December 2017

Infant Community

“…The first task of education is to furnish an environment which will permit and aid the child to develop the functions given him by nature.”

Dr. Maria Montessori,
Education for a New World

The Infant Community is a very specialized Montessori environment for young children from the age of 15 months to 3 years old.

The purpose of the Infant Community is to give the very young child the space, freedom and trust to physically and mentally explore the specially prepared environment under the careful guidance and observation of the specially trained Guide (teacher). Here, young children have the perfect place to freely practice and perfect their coordinated movements, eye-hand coordination and language in a multi-aged social setting.

“Any child who is self-sufficient, who can tie his shoes, dress or undress himself, reflects in his joy and sense of self-achievement the image of human dignity, which is derived from a sense of independence.”

Dr. Maria Montessori                                                                                                                
The Child in the Family

As soon as children can walk well, their hands are free to touch and explore everything in their environments. Their own intrinsic natural development has set them on the path to achieve independence.       

We tend to expect so little from very young children, that we adults do everything for the child and to the child, instead of with the child.

How is this Montessori Infant Community different from any other childcare experience?

Very simply … Collaboration

Children are empowered - to learn real skills, to make choices, to communicate, to become self-sufficient. The adult takes the time to work together and help each individual child. Even at this very young age, children happily water plants, help to prepare snack, polish a mirror, set the table for lunch, wash their hands, learn to sew, put their own work back on the shelves, and are encouraged and helped to change their own clothes, which encourages toileting.

Practical Life Activities are so important for the young child because they give the child “the security of routine daily family life as well as a keen sense of self-confidence.” Shelley Torres Aldeen, Gateway Montessori, Chicago

Language Materials aid the child to develop the best language skills possible.

In the Infant Community, every opportunity is used for language and language materials abound! There is an infinite supply of actual objects to handle and name, picture cards of everything that cannot be brought into the classroom, listening to adults read books and tell stories of everything, myriads of songs to sing from every culture, talking about and playing native instruments, art to create, to see and to discuss, and general real conversations amongst everyone -- adults and children together!