First Plane of Development

(Toddler to 6 years)

THE ABSORBENT & SENSORIAL MIND

Throughout the first six years of life, your child’s mind is like a sponge. Everything is new and fascinating! She’s using her five senses to actively explore the world around her, absorbing and integrating vast amounts of new information. She’s experiencing and deciphering language, math, colors, flavors, textures, and many other foundational coding systems. She’s building functional autonomy—taking her first steps toward independence as she learns how to complete basic tasks, control her emotions, and cooperate with others. She’s also learning to practice patience, empathy, and the basic principles of conflict resolution and problem solving. In short, she’s learning how to be in the classroom (and away from home and family) and gaining the confidence that comes with her newfound independence.

To make the most of these formative years, your child needs:

  • beauty and order in her learning environment—calm, open, and inviting spaces with plenty of sunlight and natural materials that delight and engage (rather than overstimulate) the senses;
  • a wide variety of experiences that nourish her naturally inquisitive mind, expand her sense of wonder and possibility, and focus her exuberant energy;
  • opportunities to take responsibility for herself and to develop a sense of genuine ownership over her experience, which requires both an environment constructed to enable and encourage independence and the expectation that she can take responsibility for her work, her behavior, and many of her own practical needs (e.g., feeding, dressing, and cleaning herself);
  • freedom of choice within a range of engrossing educational options
  • uninterrupted work periods that help her build concentration, repeatedly practice new skills, and fully explore and master her lessons.