KindergartenExtended Primary Education
The Importance of the Kindergarten Year in a Montessori Classroom
After spending the morning in their regular Montessori classrooms, the Kindergarten children gather together for more intense studies from 1 – 3 p.m. The afternoon begins with a group lesson on one of a variety of special topics. These topics are explored in several ways, including reading stories using the Great Books series, stem, French, music, sewing and craft projects, graphing, child-made books, and murals.
In zoology lessons, the children study the five classes of vertebrate animals, as well as insects, arachnids, and ocean invertebrates. In botany lessons, topics include trees and leaves, seeds, and flowers. An in-depth look at each of the seven continents is covered in our geography lessons. Several field trips to the National Zoo bring these subject areas together.
Public School challenges
Children in Montessori programs often have a deeper understanding of what they are learning and why they are learning it; they are not simply memorizing useless information. It’s not uncommon for Montessori graduates to read and understand math far better than their public school peers.
Traditional kindergarten certainly has benefits and some children do better in that environment. However, there are numerous advantages to keeping your child in a Montessori program for their third year.
01. First Two Years Lessons
In the kindergarten year, concepts that children have been learning for the past two years start to become internalized and solidified. Montessori education is cumulative; it slowly builds a solid, meaningful foundation on which further and more abstract learning can take place. In the kindergarten year, the seeds that were planted over the course of the first two years are harvested. All the preparation they had (such as practical life and sensorial) now guides them in academic subjects.
02. Support from a familiar teacher and classmates
Your child has spent two years with his teachers and they know him very well; they know his strengths and what challenges him. He has grown comfortable in his environment and knows what to expect. Your child also knows most of his classmates. He’s surrounded by a warm and supportive community
03. Becoming a leader for the younger students
By the third year of their Montessori cycle, children have been waiting two years to become one of the older students in the class—the leaders. The five-year-olds in the classroom often help the younger children do their work, even teaching them lessons. Time and time again, research has shown that when one child is teaching another, the “teacher” often learns just as much, if not more, than the other student. Teaching reinforces learning.
Not only does teaching younger children facilitate learning but it helps the five-year-old develop independence, leadership, and self-confidence skills.
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The obvious of education and future depends on how the child identify their true interest. Here the child is introduced to the basics of every academic subject.
Geography Children are introduced physical and cultural geography through the use of wooden puzzle maps, activities with objects from other countries, and international celebrations and snacks throughout the year. Songs, stories and games are incorporated into daily routines as we “travel” the globe visiting a different continent each month.
Art Painting, color mixing, collage, and printmaking are just some of the activities provided to show the care and use of art materials, to encourage creativity, and just to have fun!
Math is a concrete experience in the Montessori classroom. The children are constantly manipulating objects in their efforts to understand number concepts. The early materials are designed to teach the very basics, such as the quantity and symbols of the numbers one to ten. Spindle boxes allow the child to see what “nothing” or zero looks like. Moving toward the more advanced materials, bead bars teach concepts ranging from units, tens, hundreds, and thousands, to addition, multiplication, subtraction and division. These traditional materials are supplemented with teacher-made games and materials for learning a variety of simple concepts, such as time, money, and fractions.
Science activities are nature-based, and include the study of vertebrate and invertebrate animals, a variety of plant types, and environments around the world that support this wide range of flora and fauna. Love and respect for all life are emphasized.
In the primary program children participate in a music class once a week. The weekly lessons provide an opportunity for singing, movement, listening, exploring musical instruments, and exploring musical concepts. Each lesson concludes with a demonstration on a musical instrument. Kindergarten students are introduced to reading and “writing” musical notation and are taught to play several simple musical instruments.
What Parents are Saying
Parent /Gaurdian on Greatschools.org
We’ve been part of the RMS community for the past 8 years, and both my children have absolutely thrived at the school (one is in kindergarten there now, and the other was there through third grade). The teachers are dedicated and caring, the schoolwork is interesting and challenging, and the specials offered are excellent (French, art, music, etc). The school truly feels like one big family, and it’s a really nurturing environment for kids of all ages and backgrounds. I especially like the cultural diversity of the school, and the fact that the teachers and staff do such a good job honoring and teaching about a wide variety of holidays and cultural practices. In reading some of the other reviews, I have to clarify that the school *has* had quite an effective COVID mitigation strategy in place. What the previous poster neglected to say is that the teacher/student COVID cases mentioned in that post were literally the only two COVID cases in the school all year. The school *did* indeed communicate those cases to the entire school via email. RMS went to great lengths, in fact, to minimize class size and create new teaching pods in favor of smaller groups when COVID first started. They also have hand sanitizer everywhere, kids wash their hands often, and all staff and students wear masks indoors. Overall, we truly love the school and feel that it’s been a great, supportive environment that’s helped both our kids become the best version of themselves from an academic, social and emotional perspective.
A review by parent on greatschool.org
My children have been at Reston Montessori (RMS) since they were only a few months old. After touring many schools in the area, from the moment we walked into RMS it was nurturing, kind, welcoming, adaptable, and have gone above and beyond for our children. The RMS teachers and staff are not only excellent and nurturing teachers but the curriculum and structure is far and above others. We have also experiencing some issues with the owner, but my children are not learning from the owner, they are learning and with teachers and their peers everyday. I would also add in the five years we have been at RMS my children have not experienced any turnover in teachers or aides in the classroom.
A Parent's review on greatschools.org
I love Reston Montessori School. The teachers have fostered a love of learning in both of my children. We have found it to be academically challenging and nurturing at the same time.