by other audio-visual means. The name “hands on” learning automatically evokes notions of arts and crafts however, it can be creatively adapted to other theoretical subjects.

Some examples include, using physical aids to solve a maths problem together, explaining technical science concept through a fun experiment, Acting out a new story together to enhance literacy learning, recreating a historical sites and learning their significance, the list goes on.

Studies have repeatedly shown that hands on learning engages more parts of the brain, such as those parts which control fine motor co-ordination and activate self-regulation neural pathways. This leads to what is called “active learning”, which results in better understanding and conceptual clarity, automatically producing better academic results. It has also been observed by scholars that children can even learn technical subjects like science and maths even before being introduced to a formal schooling environment, if such concepts were introduced through hands on learning at an early age. The UNESCO International Bureau of Education (IBE) guide on “How Children Learn” also included ‘hands on learning’ as an important class room activity.

Montessori schools are champions of ‘hands on learning’ which is  integrated into its core philosophy. Dr. Maria Montessori, the founder of the Montessori Method of Education considered hands on learning as not only superior but indispensable to education itself. A Montessori classroom is designed to provide as many interactive activities and aids for students for maximum engagement and retention of attention.

The Results are in, and Montessori wins

Critics of Montessori education often say that things like, the lack of emphasis on competition between peers, constant encouragement on learning at one’s own pace, and non-standardization of education, insidiously injects an attitude of laxness in students from Montessori. Compared to traditionally schooled students they argue, Montessori kids must perform worse academically. On the contrary, this myth has been busted for a long time now, repeatedly, by scholars of various institutes of international repute and independent research organisations alike.

One such study by the University of Virginia, has confirmed that the power of self-education and active learning in Montessori education is so positive, that even low income students in Montessori catch up to their higher income peers in a relatively short period of time. The study contrasted this with traditional schools where students coming from low income families continuously underperform over time.

Another study, confirms the equalising effect of Montessori. Out of 141 children, aged 3-6, 70 in Montessori and 71 in traditional schools, tested 4 times in 3 years, Montessori kids beat their school counterparts in all academic tests. They scored better both in reading and maths, and wrote “significantly more creative” essays. Most importantly, they scored much higher in “executive function” test, which the ability to react to changes and complex situations – an indicator for future life success.

If you are looking for an ideal Montessori for your child in Darra, Queensland, we at Little Wonders Montessori would love to hear from you. Our philosophy puts your child at the core and while focusing on a number of development areas such as etiquette, language, science and mathematics. All lessons are carefully constructed supervised and interactive indoor and outdoor activities with materials designed to provide your child with the correct sensorial experience for maximum attention and engagement.

And when the little ones get hungry from all the running around, our team of chefs are ready to treat their little tummies with daily nutritious home-made meals designed by our in-house expert dietitian.

Contact us here for a Free Tour.

Motessori Infographic

“85 percent of who you are—your intellect, your personality, your social skills—is developed by age 5. Let’s invest where it makes the most difference.”

Young Children’s Brains are ready for Learning!

The brain forms as many as 700 neural connections per second before the age of 5.

Start Early!

In the first 3 years, infants and toddlers begin acquiring the first of thousands of words they will use throughout their lives.

Benefits of early learning

  • Reduction in behavior problems throughout the school-career
  • Longer attention spans and better retention of information
  • Improvement in the social skills of the children
  • Reduction of need for special education later in school

Children who receive high quality early education are more likely to,

  • Show improved reading
  • Show improved math

Did you know?

  • Students who attends kindergarten had a 12% increased ability to pay attention in primary school
  • 1 year of kindergarten study increases a 3rd grade student’s results by 8%

Researchers found that:

Exposure to as little as one or two years of Montessori in early childhood learning experiences accounted for an increase of,

  • Motivation
  • Intellectual Skills
  • Social Adjustments

Study result shows that:

  • 80% of the preschool group finished high school
  • 75% of the others finished high school

Wellbeing of children in future by Learning through play at preschool

Art & Craft – Helps them to explore their imagination and intuition with new materials.

