Why Montessori Daycare in Aruba
Every Montessori daycare setting is unique, but there are some broad and important ways Montessori Daycare differs from traditional daycares.
High quality natural materials, vs plastic toys. First is the environment and materials, unlike other daycares full of plastic toys and furniture, Montessori daycares lean more towards high-quality natural wooden materials in bright, open spaces.
A calm, orderly environment, vs a (typically) messy, noisy place. Many childcare settings have a high noise level, and some seem proud to announce how messy they are. While there is a time for messes (we love for children to play in the mud, to finger paint, or explore foam), the Montessori Cycle One environment is surprisingly calm and orderly. Since our goal is to enable children to learn to focus, to engage joyfully in a chosen activity, we need to provide them with an environment where they can do so without constant interruption and distraction.
A deliberate, educational program, vs all-day play. We agree that free play is important to children, and encourage parents to provide imaginative play activities at home. At the same time, we know that in the right environment, toddlers are eager to learn through exploration and practice. Toddlers in our Montessori program are surrounded by exciting opportunities to develop their skills, they practice opening and closing containers, they learn to button shirts, they identify objects by touch, sort things by color, transfer items with spoons, learn to pour water, put together puzzles, learn to cut with scissors, sew with laces, string beads, and so much more!
The activities we offer in the toddler class provide a welcome change from what children typically find at home. This is in contrast to many childcare settings, where shelves and boxes are full of the same things your child already has at home; Duplo legos, blocks, wooden trains, cars, dolls, dress-up cloths, noisy plastic toys, and the like.
Grace and courtesy vs group conformity. Many parents want their child to become socialised when they enroll in a childcare or preschool program. But “socialisation” can mean different things in different settings. In our Montessori program, we guide children to develop what we call grace and courtesy. We establish some clear rules that support a peaceful classroom for instance, children may only take activities from shelves, never from another child. We give children the language they need to express their needs (“I am working with this; you may have it when I am done,” “I don’t like it if you talk loudly,” or “I feel angry because you messed up my work.”)
Teachers model benevolent and cooperative behavior, for example, by shaking hands while looking into a child’s eyes as the child comes to class, or demonstrating how we politely offer food to a friend at snack time. The Montessori focus on teaching individual, pro-social skills is different from the group conformity at many childcare programs, where developmentally inappropriate skills, such as indiscriminate “sharing” of toys may be expected from toddlers, without regard for the actual cognitive and emotional needs of the child.
A focus on developing inner discipline, vs obedience training. In Montessori, the goal is to help children acquire self-discipline. We want children to understand the right course of behavior, and to be internally motivated to behave well. Our teachers don’t expect immediate obedience from toddlers, nor do they offer rewards (praise, stickers etc.) for good behavior, and punishment (time outs, for example) for bad behavior. Instead, we believe that children naturally want to do and be good, and that by setting up the right environment, and modeling kind, respectful behavior, we can guide your child to develop inner discipline. When a child does misbehave, we emphasise positive alternatives. For example, when a child runs in class, we don’t yell “No running in class!”, instead, we calmly explain, “We walk in class. Let’s go back and walk to the sink together.”