1613 Great Falls St., Suite 101B McLean, VA 22101

Programs

Nido

The Nido environment is rooted in the educational philosophy of Maria Montessori. In fact, the word Nido comes from the Italian word “nest” and is meant to convey the warmth and security of a home. At Lewinsville Montessori, we strive to create classrooms that are home-like with lovely, natural wooden and cloth materials, child-sized furniture, clean surfaces, and soft soothing music, for children to feel safe, cared for, loved, and challenged in their ideal home away from home, their Nido. Through the environment’s simplicity and order, the room is safe, secure, stimulating, and most importantly full of love. The preparedness of the teachers allows children to learn at their own pace, using their senses to explore and discover the world. The classroom focuses on two basic needs of the infant—a safe bonded relationship between adult and child and the development of the child’s growing sense of self and independence. The simplicity and order of our Nido environment supports safe discovery of the world as the child sensorially explores the environment. These spaces are then thoroughly enhanced by the tender care and developmental support offered by our staff. Each classroom is spacious to encourage freedom of movement. Beautiful Montessori materials developed to entice the sense of wonder innate in children while meeting their developmental needs in the areas of movement, language, motor skills, and independence fill each classroom. Each teacher carefully observes the children and matches the classroom materials to encourage their developmental progress based on Montessori training and on best practices from child development research. As did Maria Montessori, Lewinsville teachers “follows the child” and because they “follow the child,” they provide a variety of environments where infants and toddlers can explore based upon their curiosity and mobility, not just their age.

Nido I

An infant’s brain is wired for language acquisition and our environments offer rich opportunities for babies to learn through plenty of reading, singing, sign language and a running dialogue as your child’s caregivers explain the events of your child’s day. Our respect for each child shows by how we engage him in each care-giving activity with warm eye-contact and verbal explanations of each step, rather than merely just doing the tasks to the child.

For our infants 6 weeks to 14 months old Nido environment there are special mobiles and images to stimulate brain development, as well as a variety of tactile objects for children to explore. Because this is the period when infants learn to roll over, sit, scoot, crawl and potentially walk, the room has many opportunities for movement. In our Infant Nido rooms you will see…

  • Many soft floor mats and bolsters on which babies can move freely and develop gross motor skills.
  • Mirrors positioned close to the floor to stimulate tummy time and self-discovery.
  • An abundance of pillows for infants to climb over and prop themselves onto.
  • Low shelving with materials for fine-motor development and cause/effect, such as puzzles, rings on a post, and containers to open and close.

Nido I

An infant’s brain is wired for language acquisition and our environments offer rich opportunities for babies to learn through plenty of reading, singing, sign language and a running dialogue as your child’s caregivers explain the events of your child’s day. Our respect for each child shows by how we engage him in each care-giving activity with warm eye-contact and verbal explanations of each step, rather than merely just doing the tasks to the child.

For our infants 6 weeks to 14 months old Nido environment there are special mobiles and images to stimulate brain development, as well as a variety of tactile objects for children to explore. Because this is the period when infants learn to roll over, sit, scoot, crawl and potentially walk, the room has many opportunities for movement. In our Infant Nido rooms you will see…

  • Many soft floor mats and bolsters on which babies can move freely and develop gross motor skills.
  • Mirrors positioned close to the floor to stimulate tummy time and self-discovery.
  • An abundance of pillows for infants to climb over and prop themselves onto.
  • Low shelving with materials for fine-motor development and cause/effect, such as puzzles, rings on a post, and containers to open and close.

Nido II

For children 15-months old to 30-months old, our Nido II program provides a safe and comfortable environment for children beginning to walk and explore their surroundings.

This is a special time in the child’s development to discover and explore through active play. In addition, our educators give toddlers responsive, individualized attention to help build skills in:

  • Self-help
  • Sensory and Perception
  • Language
  • Physical and Motor Skills
  • Social and Emotional Growth

Nido II

For children 15-months old to 30-months old, our Nido II program provides a safe and comfortable environment for children beginning to walk and explore their surroundings.