Music & Dance – Helps children to use their senses to understand an object, by responding to what they hear and see.

Social – Playing with other children helps in building positive relationships through understanding proper social skills.

Even though you’re already aware of the myriad benefits of childcare centres for your child, are you still having a hard time deciding on which one to devote your child to?

It’s not just about the safety of your child, after all, but also how he will respond to being entrusted to a childcare centre.

Of course, there’s also the question of whether your child will be able to enjoy all the benefits of these centres.

More often than not, you just have to be mindful of essential factors that go beyond just looking at any given child care centre’s licensing and registration. For your reference, we have outlined the seven main ones here.mm

1. What type of learning philosophy do they adhere to?

Childcare centres are educational institutions, after all, that have undergone substantial development through the course of history.

Now, parents have the privilege to help set up their children’s future education with the help of these learning centres.

You have probably already encountered the name “Montessori” before and know its deep connection to schooling. It has been around for decades and has acquired quite a reputation for good reason.

The advantage of a kids’ Montessori school is that it is aware of what a child needs in terms of ensuring her full development. It focuses on creativity and collaboration and even includes having fun and playing games.

That is, besides focusing on developing her core mental, physical, emotional, and social aspects. These are all innately included in any kind of Montessori child care program.

That said, a Montessori learning centre is just one example of the kinds of childcare centres that are probably available near your area. Find the time to learn about their teaching methods and type of education they offer so your child will have the best early learning preschool experience.

You can never go wrong with those that already have an established reputation, though.

2. How many children and staff does it cater at present?

Taking the time to know this will ensure your child will receive the amount of care and learning afforded to him. Most schools assign one teacher for up to four or five toddlers.

Anything above this should is no longer an optimal arrangement for your child might not get the proper amount of care and learning he needs. Take note that not all childcare centres have the same capacities. Certain institutions can accommodate hundreds of children at once. Find out whether this is ideal for your child or not.

Will your child connect well with his teacher?

Admittedly, this isn’t made obvious from the outset, and oftentimes, it’s best to rely on your gut when figuring this out.

You can always ask your child about his experience, but it’s crucial that your child will at least have an enriching student-teacher relationship built on trust, happiness, and exceptional learning.

3. What meals will they serve your child?

Since the centre will practically become a second home to your child, you have to take the time to know what types of meals they serve to kids.

It goes without saying that you should prefer those that serve nutritious meals as often as possible if not always.

4. Is the childcare centre near your home?

The location should never be overlooked as you will have to drive and commute to and from the centre on a regular basis.

Even if you did find an excellent childcare centre with the achievements and awards to prove it, it might not be suitable if it is too far from your home or just takes too long to get to.

Unless you’re willing to do lengthy commutes, that is.

It’s always recommended to choose one that is near your home or office simply because it lets you check up on your child easier as well. Furthermore, it ensures you’ll be able to get to her quickly in the event of an emergency.

5. Are they within your budget?

We all want to get value for money on anything we spend our hard-earned money on and choosing a childcare centre for your child is no different.

Montessori child care still falls well within the average costs of highly accredited childcare centres, though some will probably find $170 a week already a bit on the expensive side.

What matters the most is for your child to have the best experience and, of course, acquire valuable learning along the way. Any centre that manages to do that for your child, while making sure he is kept happy and safe is always a winner.

6. How do they maintain their lines of communication?

Communication should be any childcare centre’s priority, especially as far as parents are concerned. Certain centres might give you a weekly report of your child’s performance and progress that will be delivered to you. Others will rely largely on apps to do this, allowing you to track your child daily.

All the better if a centre encourages active involvement as well, so you will also have an inkling about how early learning preschool usually goes. Being actively involved undoubtedly puts to rest any worries you might have regarding your child’s safety.

7. Will they be able to fit your schedule with yours?

Last but not least is how much flexibility they have with regards to your schedule. You have to know beforehand that not all childcare centres can offer you enough versatility when it comes to scheduling pick-ups and drop-offs.

