Soaring Wings Montessori School gave birth to a new program a few weeks ago – a class for parents and infants. The principle is the same as in all Montessori classes – the room is carefully prepared with activities specific to the needs of the children. The teacher is trained in the developmental aspects of each particular stage of childhood and she quickly gets to know the individual students and adjusts her lessons to their specific interests creating a custom curriculum for each child. In the Parent/Infant Class the classroom and curriculum is prepared to anticipate the developing requirements of infants and their parents from the prenatal through toddler stage. As teacher Lynn Chadderdon says, “Now babies do come with instructions.”
In the infant class the room is warm and cozy with natural light and table lamps, plants, quiet music and classic art. Equipment is primarily made of solid wood and arranged on shelves where the babies can reach for them. There is a soft mattress where very young babies can look at a mobile or a mirror. There are toys for grasping, rolling and placing and a bar for practicing pulling up to a standing position. For older babies there is a small climbing frame with a slide. There is a corner for changing diapers and one for nursing or giving bottles. There are very small tables and chairs where a communal snack is served for all who are ready to sit up and eat solid food.
Class is held once a week and includes a brief discussion on the topic of the week such as child development, toileting or weaning. Moms, dads and grandmas attend with their babies and are welcome to drop in and out any time between 9:00 am and 12:00 noon as suits the baby’s schedule. Lynn Chadderdon holds a teaching credential at the Infant and Toddler level from the American Montessori Society and has had years of experience in toddler and early childhood classes as well as raising her own Montessori son. Lynn says, “This class offers expecting and new parents an opportunity to understand all aspects of their infant’s development and make educated decisions on such parenting choices as weaning, toileting and sleep environments. It gives infants their first experience within a Montessori environment, allowing them to explore freely and with all of their senses. Parents have a chance to focus solely on their child for a few hours – how often can we do that? ”
Duna Strachan, AMS
Soaring Wings International Montessori School
Park City, Utah USA