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Curriculum & Daily Schedule

What does a typical day look like at Children’s House? Here you’ll find more information about the Montessori curriculum we follow and how the children spend their time with us at school. 

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How do Montessori Schools Teach Reading? (Part 1)

In this two-part series, we'll explain how Montessori schools teach reading and why writing is actually taught first. We'll also go over the different Montessori language materials and show you how they work together to guide the child’s experience and create...

Understanding the Montessori Math Curriculum

Math is all around us and, for a young child, words like “more, less, not enough, and share” are part of daily life.  Math is also inherently abstract.  It is a language of precision that takes years to master, but at its core are the basic foundations all...

Blog Post: How do Montessori Schools Teach Reading? (Part 2)

In this two-part series, we’re explaining how Montessori schools teach reading and why writing is actually taught first. We're going over the different Montessori language materials and showing you how they work together to guide the child’s experience and...

Understanding the Montessori Practical Life Curriculum

The Practical Life curriculum is the cornerstone of the Montessori experience. It lays the foundation for the independence that unfolds in the Montessori classroom. The lessons and materials within this area of the classroom vary widely; some are easy to spot and...

Every Child is an Artist | Our Montessori Art Curriculum

Here at Children’s House, art is one of our favorite things! Each classroom has a dedicated art area, and it’s safe to say that art activities are among the most popular choices available. Some of the art materials are changed out each month and others, like the...

Curriculum

Montessori Curriculum

The Montessori curriculum consists of practical life, sensorial, math and language. These areas of the classroom have activities for all ages, and lay the foundation for learning throughout the child’s life.

Practical Life – Skills learned in this area of the classroom lay a foundation for the rest of the curriculum. We introduce socialization skills and the work cycle, and practice fine and gross motor skills. The lessons teach responsibility for oneself, others, and the environment. They encourage independence and promote the development of a sense of order. Some examples of these lessons are: spooning and pouring, scrubbing, polishing, sewing, food preparation, and grace and courtesy lessons. For more information: “Understanding the Montessori Practical Life Curriculum.” 

Sensorial – These lessons sharpen the senses through comparing and contrasting activities, such as matching, grading, and sequencing objects.  Together, these activities form the foundation for mathematical, musical and scientific studies. Examples in the Sensorial area are: matching sounds or smells, matching or grading colors, grading by size, and learning plane and solid shapes.

Math – Lessons in this area begin with the very concrete and move to the more abstract. A variety of objects are manipulated to learn basic number concepts; place value is learned through manipulating the golden beads. Some examples are: sandpaper numerals for learning the symbols 1–9, the spindle box for understanding the concept of 0, the teens board and tens board for matching quantity and symbol, and the golden beads for understanding the decimal system and performing mathematical operations. For more information: “Understanding the Montessori Math Curriculum.”

Language – Our language materials are phonetically based and will help your child develop the skills needed for verbal communication, reading and writing. Examples in this area include games that provide opportunities for speaking, sandpaper letters for learning the sounds of the alphabet, the movable alphabet for constructing words and sentences, many opportunities for reading, and metal insets of design for perfecting the pencil grip. For more information: “How Do Montessori Schools Teach Reading?”

Cultural Curriculum

There is so much to learn about our world! At Children’s House our cultural curriculum areas allow us to explore different countries and cultures, learn about a variety of animals, experiment with different art mediums, and make the world a more peaceful place.

Geography: Our geography studies begin with learning about the land, air, and water that covers our globe.  We then move on to study the World’s seven continents with globes and puzzle maps, cultural items from the continents, and opportunities for tasting foods, dancing to music, and enjoying folk tales. We try to understand the similarities and the differences in the way plants, animals, and people adapt to the ecosystem in which they live.

Science: Through observations, experimentation, and research, we explore the worlds of physical and natural science. Starting with the basics, we explore the concepts of living and non-living, plants and animals.  Then, in zoology we study the five types of vertebrate animals and the invertebrate world’s insects and arachnids. In botany we learn about trees, seeds, and flowers through gardening activities and observations on our playground. Our location at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston is an accredited Backyard Wildlife Habitat as certified by the National Wildlife Federation. It’s a perfect place for walks by the stream and exploring nature.

Nature Studies: Maria Montessori said that “The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth.” Reflecting her philosophy, our science and nature studies give the children a deep appreciation for our earth and everything in it. Our children’s garden, part of a setting certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a Schoolyard Habitat, helps the children understand the cycles of life of plants and animals. From bulb or seed to flower, children plant and maintain the garden in both summer and winter. Food and water are put out for birds, chipmunks, and butterflies. Food scraps at lunchtime go into the compost bin and become soil for the garden. Worms found in all parts of the playground are carefully placed in the garden soil. Weekly nature walks in the surrounding woods provide an opportunity to see deer and hawks in their natural setting and to monitor the flow of the stream. We even have a bug catcher in the classrooms so insects that wander into our classroom can be safely returned to the outdoors. Through real contact with living things in nature, the children learn to share their world and live in harmony with all living creatures.

Art: The world of art is opened to the children through a comprehensive, process-oriented program. The easel is always available for mixing colors and self-expression. Concepts such as primary, secondary, complementary, cool and warm colors are taught with a variety of media available to the children. Art appreciation is introduced by a simple overview of the history of art, which is then brought to life by the study of individual artists and their work. The children enjoy learning about many famous artists through activities such as painting the famous Japanese Bridge by Monet or creating their own “cutouts” as did Matisse. These lessons culminate in the Kindergarten year with a trip to the National Gallery of Art for a look at “the real thing!” 