If the opening hours of the centre are long, then this shouldn’t be much of an issue. Not overlooking this only means you’ll be able to effectively forgo any avoidable stress in the future.

Conclusion

These are but the elements you need to consider when selecting a childcare centre. In the end, the decision still rests solely in your hands.

If you’re still having second thoughts, one good way of arriving at a solid decision is to simply trust your instinct. If you think there’s something off with a leading childcare centre, then it’s probably best to consider other options.

As a parent, your child’s first day at childcare is usually a period filled with mixed emotions of anxiety and excitement that can be overwhelming for both you and your child.

Your feelings can subconsciously influence your child; thus, the more optimistic and positive you are the more your child will be open to the idea of this new experience.

Remember that it is worth starting the transition slowly and preparing your child for the adventure ahead. Here are five tips that can help prepare your child for his/her first day of daycare.

1. Visit the early learning centre with your child ahead of the start date

Having chosen an early learning centre that best suits you and your child’s needs, make sure you visit the centre with your child for a couple of hours before his/her start date.

Most centres will allow you to do this to help orient your child, familiarising them with the layout of the facility and the nurturing staff caring your little wonder. You may choose to make two visits, on two separate occasions.

Ask the team if you can come at a time when the children are involved in some hands-on activities allowing your child to participate with his/her peers.

First experiences leave strong impressions, so make sure your child has some positive experience that will ensure they look forward to coming again. At little wonders, we take time to nurture a sense of belonging for your child when they make these initial visits.

2. Get ready together

When getting ready for your child’s first day, it may help to talk to your child about how they are feeling in a calm and composed tone.

Let them know that it is ok to feel nervous. You may share your own experiences with them or help them recall some of the fun things they did during their visits.

Ask them if they have any questions? It may help to engage children in role-playing so that he/she is familiar with what is going to happen.

Taking your child shopping to buy a bag or water bottle of their choice just for daycare, can help turn some of their nervous energy into excitement.

Making slow changes to their sleep schedule to match daycare routine can help children regulate their emotions when they start daycare, ensuring that they are not tired and ready to engage with the day’s activities.

There are many storybooks about starting daycare that can be read to your child, promoting discussion, and encouraging your child to share his emotions.

Let your child know you will be thinking about him/her and will be excited to hear all about their day

3. Arrive a little early

No matter how prepared you are, when children are faced with an unfamiliar environment and new faces, it may be difficult for them to adjust. They may cry or be hesitant to explore.

This is normal. Arriving a little earlier to help them orient themselves, reintroducing their carers will help comfort and calm them.

You will also need to stay strong, positive, and calm during this process as children pick up on their parents’ emotions quite well and may reflect the same.

If a child is drawn to a particular activity or interested in exploring Montessori materials, encourage them to proceed as this will serve as a distraction.

4. Leave a piece of the family with them.

Give your child the choice to take a piece of home with them. This may be a favorite toy or piece of blanket. It may also be a family photo or something small that belongs to you and reminds your child of you.

Let your child know that you would like them to keep the item safe until you come back to pick him/her up. This helps to assure your child that you will come back to pick them up.

Creating a bond of trust, makes children feel secure even in your absence.

Little Wonders Montessori permits children to keep their favorite toy in the centre so that your child comes back to school with enthusiasm. Leaving a piece of yourself or their favorite toy gives children a sense of comfort allowing them to feel your presence.

5. Make the drop-off brisk

Even though you’re thoroughly prepared, your child is likely to feel upset during the drop-off in the beginning.

It differs from child to child but almost 80% of children end up in tears however, children are resilient and regain composure within a few minutes of your departure. It is simply the thought of the parent leaving that makes the child feel uneasy and anxious.

Whenever you drop your child off make sure to be quick and try your best not to turn back even if you hear them cry because they will be fine within a few minutes.

Feel free to check up on them by calling if you’re worried once you work.

It will be hard in the beginning but as time passes, children will come to trust the pattern and enjoy going to daycare every day. They will see you off with a smile as they engage excitedly with staff and their peers, making it easier for you and themselves.