This is a special time in the child’s development to discover and explore through active play. In addition, our educators give toddlers responsive, individualized attention to help build skills in:

  • Self-help
  • Sensory and Perception
  • Language
  • Physical and Motor Skills
  • Social and Emotional Growth

Nido III

The Toddler program, for children 2.5 – 3.5  years, takes advantage of the toddler’s natural drive to act independently. Lewinsville Montessori advances each child’s growth and development through a rich and and well prepared environment designed just for toddlers. The classrooms are a special place for the young child to begin his/her steps towards independence and self-reliance.

Dedicated, nurturing and trained teachers implement a toddler designed curriculum to foster cognitive development, speech and language development, strengthen fine motor and gross motor skills, introduce grace and courtesy lessons, and promote independence. An important part of a toddler’s developing independence is learning to care for him/herself by washing hands and putting on shoes and jackets.

Toddler exercises and activities recognize that children learn by doing. Classroom materials are always accessible, attractive, safe, and geared for a child’s success. Activities are changed regularly in response to children’s need for variety and challenge as they grow and learn. The safe, loving, gentle atmosphere puts children and parents at ease and makes for a trusting, spontaneous transition to school. Upon completion of the Toddler program, children join our Casa dei Bambini program.



Nido III

The Toddler program, for children 2.5 – 3.5  years, takes advantage of the toddler’s natural drive to act independently. Lewinsville Montessori advances each child’s growth and development through a rich and and well prepared environment designed just for toddlers. The classrooms are a special place for the young child to begin his/her steps towards independence and self-reliance.

Dedicated, nurturing and trained teachers implement a toddler designed curriculum to foster cognitive development, speech and language development, strengthen fine motor and gross motor skills, introduce grace and courtesy lessons, and promote independence. An important part of a toddler’s developing independence is learning to care for him/herself by washing hands and putting on shoes and jackets.

Toddler exercises and activities recognize that children learn by doing. Classroom materials are always accessible, attractive, safe, and geared for a child’s success. Activities are changed regularly in response to children’s need for variety and challenge as they grow and learn. The safe, loving, gentle atmosphere puts children and parents at ease and makes for a trusting, spontaneous transition to school. Upon completion of the Toddler program, children join our Casa dei Bambini program.



CASA DEI BAMBINI
(CHILDREN’S HOUSE)

The Lewinsville Montessori Casa dei Bambini (Italian for “Children’s House”) Program for ages 3 through 6 years old is a “living room” for children. Children choose their work from among the self-correcting materials displayed on open shelves, and they work in specific work areas. Over a period of time, the children develop into a “normalized community,” working with high concentration and few interruptions. Normalization is the process whereby a child moves from being undisciplined to self-disciplined, from disordered to ordered, from distracted to focused, through work in the environment. The process occurs though repeated work with materials that captivate the child’s attention. For some children this inner change may take place quite suddenly, leading to deep concentration.

When a parent walks into a Montessori classroom, the first thing you will notice is that all the children are busy and interested in what they are doing. One child may be counting, while another is reading short words—all are engaged in activity. Each classroom is designed to fulfill the developmental needs of the child.

CASA DEI BAMBINI
(CHILDREN’S HOUSE)

The Lewinsville Montessori Casa dei Bambini (Italian for “Children’s House”) Program for ages 3 through 6 years old is a “living room” for children. Children choose their work from among the self-correcting materials displayed on open shelves, and they work in specific work areas. Over a period of time, the children develop into a “normalized community,” working with high concentration and few interruptions. Normalization is the process whereby a child moves from being undisciplined to self-disciplined, from disordered to ordered, from distracted to focused, through work in the environment. The process occurs though repeated work with materials that captivate the child’s attention. For some children this inner change may take place quite suddenly, leading to deep concentration.

When a parent walks into a Montessori classroom, the first thing you will notice is that all the children are busy and interested in what they are doing. One child may be counting, while another is reading short words—all are engaged in activity. Each classroom is designed to fulfill the developmental needs of the child.

The Montessori Curriculum is designed to meet the needs of the child. It is an integrated thematic approach that ties together separate disciplines into studies of the physical universe, the world of nature, and the human experience. One lesson leads to many others.

