Q&A

Infant Community

1-3 yo

From the Montessori perspective the main objective of the first 3 years of life is for the child to adapt with the place and era he was born in. Gaining functional independence and autonomy are the goals of our youngsters’ programs.

The most important criterion is not age, but a very important aspect: walking. The child can enter the Infant Community the moment he learned to walk independently.

The Montessori Infant Community groups usually have 12 to 15 children, depending on the available space and facilities inside the activity room.

Usually, one Montessori group with walking children is 1 adult for 6 children. A third adult can be assigned to the group depending on the group’s average age and needs.

In Montessori Infant Community classrooms minimum 2 hours to 2 hours and a half are reserved for uninterrupted activities. Children spend this time mostly engaged in activities following the practical life area where the essential aqusitions for obtaining functional independence are integrated (how i dress myself/ undress myself; how i feed myself; how i drink; how i use the bathroom; how i wash my hands; how i take care of the surrounding environment; how i use the objects in my environment etc.). The language area is also very important because it provides the child the possibility to create and develop his vocabulary, to exercise active communication, to assimilate behaviours which encourage grace and courtesy etc. This kind of movement is essential in the child’s development and it is encouraged throughout the whole program with interactions between the child and his environment.

Potty train is part of our educational program.

During the program, daily routine will become a basic mark for every child in the community and once the accomodation period has passed, each member of the community will be acquainted with our structure and functioning. In every aspect of the program we will follow our main objective which is supporting the child to gain functional independence. Each child will be provided the help needed to satisfy his basic needs and with physical availability in order for him to successfully fulfill the entire daily program, safely and with optimal chances for success.

Inside the community catering is a very important moment, designed to unite the community and to induce the sense of belonging to a group. Each member is given credit to participate in their own manner and within their own limits. The children will be encouraged and supported to obtain functional independence. When needed, the behaviour at table will be closely shaped not only by adults, but also by the more experienced coleagues.

Casa dei bambini

3-6 yo

For children under 3 years old who already attended our programs, the tranzition to Casa dei Bambini starts from the age of 2 and a half years. In case the child never participated to any Montessori programs suggested by the Center or by any institutions of the kind before the age of 3, the required minimum age to enter Casa dei Bambini is 3 years old and maximum age is 4 years old. In case the child is older than 4 years old, but has participated to any Montessori programs offered by other institutions, he can enter our community based upon availability.

For us to take in consideration an admission request, we follow 2 criteria that are based on the child’s functional independence:

  • The child does not wear a diaper and can independently use the toilet
  • The child owns a verbal language that helps him communicate with the others; he can clearly communicate his needs, he can actively participate to conversations, he can communicate his approval or his denial in different situations.

The Montessori environment is structured in curricular areas which are based on our educational method (practical life, sensorial, language, mathematics, art and creation). The children have the liberty to choose what they wish to work with during their individual working program and have the possibility to participate to material presentations or to work in small groups. The classroom environment is carefully prepared to satisfy the child’s development needs in each of his development stages and gently guides the child to learn the ways in which the environment can be used.

In the first part of the day, we reserve 3 hours, daily, for the Montessori individual work.

Each day, on their arrival, the children are greated by their teacher who invites them to start the day together. A fixed time helps the child follow an organized routine, offers him the satisfaction of being personally welcomed by the teacher, helps him enter his rythm along with his coleagues and to pass uninterruptedly the 3 hour Montessori activity which is important for adding new information, new abilities and new behaviours. Being late is followed by a serie of consequences, unfavorable for the child:

  • creating a negative behaviour in regards to the daily program,
  • depriving the child of the moment in which he is welcomed by the teacher, an important moment for the group’s daily routine
  • depriving the child of the moment he reunites with his coleagues at the beginning of the day and of starting the day together
  • disruption of the atmosphere for the other participants or for the teachers already engaged in activities with other members of the community
  • confusing the child about the structure of the daily routine and creating him a sense of uncertainty in relation to his environment
  • respect for self, respect for others, respect for the environment

