- Why choose Milwaukee Montessori School? How is your Toddler Program different from a regular daycare environment?
We treat toddlers as our youngest students, ready to learn and engage in school life. From day one we embrace them as critical to the function of our school dynamic. Our goal is to aid in their intellectual, social, emotional, and ethical growth, just as we do with all of our students through the 8th grade.
Unlike a traditional daycare center, Milwaukee Montessori School is an independent day school serving children through the 8th grade. Our Toddlers get exposure to various working environment throughout the day and interactions with older students. Along with providing a safe, relaxed, and warm environment for your young child, we provide toddlers with multiple lessons throughout the day. We include lessons utilizing specialized Montessori materials.
Our Toddler Program faculty members have advanced training and educational degrees, from Early Childhood Education to Art Therapy. Unlike most daycare centers with frequent turnover, we enjoy tremendous longevity in our staff – many faculty members have been with us from 10 to 25 years!
- How do you help my toddler transition into a private school environment?
Since 1990, we have eagerly helped over a thousand toddlers make positive transitions into our academic program. We do this by welcoming each child each day, with a handshake and direct eye contact good morning. We ensure that as soon as they step into our environment, they will be inspired and motivated throughout the day. It may take time for children to grow comfortable with a new schedule and the regular transitions we make each day.
Our activities transition between indoors, outdoors, along and other classrooms for play and lessons. We have found that in a very short time every child makes the transition and inevitably loves coming to school.
- Is lunch provided at school?
Yes, we do offer, for a fee, a healthy and delicious school lunch to our toddlers, or toddlers may bring lunch from home. All lunches provided or brought follow our MMS Food Policy of low-sodium and low-sugar. The snacks our Toddlers eat consist of whole grain, fruit, cheese, and vegetable options.
- Is my toddler in the same room for multiple hours of the day?
Our toddlers are given an enormous range of experiences throughout the day for maximum interest, enrichment, and learning. Toddlers move to a variety of classroom settings for small group lessons and social play. To gain a range of experiences, children may be in as many as four different classrooms during a regular day.
Additionally, toddlers spend significant time outdoors playing in our backyard, driving their cars and trikes under the covered play area, or using the gym and the grotto for other large muscle movement lessons. Small groups of toddlers may walk through the school to visit our older grade classrooms, watch a student play, or listen to a dress rehearsal for a musical program the older children are preparing.
- What is a typical daily schedule?
Our toddler program is open from 6:45 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day. Parents individualize drop-off and pick-up times according to their family’s needs and schedules. A typical day might look like this:
- 6:45 am: Free play in their toddler classrooms.
- 8:00 am: Toddlers gather for individual lessons in sorting, counting, matching shapes, or buttoning using Montessori materials.
- 8:30-10:30 am: Toddlers split up into small groups to rotate through lessons taking place in four different classrooms. These might include art, yoga, large motor exercises, dance, or science, or Montessori lessons in table washing, floor sweeping, buttoning, tying, buckling, zipping, or language development.
- 10:30 am: Group story using flannel board stories, puppets, big books, and song stories.
- 10:45 am: Lunch, with attention to the processes that promote independence and healthy eating.
- 11:40 am: Nap.
- 1:45 pm: Quiet table activities using a variety of materials from the shelves.
- 2:00 pm: Outdoor play in fall and early spring, depending on the weather this could include gardening, using the vehicles in the covered play area, sand and water play, or using the gym or grotto.
- 3:00 pm: Small group lessons and/or individual work with learning materials.
- 3:30 pm: Snack consists of whole grain, fruit, cheese and vegetable options. We never offer our Toddlers the option of junk food.
- 4:00 pm: Use of special toys and materials.
- 4:30 pm: Art or story time.
- 5:00 pm: Building structures, practical life lessons, and cleaning up.
- 5:30 pm: Free play.
- 6:00 pm: School closed.
- What is your sick policy?
We work very hard to maintain a healthy environment for children to work and play in. To avoid a constant cycle of sickness among our students, we ask parents to keep children home to rest and recover when they are ill. Students with a temperature of 100 degrees or more, vomits, or has 2 or more loose stools are promptly sent home to receive care from their parents or caregivers. Students sent home must remain home the following day as well.
- How will I know what my child will be doing all day?
We do not send home daily reports, but you will receive a formal report card twice a year detailing your child’s academic, social, emotional, physical, and intellectual progress. We also use the online site Bright Wheel to stay in touch with families during the week. Here you can see photos of your child’s day and gain insight into their life at school, for example even if you had a tearful drop off, you can see the smiles and joy your child enjoyed later that day.
- Does the MMS Toddler Program help with potty training?
Yes, we do! What is the secret to our success: timing and patience. Potty training hinges on physical and emotional readiness, not specific ages. Some children show interest in potty training by age 2, while others might not be ready until age 2½ or even older. We will help guide and advise your child to success.
- How do we know if your child is ready for potty training?
Your toddler will be interested in using the toilet and wearing underwear. He or she understands and can follow basic directions, wants to learn about potty training, and then is able to pull down his or her pants and pull them up again. Sometimes a child in the midst of a major change, such as a move or the arrival of a new sibling, may oppose potty training or even lose gains they have made. Eventually, they will grow open to the idea of toilet training and stay dry for longer periods of time.
- Do we compost, recycle and use recyclable products?
We want all of our students to become environmental stewards, and we are dedicated to keeping our amazing Great Lakes free of pollution and plastic litter. To that end we are mindful to purchase recyclable and recycled products whenever possible. We teach the practice of recycling various materials and composting even to our youngest toddlers. Additionally, we refrain from using plastic plates and cups, instead opting for ceramic plates and flatware. You may find that your toddler becomes a leader of recycling in your household!