The program at MCHL is designed to meet the physical, social, emotional and cognitive needs of each child. Children are encouraged to develop good work habits and share in the responsibility of their learning. They work at their own pace and on their own level with gentle guidance from dedicated teachers. The Montessori materials are designed to appeal to the child’s natural desire to learn. They are divided into the following areas:
Activities in this area are designed to give children opportunities to practice the skills necessary for everyday life. Children get great satisfaction in the simple tasks that allow them to pour, spoon, scrub and sweep. Not only is the child working toward independence, but the activities help in developing coordination and a sense of order. Children are taught how to care for their own environment and are given lessons in grace and courtesy
The sensorial materials provide the children with opportunities to explore colors, shapes, smells and sounds. Children learn best when allowed to touch, feel, hold, smell, listen and taste. The sensorial materials are designed to refine the senses while also preparing the child for further learning in math and language.
The verbal skills of the young child are stimulated every moment at MCHL through conversation and exposure to high quality children’s books. Reading and writing are intimately connected and integrated strategies are offered to ensure success. The tracing of a sandpaper letter provides the tactile, phonetic foundation for later reading. A variety of fun and enriching activities are available to facilitate the child’s emerging writing skills, beginning with the early scribbling stage to keeping a daily journal.
A basic tenet of Montessori education is that understanding is often a matter of seeing and touching. Special equipment helps the child to absorb abstract concepts through the use of concrete materials. A broad spectrum of activities in the room allows one child to count sets of five or six buttons while next to him a child is adding four digit numbers, through the use of manipulatives.
Art and Music activities are an integral part of the curriculum and available to children every day.
Studies have shown that teaching a second language to children at an early age greatly improves their chances of achieving fluency and a native-like accent. The Spanish program at MCHL incorporates puppets, games, songs and stories in its classes. Children enrolled in our Early Childhood classes attend Spanish class once a week. One of the Early Childhood classes is bilingual. It is taught by a certified Montessori teacher. Lessons are given in English and Spanish. The kindergartners have Spanish twice a week.
The Mandarin class at MCHL, which opened in September 2017, is offered to families as an option in our Early Childhood ( ages 3 -6) program. It is team taught by Andrea Shamwell and Lisa Li. Ms. Shamwell is a Montessori certified teacher who has been a lead teacher for ten years. Xiao (Lisa) Li taught young children for six years at the Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School prior to joining the MCHL staff in 2017. She is also on the staff at the American Weekend Chinese School in Herndon. Together they have created a warm and inviting a bi-lingual classroom that offers the children enrolled a rich language and cultural experience. Lessons, songs and stories are given initially in English and then repeated in Mandarin. The children are exposed to both languages in an informal, conversational way that is natural for language development.
The weekly computer class ensures that all kindergarten students are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills for using a laptop. The curriculum gives the children opportunities to gain experience and confidence as they learn to navigate with a mouse. Students are introduced to the basic parts of the computer and learn technology-related vocabulary. They practice the proper use of the keyboard and the mouse. Furthermore, our kindergarteners can connect technology to classroom learning and extend their knowledge of the Montessori curriculum . Educational software reinforces and enriches the student’s understanding of concepts in language, math, science and cultural studies. Finally, by using word processing programs, the children can enhance their budding creative writing skills by writing a simple sentence and creating an image to go with it.
Science, Movement, Field Trips, Dance, Legos, Bollywood, Soccer, Arabic