Conclusion

These are just a few ways through which you can prepare your child and yourself for the first day of childcare. It may be difficult, and there maybe be obstacles you and your child encounter but remember that everything changes with time.

As time passes, your child will develop familiarity with the environment, and people forging friendships and growing in confidence.

It is common knowledge that a child’s brain is developing at a rapid rate between birth to age five. Although babies are born with all the brain cells (or neurons) they need, as they grow, their brains are forming many neural connections.

Our brain is the most malleable to changes in early childhood. Neural connections can also be lost if they are not used and reinforced as the brain continues to develop.

During this time, the things that your child learns will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Here lies the importance of good preschool education in developing your child’s knowledge and capabilities.

When your child experiences anything new, it can form a new neural connection. So, it is necessary to provide the right environment and resources to encourage maximum brain development. Such experiences help to develop and strengthen their neural connections.

Many studies have proven that children who have gone through preschool are able to perform better at school later on.

With the help of play, activities, and fun, preschool education is quite effective in developing important 21st-century skills, traits, and abilities that your child needs to thrive in this technological age.

Many parents still feel unsure as they believe their child is too young for preschool or early childhood education.

However, the benefits to the child far outweigh the reasons that may deter some parents.

So, if you are still undecided, here are 8 reasons why it is good for your child.

1. Your child will develop social and emotional skills

When your child goes to a preschool, they begin to interact with children of their own age and sometimes a little older and make friends.

They are able to learn and develop social skills such as playing together, sharing, negotiation, and conflict resolution.

Also, in preschool, they get to know adults other than those in their family. It helps them to learn to communicate with adults with authority and improves their listening skills.

They understand and talk about their emotions as well as develop an understanding of other people’s feelings. Learning to communicate more effectively is also an important skill that they will practice regularly.

2. Your child will develop pre-math and pre-literacy skills

Through various fun and interesting activities, your child can learn a lot of things that are important for future academic success.

The teachers usually help the children build their vocabulary through songs, stories, and other interactive activities.

Children are made familiar with the concept of numbers, patterns, objects, and shapes in various ways.

3. Your child will develop motor skills

In preschool, your child gets many opportunities to participate in a wide array of activities such as walking, running, balancing, jumping, and using a range of fine and gross motor skills to accomplish tasks. They also develop greater physical awareness and hand-eye coordination.

Doing various physical and arts & craft activities helps to strengthen their developing fine and gross motor skills.

4. Your child will develop cognitive skills

Your child is provided with the opportunity to develop crucial cognitive skills. They develop the ability to pay attention, remember, think, and learn.

Together, these skills are important to help your child process any new information, work on multiple tasks, and work quickly without making mistakes, solve problems, use reasoning and think logically.

5. Your child’s curiosity and imagination are stimulated

The different activities that take place at preschool help to develop and strengthen the innate curiosity of your child to explore and learn.

When your child gets the chance to take part in unstructured play, they are able to explore the world in their own way without many of the restrictions of home life.

As a child, it is natural to be curious, and it may not always make sense to an adult, but it is important that their curiosity, imagination, and creativity is not only sparked but fanned.

6. Your child will learn to take care of themselves and others

At the preschool, your child will learn to do little things by themselves. This will help to develop a sense of independence.

When your child is able to take care of themselves, they are encouraged to help others who are not able to.

7. Your child is able to be in a structured setting

In preschool, children have to follow a structure that provides them with security. They learn to follow what adults ask of them including organizational rules, being part of a group, and other such important skills in a formal structured setting.

This helps them to understand and respect structure allowing them to perform better in school.

8. Your child develops confidence

As your child learns and masters new skills and abilities, they start to develop self-confidence. This enables them to develop greater insights into their interests, likes, and dislikes while also helping them to overcome their fear of failure.

Conclusion

Most parents are aware of the importance of early education but also understand they may not be able to provide the optimum environment to foster learning.

Your child gets exposure to a wide variety of resources, activities, and people, which might not be possible at home.

At quality preschools, teachers are trained in early childhood education and able to make sure all children are getting adequate attention and opportunity for development.

