The Ridgefield Montessori School offers a wide range of programs including, Toddler, Early Childhood, and Kindergarten. In addition, all RMS students participate in our weekly foreign language and music classes, as well as Art and in-house and off-site field trips. Early Drop-off, Extended Day, After-care and Enrichment programs are also offered.
The Toddler Program offers both four day or five day programs:
4-Day Program: Monday – Thursday, 8:30-12:00 p.m.
5-Day Program: Monday – Friday, 8:30-12:00 p.m.
Extended Day and After-Care options are also available
A “toddler” is a child in transition – a child with particular needs and abilities, which can best be aided through the Montessori toddler environment.
The environment is different from the preschool class because the child is in a different stage of development and exhibits specifically different behaviors. It is for these reasons that the toddler class exists and that specific teacher training is necessary.
The child between 20 months and 3 years is still very new to the world of sights, sounds and movements. He is in awe of the wonders of the object world, and his immature senses can be bombarded and overlooked. How different from the preschool child, who is interested in refining his senses and controlling his own movements.
The child establishes a sense of trust – trust in himself and trust in the environment. The purpose of the toddler class environment is to create a nurturing environment in which the child can teach themselves through creative activities and exploration.
As a child in transition, he has conflicting feelings. He experiences the pain of separation and the “push-pull” between the pleasures of oneness with his mother or primary caretaker, along with exhilaration of growing independence, sense of self and freedom. This is the “energy,” the dynamics of transition, which is quite different from the more centered child of the preschool classroom, who is inner-directed and practicing the activities of his culture through the love of repetition. For this reason, a separation environment is included in the toddler class, which would not be necessary in the 3 to 6 age group.
The toddler has first a need for love, understanding and empathy. He needs information, logical limits, flexibility and support. He needs a physical and human environment, which focuses and responds to the rapid and conflicting changes of this age. The focus is not on curriculum. This sets the pace, lays the foundation, and initiates the direction of the activities the child will pursue. It is with this understanding that a toddler class is developed.
The Early Childhood Program offers several options:
4-Day Program – Monday – Thursday, 8:30-12:00 p.m. (3’s only)
5-Day Program – Monday – Thursday, 8:30-12:00 p.m. (3’s & 4’s)
Full Day Program – Monday – Friday 8:30 – 2:30 p.m. (4’s only)
The early childhood program is designed to serve the needs of children from 3 to 6 years of age. With a ratio of approximately ten children to each adult, the individual needs of each child are easily met. The children learn many different skills at their own academic and social level.
The younger children develop social skills and learn what it means to be part of a group, how to separate from their parents, take turns and become independent. The children in their second year focus on lessons and peer socialization and are able to move at their own pace. The third year is when the children grow academically and at a rapid rate. The afternoon is dedicated to these Pre-K and Kindergarten children. Here the focus of small group lessons helps to advance academics and foster the love of learning.
The Montessori Classroom offers your child:
- A happy, nurturing, loving and creative atmosphere
- A love of learning
- The ability to work and play harmoniously with others
- Social skills developed in a relaxed environment
- A solid educational foundation
- Exciting, challenging materials created to satisfy the needs of the “sensitive periods” in your child’s development
- An environment where learning evolves like building blocks; as your child advances, starting with basic materials and growing to the more challenging
- A longer concentration span
- Self-discipline, initiative and excellent work habits
- A program where your child can learn at his/her own pace, naturally and spontaneously in an open classroom environment, with children three to six years of age
- An education in grace and courtesy
- Lessons in positive conflict resolution skills
Many parents who enroll their 3 and 4 year old children in Montessori ask:
What about Kindergarten?
The answer comes from an understanding of Dr. Montessori’s insights into early learning. The sensitive periods for development in a child occur roughly between the ages of 2 ½ to 5. It is most important that their learning experience flows uninterrupted during this cycle in order to maximize the child’s growth potential.
Our curriculum and materials are designed as a three year program in harmony with these principles of early childhood education.
Therefore, in order for your child to derive the full benefit of the Montessori method it is essential that he or she completes the three year cycle culminating in the Kindergarten year.
Why plant a flower if you don’t wait for the blossom?
For Infant/Toddler and Early Childhood Education students who are not in Pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten, the Ridgefield Montessori School offers an Extended Day program from 12:00 noon until dismissal at 2:30 pm, Monday through Friday.
For Infant/Toddler students this includes naptime or quiet time. For Early Education students this includes lunchtime, some Montessori work and additional activities.
Extended Day hours are available to parents on an as-needed basis and billed at an hourly rate monthly.
All Ridgefield Montessori students may take advantage of our After Care Program, which operates Monday through Friday from 2:30 pm until 6:00 pm.
Children can be picked up anytime during these hours.
This program is geared towards recreational play and arts & crafts.
A variety of classes are offered ranging from art, dance, cooking, science, music, foreign language, sewing, yoga, and acting. These programs vary year to year and are led by qualified and trained personnel.