18 months - 3 years old
From the time the child is able to walk, the child enters an environment named Infant Community. This environment focuses on three primary areas: Practical Life, Motricity & Language.
Through Practical Life the child is being taught indirectly to do things for themselves, developing confidence in themselves and self-reliance. Inside the environment everything is child size and child friendly, making learning practical life skills safe and easy for children as they achieve their first functional independence.
The two main areas in Montessori Practical Life are:
Care of the environment
Care of the person
Activities in Practical Life
Activities in Practical Life develop children’s fine motor skills, independence, and concentration, teaching children basic activities important for daily living.
Practical Life activities include: spooning and pouring beans from one bowl to another, pegging clothes onto a washing line, and tweezing beads onto a soap pad, among many others. Practical Life skills for kids in Montessori also include washing a table, washing their hands, and getting dressed independently.
These types of activities explain exactly what Montessori Practical Life is; practical and real-life skills that children can learn, use, and get better at.
Teaching self-reliance through Practical Life
Maria Montessori pioneered a new way of teaching children, moving away from traditional classroom based teaching methods to learning through inquiry and harnessing the child’s natural inquisitive nature.
The whole time during Practical Life, we are indirectly teaching children to do things for themselves, developing confidence in themselves and self-reliance. Everything in Montessori classrooms is child size and child friendly, making learning practical life skills safe and easy for children.
"It is interesting to notice that where life is simple and natural and where the children participate in the adult’s life, they are calm and happy"
Toddlers need to see, touch, and feel what is around them. We use these needs to lead the child towards the discovery of language.We enrich his vocabulary, for example, if we take the object "shoe", thanks to real objects, we will bring him the words: boot, sneaker, ballerina, slipper, moccasin...
We avoid "baby talk" in order to bring the right words to the children. Thus we will make sure to say the sentences correctly when we speak to the children. For example, a child who would say "spinning" while watching a spinning top, we would say "yes, the top is spinning".
Why multilingal classes ?
At Gaia MONTESSORI, we know that the child is born with the Absolute Ear and that the brain will "specialize" over time. Children under the age of 3 have a particular capacity to absorb language (and even more so children under the age of 1!).
Each language uses different sounds that are expressed on different frequencies (Herz) (like our radio devices (ear), we look for the right frequency to pick up a radio (someone talking).
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For this reason, for example, Spanish speakers do not perceive the difference between the French "u" sound and the French "ou" sound, their brain has never been trained on these frequencies and loses most of its learning facilities around 6-7 years old.
On the other hand, if a child has been immersed in a multilingual environment, the child's brain will have heard multiple times sounds and frequencies that it does not use in its mother tongue, and when it is older, its brain will be able to re-access this information, which will facilitate the learning of new languages.
Furthermore, Infant Community activities are designed to enhance skills, enabling an easy transition into a more structured environment.
Skill development includes:
Sensory skills - Hearing, feeling, seeing, smelling and tasting
Cognitive skills - Logical and critical thinking, comprehension and organisation of thought
Motor skills - Fine motor skills and gross motor skills
Verbal skills - Articulation, vocabulary, sentence structure and creative expression
Social & Emotional skills - Conflict resolution, sharing, care of self, others and environment