The Casa dei Bambini community is built with children aged 3 to 6 years old. The collectivity is formed during the group’s first 3 years of activity and a balanced number of children is added annually until the group has reached its maximum capacity of 30 children (this number may be influenced by the available space for daily activities). The following aspects will be monitorized during the first 3 years:

  • integrating a balanced number of children for each age, adding anually children minimum aged 2,5 years and maximum aged 3,5 years
  • creating a balance between the number of girls and boys forming the group

We wish the community Casa dei Bambini to become a micro community, which can sustain itself at a functional and social level, within the limitations offered by the children’s maximum age abilities, and with a minimum intervention from the adults. The functional objective of this community is to build a microsocial climate which favorizes learning from big to small, at the children’s level. Older children will be able to naturally practice their guiding and teaching abilities on younger children, allowing expression of the child’s internal creative energies. These energies are unique in an evolutionary plan and independent inside the child-adult interaction.

Usually, a Casa dei Bambini community is guided daily by a Montessori teacher and by a teacher asisstant. The number of the adults may be increased depending on the group’s needs and on the characteristics of the institutional programs.

Generalities

MCEC recommends families to submit their admission intention early because the available spots are limited. The admission/readmission period is during march and april for the following year of activity. Each activity year starts on the 1st of september. Admission requests are accepted during the whole year only in case there are any available spots left.

The children are examined daily in order to maintain a disease proof climate. A medical asisstant monitorizes the children’s health throughout the whole day.

According to health law it is recommended and mandatory to vaccinate the children before they enter the community. From our point of view the minimum vaccination means respecting other members’ right to physical and health integrity. We recommend vaccination of the youngsters at least at the minimum required level.

On their birthdays the children receive “Happy Birthday” cheers from us and from their coleagues. On the day, not only they enjoy “Happy Birthday” cheers, but also a long-waited cake. On these events we serve the children cakes that do not contain chocolate, marzipan or creams high in sugar or cocoa. We recommend fruit tart cakes or raw cakes. The cake will always be accompanied by conformity certifications in order to be served to the community.

Montessori extra-programs are available for Infant groups during the morning schedule and for Casa dei Bambini groups after 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM. The Montessori extra-programs will be communicated at the begining of the activity year.

The children have activities indoor, as well as outdoor, depending on the season and the weather conditions.

Children’s transition from Infant Community groups to Casa dei Bambini groups can take place during the entire year, depending on the children’s evolution and available spots.

Discipline is the second necessary condition preceeding the learning process. In Montessori, discipline is actually an “internal discipline” - an internal control the child achieves starting from his own behaviour, with the help of Montessori materials and by interacting with his home environment. Dr. Montessori observed that a lot of so-called indisciplined children were frustrated by the lack of adequate stimulation. She mentioned that little children become happier and independent after some time in the Montessori classroom. She experimented challenging tasks, which not only absorbed the children’s energy, but also brought them a sense of fulfillment. The system is not based on rewards and punishments. By moving freely through the environment and with the care for other people, the child will gain self confidence and also control over his behaviour. Therefore, the Montessori teachers take a step back when a child’s behaviour is upsetting or disturbing to others. In that case, the child is treated with profound respect and with sensibility. It is in the children’s nature to be loving and caring, so we help them develop their social and emotional abilities, which are necessary for a good community integration.

The children’s daily food is cooked each morning in our own kitchen using recipes that are compatible with the youngsters’ nutritional needs and using carefully chosen ingredients.

We believe that among the various ingredients on the market, only a part of them is compatible with the children’s nutritional needs. Therefore, we choose to use healthy ingredients like wholemeal flour products mostly from BIO sources, wholemeal cereal from BIO sources, wholemeal goat dairy or from BIO sources, fresh seasonly fruits and vegetables etc. We do not use sugar in the children’s daily nutrition, neither do we use iodized salt. As sweeteners we use honey from verified sources, raisins or other ingredients that bring an extra flavor to the recipes without harming the children’s nutritional habits.

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