Welcome to the CHMS Community!

We are always eager to welcome new faces to our school community! As you and your family join ours, we will have many opportunities for you to meet some new friends and get your bearings.

  • Fall Family events are scheduled through the year starting with an ice-cream social a few days before school begins, a chance for you to reconnect after the summer, meet some new friends, and take some time to look around the classrooms and get familiar with the school space before the first day.  A parent coffee brings parents together to start the year off right with questions answered and another chance to connect with new parents, chat with returning parents, and decompress after the first week of school.  Fall also brings a family picnic on a Saturday at Temporary Road Picnic Pavilion to share a pot-luck meal and play in the great out-of-doors, and then the fall festival, a day of fun crafts at school and of course, pizza on the playground.  Thanksgiving wraps up our fall activities with a complete meal of turkey and all the trimmings, including pumpkin pie!
  • Winter The fun starts with our holiday program, where the children perform songs and poems from holiday traditions, musical numbers with instruments from music class, and of course some dancing. Parent day is in February, a chance for you to spend the morning with your child and see how she spends her day. Another pot-luck lunch gives parents a chance to share their favorite traditional foods with the community.
  • Spring When the weather warms up again, it’s time for our spring celebration, another chance to spend the morning with your child doing crafts and eating pizza on the playground.  The year ends with pajama day for the children in the morning of that last day of school and then a school picnic for families, again on our playground.  

It’s a full schedule of activities to bring families together and help you feel a part of our special community.  Family is at the heart of all that we do here at Children’s House and we want you to feel included! If you’re having a hard time connecting with other families or you need a little support in this area, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Adjusting to the Classroom

There is so much to learn in the first few weeks of school! The teachers are busy getting to know their new students, the children are getting adjusted to new rules and expectations, and the parents are trying to remember to sign their child in each day! As your child adjusts to the classroom, here are some things he is learning to do:

1.  Stay in the classroom.

2.  Get out a rug for work or keep his work at his own area on the table.

3.  Listen to directions – and follow them.

4.  Walk with the other children in a line, staying in place.

5.  Wash hands without playing at the sink.

6.  Stop and listen when the bell is rung.

7.  Sit in a chair.

8.  Keep his hands off another child’s work.

9.  Remember directions in a sequence:

  • Get the water work apron
  • Put it on
  • Carry the tray to the table

10. Return work to the shelf.

11. Wait his turn standing in line.

12. Take his share, but not more, from the snack table.

13. Sit in a circle for approximately 20 minutes each morning.

14. Be responsible about going to the bathroom:

  • Tell teacher he is going and / or willing to go when reminded
  • Not play in the bathroom
  • Wash hands

15. Know which pencils, crayons, or markers go with which activities.

16. Not mix up the activities on the shelves.

17. Listen to a story told to the class without interrupting.

18. Know how to roll up a rug and return it to a box.

19. Know which hook, cubby, and backpack are his.

Don’t be surprised, if your child answers “nothing” when you ask him what he did today! He’s been so busy that he can’t possibly remember it all!

Your Child’s First Days at CHMS

Independence is a cornerstone in a Montessori classroom. It is encouraged at every turn, whether it is putting on one’s own coat, choosing one’s own work, or cleaning up after oneself at the snack table. Each small step towards independence builds confidence, self-esteem, and a positive self-concept. As parents, when our children are very little, it is hard to imagine that they will one day be capable of doing so much for themselves. We have grown so accustomed to doing everything for them, that we forget to let go and allow them to do for themselves.

At Children’s House, we have years of experience with young children who are coming to us from a variety of circumstances. For many, this will be their first school experience and their first time spending time away from mom or dad. Some children come to us from small, home daycares, and others from larger centers. For children who have participated on the sidelines as an older brother or sister passed through our program, it’s finally their turn! All of these children will transition in their own way and with the loving guidance of our teaching staff.

As for their parents? We are here for you, too! We know that the decision to send your child to our school is a huge one and we appreciate the trust you are placing in us by sending your child into our care. One of the best ways to ease that transition for your child is to have confidence in our methods and trust our recommendations about those first few days and know that we have everyone’s best interests at heart.

A few quick Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do keep your language about school upbeat and positive: School is fun, meeting new friends is exciting, and there’s lots to do.
  • Don’t feed your child’s fears: Replace “I know you’re scared, but you’ll be fine” with “I can’t wait to hear about your day” or “Your teacher will help you with anything you need.” Words like scared, frightened, afraid, or worried, don’t help children feel the opposite!
  • Do keep your conversations factual and brief and don’t overwhelm your child with too much information: “You’ll go into the classroom and do some activities with your teacher and I’ll pick you up after lunch.”
  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep: “If you cry, I’ll come and get you.” Odds are, your child will shed a tear or two. Our teachers are there to comfort, distract, and help children adjust. Let the process unfold naturally, and by the end of the first week, your child will be a pro!
  • Do keep your drop-off short and sweet: A quick hug and a kiss and “I’ll pick you up in a little while / later today” is perfect! If a child is upset at drop-off, a lingering parent doesn’t help! Please trust us on this one: your child will settle down and be well-taken care of. If we feel that he or she is not adjusting, we will contact you and make a plan.
  • Don’t sneak out the door and peek in the window! When a child spots a parent they thought had left already, it doesn’t end well!
  • Do join Cinthia and some other parents on the first Friday of school to celebrate with a cup of coffee! This is a big transition for YOU as well! Congrats! Your child is going to school!

Starting School: A Checklist

Get off to a good start with all your ducks in a row! Questions? Call Cinthia at 703-481-6678 or send us an email.

Signed Forms and Fees

  • Enrollment forms
  • A signed contract
  • First month’s tuition
  • Enrollment fees

The school will provide the following:

  • A canvas tote bag (a “cubby bag”) for daily use to and from school
  • A lunch bag, if applicable, with a reusable plate, cup, and utensils for school use
  • A vinyl nap mattress and nap sheets, if your child is in preschool and stays until 3:00 or later

You will need to provide the following:

  • A backpack (this can stay at school during the week, but should be taken home each Friday)
  • A complete change of clothes (this can stay in the backpack until needed)
  • A soft nap toy (nothing noisy, please) and blanket, if your child is in preschool and stays until 3:00 or later

We’ll make sure you know where the following activities take place, so that your first few days are smooth:

  • Sign your child in every morning upon arrival and out upon dismissal
  • Have your child hang up her backpack
  • Have your child put her lunch bag on its spot on the lunch bag shelf
  • Have your child wash her hands before entering the classroom