Montessori founder Dr. Maria Montessori understood that as teachers and parents we need to help children on their journey of self-discovery and development. She believed that a child learns in cycles, building upon each stage from infancy through adulthood.
That’s why Apple Montessori Schools takes a broad view of child development from newborn and toddler through pre-school and elementary levels. We strive to understand the entire span of your child’s growth stages. Awareness of where they are now and what can be expected later provides insights for how we guide your child’s development and education.
- Birth to Age Six: Construction of Individuality and the “Absorbent Mind” Stage
From birth to age six, children have the greatest capacity for development and learning. During these years, your child has an “absorbent” mind, capable of deep understanding and knowledge.
From infancy to age three, children learn unconsciously—absorbing vast amounts of information quickly and mimicking everything they see and hear. That’s why it’s important to model the type of behavior you want to see in your child. For example, speaking quietly and calmly, concentrating on accomplishing specific tasks, being patient and polite, and showing kindness and compassion.
At approximately age three, learning is more conscious. Children seek out their own experience using newly acquired skills and abilities with an innate desire to “help themselves” and act on their own. This is when you’ll see your child eagerly pursue independence, embracing the freedom to move about and make their own choices.
- Age 6 to 12: Acquiring Culture and Need for Moral Order
At around 6 or 7, children begin to reason, demonstrating intelligence and searching for moral order to understand what’s right and wrong. They also enjoy being part of a group and interacting with others collaboratively. It’s a time of exercising creativity, imagination and finding purpose. During this time, they want you to “help me think for myself.”
- Age 12 to 18: Personality Development
As your child enters adolescence, they experience a heightened sense of self-awareness, along with the challenges of changing hormones and the stress of understanding of who they are and where they fit in. At this time, they begin to separate mentally and physically from their parents. They experience the need to control their life and invest more time discovering themselves, making decisions, and functioning independently to pursue interests. This is an ideal time for exercising and learning life skills such as managing money, taking responsibility for household chores, and seeking productive activities on their own.
It’s also a time when children assume more responsibility for being a helpful member of society. As parents and teachers, we can act as role models and focus on the positive aspects of a child’s personality and strengths. Having confident expectations for your child helps build self-esteem and creates a constructive outlook for happiness and meaningful relationships within your family and community.
- Age 18-24: Pursuit of Self-understanding
As a child enters adulthood, having built upon all the stages that came before, they further pursue self-understanding: who am I and what is my purpose in the world? Only through independence and real-life experiences will they continue to apply the lessons learned in their formative years.
At Apple Montessori Schools, we believe that the early stages of childhood—fostered by guidance, love, and support— provide the foundation for children to be self-reliant and responsible with good moral character, capable of contributing to society in a meaningful way.
Our teachers are trained to understand the levels of development with the insights of where a child has been, where they are now, and where they are going on the continuum of child development. We strive to help your child evolve and discover who they want to be for a happy future.