Bristow Montessori School. Bristow, VA 20136

Admissions of students without regard to race, color, gender, or religion

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703 468 1191

9050 Devlin Rd

Bristow, VA 20136

6:30 am - 6:30 pm

Monday to Friday

logo

Contact Us

703 468 1191

9050 Devlin Rd

Bristow, VA 20136

6:30 am - 6:30 pm

Monday to Friday

FAQ’s

Respect

“Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.”
photo of Dr. Maria Montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori

2016-03-14T15:19:08+00:00

Dr. Maria Montessori

photo of Dr. Maria Montessori
“Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the […]

Concentration

“The first essential for the child’s development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy.”
photo of Dr. Maria Montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori

2017-01-27T14:52:19+00:00

Dr. Maria Montessori

photo of Dr. Maria Montessori
“The first essential for the child’s development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy.”

Natural Process

“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.”
photo of Dr. Maria Montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori

2017-01-27T14:53:57+00:00

Dr. Maria Montessori

photo of Dr. Maria Montessori
“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by […]

Living Environment

“Plainly, the environment must be a living one, directed by a higher intelligence, arranged by an adult who is prepared for his mission.”
photo of Dr. Maria Montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori

2017-01-27T14:55:43+00:00

Dr. Maria Montessori

photo of Dr. Maria Montessori
“Plainly, the environment must be a living one, directed by a higher intelligence, arranged by an adult who is prepared […]

Education

“Education should no longer be mostly imparting knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentials.”
photo of Dr. Maria Montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori

2017-01-27T15:07:19+00:00

Dr. Maria Montessori

photo of Dr. Maria Montessori
“Education should no longer be mostly imparting knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentials.”

Growth

“Growth is not merely a harmonious increase in size, but a transformation.”
photo of Dr. Maria Montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori

2017-01-27T15:05:35+00:00

Dr. Maria Montessori

photo of Dr. Maria Montessori
“Growth is not merely a harmonious increase in size, but a transformation.”

Family

“BMS has been wonderful. BMS isn't just a school, they've also become like family. The staff genuinely cares about the children and we couldn't be happier with their services.”

- Parent of 4-year-old

2017-02-16T22:54:25+00:00

- Parent of 4-year-old

“BMS has been wonderful. BMS isn’t just a school, they’ve also become like family. The staff genuinely cares about the […]

Needs

“These words reveal the child’s inner needs; ‘Help me to do it alone’.”
photo of Dr. Maria Montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori

2017-01-27T15:04:43+00:00

Dr. Maria Montessori

photo of Dr. Maria Montessori
“These words reveal the child’s inner needs; ‘Help me to do it alone’.”

Love

“Of all things love is the most potent.”
photo of Dr. Maria Montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori

2017-01-27T15:02:42+00:00

Dr. Maria Montessori

photo of Dr. Maria Montessori
“Of all things love is the most potent.”

Smile

“We have two kids attending BMS and we all love it! We have been part of the BMS family for 3 years now. The staff is always available to answer questions and greet you at the door with a smile. Our kids are excelling in all categories, and way ahead of County school standards for their age. I highly recommend BMS to any parent who wants the best for their child.”

- Parent of 3 and 4 year-old

2017-02-16T23:00:52+00:00

- Parent of 3 and 4 year-old

“We have two kids attending BMS and we all love it! We have been part of the BMS family for […]

Work

“Such experiences is not just play…. It is work he must do in order to grow up.”
photo of Dr. Maria Montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori

2017-01-27T15:01:56+00:00

Dr. Maria Montessori

photo of Dr. Maria Montessori
“Such experiences is not just play…. It is work he must do in order to grow up.”

Guidance

“But an adult if he is to provide proper guidance, must always be calm and act slowly so that the child who is watching him can clearly see his actions in all their particulars.”
photo of Dr. Maria Montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori

2017-01-27T15:00:55+00:00

Dr. Maria Montessori

photo of Dr. Maria Montessori
“But an adult if he is to provide proper guidance, must always be calm and act slowly so that the […]

Kind

“My 2.5 year old started at BMS when she was only 4 months old, and I couldn't be happier with our decision to enroll her here. With every room my daughter transitions to the teachers are kind and truly care for her well-being. I would recommend this school to any parent without hesitation.”