Also trained educators are able to detect any development and behavioral issues early on, enabling early intervention.

It is also important to note that preschool education can provide the most benefits if the child is also given adequate care and attention at home.

As a parent, you will need to encourage them to participate in different household activities and praise their achievements and efforts.

You will need to provide adequate space for them to make mistakes. Doing so is important in facilitating their overall personality development. It will teach them to overcome problems, failures, and shortcomings.

As a parent, you want to provide the best for your child to enhance their overall development. You may have heard of the Montessori education model for early childhood learning.

Here is a rundown on what it entails.

What is Montessori Education?

It refers to an educational methodology that was developed after much scientific research by Maria Montessori. Its focus is on the developmental stages of children.

There are several tangible benefits for children:

  • Each child is seen as a distinct and unique person
  • Focus on pivotal developmental milestones
  • Development of a wide variety of skills
  • Traits of confidence, independence, and emotional maturity are inculcated
  • Greater agency for children in the learning process

Who Was Maria Montessori?

Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori was a pioneer in educational methodology that is still practiced worldwide.

She observed children and noticed that they showed similar patterns of development. This led to her developing an educational system that bears her name.

Besides that, she was among the first female physicians in Italy at a time when it was considered to be a man’s job.

During her lifetime, she had worked on developing education for children after doing extensive research. She named her work as scientific pedagogy or scientific education. She also spent time lecturing in various parts of the world.

She was also nominated 6 times for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work.

What had she said about Early education?

While observing children, Maria had noticed four distinct stages or planes of human development. In the first phase, from birth until six years, a child goes through tremendous physical and psychological growth.

During this time, the child progresses through two phases, which require different environments to provide optimum development.

The first part starts from the birth of a child until the age of 3 years. During this time, the focus is on developing the motor and language skills of infants and toddlers. This is the time children starts to develop confidence, independence, and a sense of self. These are quite necessary for comprehensive toddler development. It lays the foundation for the child’s growth in the later years.

In the next phase named “Primary” between the ages of 3 to 6 years, children get the chance to explore using their imagination and creativity. The child goes through preschool and kindergarten in this period. During this age, children are like sponges and can take in much information.

It is important to utilize this sensitive period to develop skills and traits in children geared to help them to succeed and do well in the later stages of their life.

How is Montessori education better than conventional education?

While traditional education is the norm in most schools, it is an older system and not optimal for twenty-first-century learning. It focuses on rote learning and discipline.

Such transmission-based learning is centered on the teacher as bankers of knowledge-making deposits where children are limited to receive whatever information they are being provided. In the Montessori system, things are quite different.

Focus on the overall development

Conventional education focuses on academics and the preparation of standardized tests. The Montessori model focuses on the social, emotional, and spiritual development of the child as well as academic domains. Moreover, Learning is not just to memorize facts but for a better comprehension of concepts.

Mixed-age groups

A major feature of the Montessori model is that the children get to study in groups consisting of children in different age groups. This setup allows them to learn collaboratively as well as instils leadership qualities. It also allows for greater flexibility in the level they are placed in which will depend on their development and not merely on their age. The younger children get to learn from their older counterparts. Older children are benefitted as they learn to be patient and caring as well as facilitate the learning of their younger friends.

Better teacher to student ratio

The Montessori model of education is child-centered. With a smaller teacher to student ratio, children get individual attention from their teachers. They are allowed to learn at their own pace. As they grasp the basic concepts, they move ahead to the advanced topics.

The teacher collaborates with the child

This is totally different from the traditional classroom setup where the teacher leads and children follow. The Montessori model encourages children to work as per their comfort level, and the teacher’s role is mainly as a guide and shows them how to learn.

Children lead the learning process

In the traditional setup, everything is fixed by the adults as per what they feel is required by children. Children are forced to follow the same pattern and are pushed through a standard planned curriculum. They become passive participants in the process, and their specific requirements are not given any attention.

However, Montessori education believes that children will learn better if they are given a choice and as much time as they need. Children are given agency to focus on their interest and their weakness are addressed through a strength-based approach.