The Toddler program at The Discovery School fosters growth within a nurturing environment while developing a sense of individuality, cultivating community, and preparing the child for a love of learning and life.
The Discovery Toddler Community is a prepared environment for children aged 18 months to 3 years old. It is designed to assist the child toward independence, social awareness, respect, and the development of motor skills and language. Discovery's Toddler Community embodies four toddler classrooms; three classrooms are five days a week with each classroom providing a half day (until 11:30 am) and full day (until 3:00 pm) program, and the other classroom is a half day, 4 days a week program (Tuesday - Friday).
Maria Montessori asserted that human beings develop with the greatest intensity during the first three years of life; therefore, the toddler classrooms are prepared to provide nurturing, security, and challenge in an orderly environment. The maximum number of children in each toddler class is twelve, with one lead teacher and one associate teacher.
The beginning of the school year brings the parent and child together until the child feels trust to positively separate from the parent. Only then may the child independently attend an environment especially set up for his/her developmental needs.
Specific goals for the toddler program are as follows:
- To assist the child in a positive separation from parents in order to facilitate individuation.
- To provide an orderly environment in which toddlers may explore and experience concepts and skills through manipulation.
- To provide a language-rich environment through precise nomenclature, books, nursery rhymes, and music.
- To give the child opportunities for practical life - care of the self and environment - so that the child understands that each person has an important function. This encourages a positive self-concept and confidence.
- To provide a social environment for the fostering of community and respect.
- To create an aesthetic environment through art work and objects from nature that call to the child's love of beauty.
- To encourage a supportive community for parents through education and participation.