- Parent of 5-year-old

2017-02-16T23:01:37+00:00

- Parent of 5-year-old

“My 2.5 year old started at BMS when she was only 4 months old, and I couldn’t be happier with […]

Independance

“Little children, from the moment they are weaned, are making their way toward independence.”
photo of Dr. Maria Montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori

2017-01-27T14:58:13+00:00

Dr. Maria Montessori

photo of Dr. Maria Montessori
“Little children, from the moment they are weaned, are making their way toward independence.”

Montessori & BMS : FAQ's

Please find answers to your most frequently asked questions about the Montessori Method of education as well as specific questions about Bristow Montessori School.  Still can’t find the answer to your question?  Contact our front office at 703.468.1191.

Questions about Bristow Montessori School

Do you offer before school and after school care?

BMS offers an optional Before School Program (from 6:30 am to 8:30 am) and After School Program (from 3:00 pm to 6:30pm). For more details on pricing options, refer to our Tuition Page

Is the Montessori Education at BMS Authentic?

Bristow Montessori School’s curriculum follows principles endorsed by AMS (American Montessori Society), and actively recruits trained teachers and staff with credentials recognized by AMS and AMI (Association Montessori Internationale).  As an American Montessori Society (AMS) Member, Bristow Montessori School is proud to offer a genuine and traditional Montessori education.

How many students can Bristow Montessori School hold?

Capacity is 200 students

How safe is the facility?

The facility has surveillance cameras surrounding the school, entrance monitored security and door monitoring.

Why are their mixed ages in the Primary Classrooms?

We implement the traditional Montessori multi-age classroom concept as the optimum blend for academic, social and emotional learning. We believe that the dynamic classroom requires a sufficient gathering of children to operate effectively. We value cooperation and collaboration over competition and believe that each child’s work and behavior should be evaluated on his or her inherent capacity rather than by comparison. To introduce young children to this learning style, we offer an Infant (6 week-16 months) program, Toddler (16 months-24 months) program, a Pre-primary (2-3 year olds) program, Primary/Kindergarten (3-6 year olds together) and Elementary (7-9 year olds) with the same guiding principles.

What if my child needs more structure?

Because of the individualized nature of instruction, every BMS child receives as much structure as he/she requires. Structures are set up to support the child’s own development of responsibility, time management, etc. As the child gains responsibility in the needed areas, the structures are removed to allow for more freedom. The rule of thumb in the Montessori classroom is that freedom is always balanced with responsibility.

Does BMS assign homework?

At BMS we do not assign daily homework for many reasons. First and foremost, the school day at is full of active learning-by-doing. One of our goals is to ensure that your child is engaged in optimal learning and receiving optimal practice and instruction during the school day. Additionally we are convinced that there are many other activities students need to be doing at home after school: active outside play, reading, exploration, chores at home, and more. Too often “homework” crowds out worthwhile family pursuits. Research supports that children who spend time at home doing busy work are less likely to perform at school. We dedicate ourselves to never assign busy work, i.e. rote work, worksheets or workbook type activities. However, there are some exceptions. First, because reading is most improved by practicing it throughout the day, Elementary children are asked to read one half hour each day at home. Second, special circumstances may arise — e.g. such as memorizing class play lines. In place of assignments, your child’s teacher will keep you updated about Home Learning Extensions or HLE’s. As their name describes HLE’s are topics of current interest in the class that students are encouraged to pursue at home through research or writing or in a creative way. These independent activities prepare your child for guided independent study, which characterizes the middle school and high school years.

Questions about Montessori Education

What is Montessori

Montessori is an approach to the education of children. It is a way of looking at and understanding children. It is a view of how children develop and learn translated into a systematic method of education based upon careful scientific study. The Montessori educational system is unique in that it has successfully undergone continued development for more than ninety years and has been used effectively with children in different countries around the world. Perhaps the most significant reason for its success is that it is a comprehensive method of education resulting from an integration of research on development, learning, curriculum, and teaching.

What is the Montessori understanding of the nature of the child?

Children have a natural drive to act on and create with the things in their environment in order to develop. The child’s great task is to create an adult. As a result, children are not content unless they have an opportunity to develop and learn.

