Helping your child transition successfully into the Montessori class experience

The Independent Toddler class is designed to prepare children for preschool, kindergarten and a lifetime of learning.

In Cardinal Bernardin’s Independent Toddler class, children become adjusted to their new routine through engagement in all sorts of exploration and discovery. Lessons are provided in a changing environment that is well-planned by our Montessori teachers.

Independent Toddler Class (18 - 36 months)

Once you and your child have successfully completed one of our parent-toddler classes,  your child turns 3 years old and is toilet trained, you are welcome to enroll in Cardinal Bernardin Montessori Academy’s Independent Toddler class. This class is a half-day classroom, five days a week, from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. The children eat lunch with their class and return home at noon to nap.

The purpose of the Montessori Independent Toddler class is to provide your child with the experience of a small class without the presence of a parent/caregiver.  The directress (teacher) offers small group activities and provides Montessori presentations to individual children or in small groups. These lessons provide children the opportunity for continued development and refinement of skills appropriate to this age group.

Children eat at school and bring their own lunches for each class.  Together, they eat as a family, sharing a unique group experience.

When your child enters the Independent Toddler classroom he or she is introduced to all of the main areas of the classroom: practical life, language, sensorial, mathematics, geography, history, science and art, with the focal point being in the practical life area. The practical life area in the transition Montessori classroom is an essential area for young children.

Every parent has dreams for their children: dreams of a bright future full of opportunity but also simply dreams that their children will grow up to be happy and fulfilled. And while each child has unique needs, Chicago parents who bring their children to the Cardinal Bernardin Montessori Academy share similar stories about the dreams they have for their children’s development and the challenges their families have faced.

In some cases, their children started in traditional school environments and weren’t getting the specialized support and individual attention they needed. In other cases, the whole structure of traditional schooling–which requires even young children to sit still and quiet for long periods, suppressing their natural energy and curiosity–wasn’t what parents wanted for their children. Other parents, with children who were just entering school, had concerns as to whether their social, intellectual or practical skills development might be behind the curve or if their child’s curiosity and talents would be fostered at school.

Montessori education in the city of Chicago is a positive option for parents seeking a personalized, engaging and self-directed learning experience.

Possible transition concerns

As part of the transition process, toileting accidents are bound to happen. As the children experience a new level of independence, they will learn again how to grasp cues as to when it is time to use the restroom. This is all part of the process, and we find it normal. The teachers will help as necessary for your child to become adjusted to his or her new routine.

Your child may also begin to experience separation anxiety. Coming to school will be a whole new experience for them, as they are now in a “new” environment. Please note that this anxiety will only be temporary, and helping to keep the children in a routine will greatly help their transition into their new classroom.

Please note that if you have concerns at any time during the transition process, please share your concerns with us so we can help to encourage a positive transition.

Important Independent Toddler Class Information:

  • Classes are held five days a week, from 8 am to 12 pm for the entire school year.
  • Enrollment includes a pre-session parent orientation, which is required for the enrolled adult. This will help you see our toddler environment and receive an overview of the Montessori philosophy of education.
  • Registration is required. (Please note: If you choose to take additional classes with your toddler, please remember to register for each new class, even if you are already enrolled in a class.)
  • Class size is limited to 15, and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.

For our upcoming Independent Toddler Class admission information, please fill out this inquiry form.