Peace Education: Our Peace Education program is one of the most important components of our curriculum. We understand that there is peace and goodness in every child, but not all children have the words and actions to give outward expression to their inner peace. We feel it is the responsibility of all the adults in our environment to encourage peaceful thoughts and actions, from the children and from each other. We use a program called The Virtues Project to incorporate intentional peaceful practice into our daily life at school.

Kindergarten

Unlike traditional public or private kindergarten programs, our Montessori curriculum is always tailored to each child’s needs. No child is held back in a reading or math group that may not fit their specific needs. He learns at his own pace, and with careful guidance from the teacher, will achieve at a level consistent with his capabilities.

Language and math are at the core of our kindergarten curriculum.  In language, the children progress through learning short vowels in the early years with us, and focus on long vowels and phonograms in kindergarten, leading to weekly reading of stories to volunteer parents. They participate in a writing class on a daily basis, learning how to form the letters and numbers correctly and taking mini “spelling tests.” Creative writing is related to our studies in science and geography and the three field trips we take each year. Math lessons include learning the numbers to 100, understanding the decimal system and performing the four mathematical operations with manipulatives, and lessons on time, money, measurement, temperature, and the calendar.   

Art appreciation is one of the favorite subjects in the kindergarten year. We explore periods of art history and specific artists throughout history through stories, games, and creative expression using a variety of media. For example, the children love painting the large “Japanese Footbridge” by Claude Monet, creating self portraits as did Vincent van Gogh, or painting a huge flower in the style of Georgia O’Keeffe. The year ends with a trip to the National Gallery of Art to enjoy the artists we have studied.  

Morning Work Period

8:00 – 11:00

Children spend this time working on individual activities at a table or on a rug on the floor. There is something on every shelf for every child. Many activities require a lesson from the teacher before a child can use them. Children select a variety of materials from both the Montessori curriculum and other activities available. 

Others, such as puzzles, can be used without a lesson. A child who chooses an activity that is too difficult for him is offered something that better matches his ability.

Children using phonogram alphabet
child using art materials

Transition Period

11:00 – 1:00

Playground equipment at Children's House Montessori School of Reston.

Circle Time – This group activity includes grace and courtesy lessons, songs, games, stories, or a lesson on something new in the classroom.  Occasionally a Peace Ceremony will be held.  Children help set the tables for lunch, tidy the classroom, water the plants and perform other chores. Part-Day Preschoolers are dismissed at 11:15. 
Lunch Time – The children wash their hands, wait until all are seated before beginning, concentrate on manners and pleasant conversations at the table, take a taste of everything, throw away leftovers and trash, and remain seated until everyone is finished and excused. After lunch, children help clean the tables and sweep the floor.
Outside Play – Climbing on the play apparatus, sand play, and watering the garden are a few of the activities available on the playground. In the event of rain or severe weather, we offer a combination of videos, movement activities, and games.  Part Day with Lunch Preschoolers are dismissed at 12:30.

Afternoon Activities

1:00 – 3:00

Preschool – Children go to the bathroom, gather their sleepy toy and blanket that they brought from home, and lie down on their assigned mat. Then we turn off the light and play soft music to help them fall asleep.
Pre-Kindergarten – Children who are not yet 5 years old will rest quietly for 30 minutes while listening to a story, and then join their peers to continue work begun in the morning.
Kindergarten – Children who are 5 years old by Sept. 30th, and are ready for the kindergarten experience, continue to work on the lessons from the Montessori curriculum that were begun in the morning; they also have lessons in geography, science, art appreciation, writing, and music.

Circle Time and Snack – At the end of the afternoon work period, children gather for a second Circle Time and to eat their afternoon snack. School-Day children are dismissed at 2:50.

Aftercare

3:00 – 5:00

Kids on the playground.

For families that need additional childcare after school hours, we offer an Aftercare Program that runs from 3:00 to 5:00pm. To participate in aftercare, students must be enrolled as a student at CHMS in our Full Day program.

Aftercare is a Montessori-friendly extension of our school-day program. Children enjoy additional time on our playground and participate in different games, crafts, and activities throughout the week. Our program is run by our Montessori teachers and assistants, which allows for continuity and consistency for the children in our care.

For part-day or school-day students who only need occasional aftercare, we can accommodate children on an as-needed basis for a small additional fee. 

Summer Program

6 Weeks / July to Mid-August

For families that need additional childcare after school hours (8:00am to 3:00pm), we offer an Aftercare Program that runs from 3:00 to 5:00pm. To participate in aftercare, students must be enrolled as a student at CHMS in our Full Day program*.

Aftercare is a Montessori-friendly extension of our school-day program. Children enjoy additional time on our playground and participate in different games, crafts, and activities throughout the week. Our program is run by our Montessori teachers and assistants, which allows for continuity and consistency for the children in our care.

For part-day or school-day students who only need occasional aftercare, we can accommodate children on an as-needed basis for a small additional fee. 

Virtual Tours Happening Daily

All tours remain virtual at this time. Use the button below to schedule your tour through our Facebook page or give us a call at 703-481-6678. We look forward to seeing you (virtually) and answering whatever questions you have about our program.

Schedule a Tour

All tours remain virtual at this time. Use the button below to schedule your tour through our Facebook page or give us a call at 703-481-6678. We look forward to seeing you (virtually) and answering whatever questions you have about our program.

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