Ages 3 to 6 at the Aquinas and Old Town Montessori Schools
“Let ME do it!” is a normal outcry of a young child. Young children love to test their independence and do things by themselves. Our Montessori primary program allows children to grow and explore in a scientifically prepared environment designed to meet their developmental priorities, allowing them to experience the joy of learning in an environment that admires and respects their need be active participants in their own education.
Our Montessori primary curriculum for children ages 3 through 6 is highly individualized to support each child’s physical, social, and emotional development. Unlike traditional teachers implementing a set curriculum to the whole group at the same time, a Montessori guide is trained to observe each child’s unique needs. She selects learning activities from the primary curriculum that meet a child’s interest at that particular moment in their development.
Young children become incredibly competent and capable individuals in our children’s house program as they learn to care for themselves and their environment. In the mixed age setting, they cultivate a deep level of compassion and care towards others. They develop a meaningful respect for their own work and activity and for the work and efforts of others. They observe and learn from the work of their classmates. They build an exact and scientific vocabulary while discovering facts about science and culture. They learn to read through a scientifically designed progression and explore addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division through our specially designed didactic materials that lead young children on a path to abstract mathematical thinking. Of course, no curriculum is complete without delving into artistic and musical studies. Children draw, paint, sew, sing, dance, and learn of their own culture and the cultures of the world.
As children progress in our program, their work becomes increasingly complex and impressive. Children experience an explosion of competency during the “magical” Montessori Kindergarten year in which children develop academic skills in reading and mathematics that are the envy of other programs. The final year of primary also offers unique opportunities for leadership as the children give lessons and provide guidance to younger children. They become leaders in the classroom inspiring hard work, curiosity, and kindness in all of the students. The older children develop compassion and mentoring skills that give them the social tools that allow them to march confidently on into our elementary program.
We have three primary classrooms on the Aquinas Montessori School campus near the Mount Vernon estate and two in the heart of Old Town, Alexandria at Old Town Montessori School. Children younger than 5 years attend school five days a week from 8:30 AM till 11:45 AM. Once children are ready for a full day of work in the classroom, around the age of 5, they are invited to stay until 3:00 PM. in the Montessori classroom. Before-school care from 7:30 AM to 8:30 AM, as well as after-school care until 6:00 PM, is available to the children of all ages at both campuses.
The school year begins on the Tuesday after Labor Day and continues through the first week in June.