Practical Life

Practical Life Exercises are just that, they are exercises so the child can learn how to do living activities in a purposeful way. The purpose and aim of Practical Life are to help the child gain control in the coordination of his movement, and help the child to gain independence and adapt to his society. It is therefore important to “Teach teaching, not correcting” (Montessori) to allow the child to be a fully functional member in his own society. These exercises also aid the growth and development of the child’s intellect and concentration and will in turn also help the child develop an orderly way of thinking. It reinforces independence, coordination, concentration, self-control, self-awareness, and confidence.

Example of some practical life exercises: Dressing, grooming, and washing, moving quickly, refining movements, cleaning, madders, social interactions, etc.   

Sensorial

Sensorial comes from the words sense or senses. As there are no new experiences for the child to take from the Sensorial work, the child can concentrate on the refinement of all his senses. The purpose and aim of Sensorial work are for the child to acquire clear, conscious, information and to be able to then make classifications in his environment. Montessori believed that sensorial experiences began at birth. Through his senses, the child studies his environment. Through this study, the child then begins to understand his environment. The child, to Montessori, is a “sensorial explorer”.

 

Exercises refine: Sight (visual), touch (tactile), smell (olfactory), taste (gustatory), sound (auditory).

Language Arts

Language is a system of symbols with an agreed upon meaning that is used by a group of people. Language is a means of communication ideas or feelings using conventionalized sounds and signs, thus, being the spoken and written language.

Children learn sounds of letters, basic sound analysis, to match number symbol to quantity, to speak in complete sentences and to use prepositional phrases. Basic skills in writing and reading are developed with sandpaper letters, alphabet cut-outs, and various presentations allowing children to link sounds and letter symbols effortlessly and to express their thoughts through writing.

When the child arrives in the Montessori classroom, he has fully absorbed his culture’s language. He has already constructed the spoken language and with his entry into the classroom, he will begin to consolidate the spoken language and begin to explore the written forms of language.

Because language is an intricate involvement in the process of thinking, the child will need to be spoken to and listened to often. The child will need a broad exposure to language, with correct articulation, enunciation, and punctuation. The child will need to experience different modes of language and to hear and tell stories. Most importantly, the child needs to feel free and be encouraged to communicate with others.

Mathematics

Math is all around the young child from day one. How old are you? In one hour, you will go to school. You were born on the 2nd. It is one of the most abstract concepts that the human mind has encountered.

Children learn using manipulative materials to enable the child to internalize concepts of number, symbol, sequence, operations, and memorization of basic facts. Montessori math instruction begins with work in the Sensorial curriculum and the materials associated with matching, sorting, classification, differentiation, and geometric shapes.

The concepts covered in the Casa/CH class are numeration, the decimal system, computation, the arithmetic tables, whole numbers, fractions, and positive numbers. We offer arithmetic to the child in the final two years of the first place of developments from age four to age five and six. The child first learns to count from 1-10 through the understanding of the concept that those numbers represent a specific amount.

By working with each material, the child will learn addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division and truly understand what each one means in their deeper sense. Through this method of teaching, Montessori offers the child a strong and solid foundation in the understanding of mathematics.

Math exercises use some of the following materials: Number rods, sandpaper numbers, number boards, spindle box, number tiles, beads, games.

Cultural

Acquisition of one’s own first culture is the child’s central developmental drive in the first plane of development.

Culture includes Creative Arts, Music, Science, Geography and Cultural Studies. Globes, maps, songs, landforms, collections of pictures of life in different cultures, and much more, is offered with the goal to help the child to grow as an individual alongside an appreciation of the larger context of his/her world.

Children learn how to use scissors, pencils, an eraser, glue, and crayons. They learn how to paint, string beads, identify high and low notes, sing songs, play games, basic color theory and color mixing, the days of the week, months of the year, basic sewing concepts. They learn to recognize the seven continents of the Earth, understand the rotation of the Earth, to use polite phrases, understand the basic needs of humans. The science curriculum aims to provide each child with a basic knowledge of zoology, botany, and personal health.

Field Trips

We bring fun to us! We have on-site field trips year-round which are all wonderful learning, enriching, as well as fun experiences for the children. The following are examples of our visitors: story tellers, musicians, puppeteers, and of course small animals and their handlers.