The CHA toddler classroom is an environment of children working together in harmony and peace. The atmosphere is positive, supportive and non-competitive. Our program for 18-36 month olds is neither a babysitting service nor a play school. Rather, it is authentically Montessori, designed to take advantage of a child’s sensitive years when he/she can absorb information from our very rich, beautiful environment.
We take advantage of the toddler’s sensitive periods for order and build on that interest to establish good habits that last a lifetime; the toddler is able to absorb language from our rich environment and learns to express his needs; The Toddler is eager to learn to take care of her/himself, to become independent and is guided to learn how to do things without help.
In addition to incorporating the Montessori principles, we introduce children to:
We translate virtues into simple, age-appropriate language.
Six core virtues that appear in all cultures create happy and healthy “mindedness”:
Wisdom and Knowledge: creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness, love of learning, perspective
Temperance: forgiveness and mercy, humility and modesty
Transcendence: appreciation of beauty and excellence, gratitude, hope, humor and spirituality
We listen to and talk about truly beautiful music, including: chants, folk music and sacred music by various artists, and well as classical music of Hayden, Strauss and Mozart.
Children develop an awareness of the elements and principals of art by using appropriate language while they are creating, such as negative space, lines, color, perspective, and so on. Children recognize the works of famous artists including Michelangelo, Rafael, Mary Cassatt, Tommy De Paola, and Paul Klee.
We are members of the National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, based in Scottsdale, AZ. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd came about through the work of two Roman Catholic laywomen in Rome: Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi. They were inspired by the educational principles of Maria Montessori. The materials they prepared for children since 1954 are based on the Bible, the Roman Catholic liturgy and sacraments, Tradition, and Church teachings. In 1985 a Level I course welcomed participants from both Catholic and other Christian traditions. Since that time, the ecumenical character of the roster for each course has continued.