How does Montessori's understanding of the child influence her view of education?

Education is not what the teacher gives; education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the individual, and is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences upon the environment.” Therefore, the teacher’s job is to provide the materials and environment, which will aid development and to be ready to respond when help is needed.

What is Dr. Montessori's view of education?

Dr. Montessori felt that education should not be limited with only imparting knowledge, but must instead take a new path seeking the release of human potentialities. However, it must not be forgotten that, “if education is to be an aid to civilization, it cannot be carried out by emptying the schools of knowledge, of character, of discipline, of social harmony, and above all, of freedom.”

What is the Montessori concept of "freedom"?

Freedom is a goal, not a starting point. A free child (or adult) is one who is developing his potential and who knows how to find solutions to problems and, is also capable of asking for and receiving direction from others. Lack of discipline is not freedom and it usually results in a lack of skills. Whims and moods are obstacles to developing potential. The free child, of course, grows into the free adult. Freedom cannot flourish without being in balance with responsibility.

What is the Montessori concept of discipline?

The Montessori concept of discipline is an “inner discipline; self control which the child develops through purposeful activity. In a classroom atmosphere of freedom and responsibility each child is given the opportunity to develop inner discipline at his own pace.

How is a Montessori program different from other programs?

A Montessori program is different from other educational programs in a number of ways….

a) Teaches to individuals as well as to groups. In many other classrooms, lessons are presented to the whole class and only sometimes to small groups. In Montessori schools the general rule is reversed. Most of the time the teacher presents lessons to individuals. Other children can observe or participate, as they are interested. In this way, the teacher can address the specific needs of a child and can respond to that individual child’s interest and level of understanding. The child does not have to sit through something for which he or she is not ready. This individual attention also helps the teacher be much more familiar with the child. Thus, the teacher understands the child more fully, and better provides for that child. At the same time, it is important for children to feel a part of a group, and to learn how to be a contributing member of a group. Therefore, cooperative and collaborative group work is also encouraged as appropriate.

b) Children learn and remember through activity rather than through listening only and having to remember. In many non-Montessori classrooms children are expected to learn by listening to the teacher. Work is usually with paper and pencil. In a Montessori classroom, on the other hand, children learn by practicing with apparatus, which embodies the concept to be mastered. For example, when learning about shapes such as triangles, squares, circles, etc., instead of listening to a teacher talk about the shapes and watching her draw them on the chalk board, the children trace real figures and use them to make designs.

c) The Montessori curriculum is much broader than many other programs. The Montessori program teaches more than just the basics. First of all, it has exercises to develop the child’s basic capacities – his or her ability to control movement (motor development), to use senses (perceptual development), to think (cognitive development), to intend (volitional development), and to gain conscious awareness and control of emotions (affective or emotional development), to use language (language development), to belong, have friends, and be a contributing member of a group (social development), and have an ability to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behavior (moral
development). In this way, the program helps the child become a competent learner. This develops independence and responsibility.

In addition, the curriculum also helps the child develop a strong foundation in the language arts and math, and engages children in an in-depth study of physical and cultural geography, zoology, botany, physical science, earth science, astronomy, history, art, music and dance. In addition, children further learn practical skills for everyday life such as cooking, carpentry, and sewing. But, more than this, they learn how to be contributing members of a social community.

d) With regard to discipline, in a Montessori program the emphasis is on self-discipline developed through helping a child learn how to appropriately meet needs rather than attempting to control a child through the use of reward and punishments. The emphasis is on teaching skills and helping children develop socially, emotionally, morally, and intellectually.

e) In a Montessori classroom, the organization of the room allows children easy access to a variety of learning experiences. The room is specifically organized to appear attractive and orderly. Materials are displayed on shelves. The children understand the arrangement and work to maintain the order for the benefit of all.

f) The materials in a Montessori classroom are carefully designed and thoroughly researched to fit the developmental needs and characteristics of children.

g) Montessori teachers are trained to teach respect and positive values through their modeling as well as through the way they teach. The Montessori method of helping a child is through a process of showing a child what to do in a positive manner.

h) The Montessori program is systematic and carefully sequenced according to principles of development. Every activity is carefully thought out to build upon previous preparation and lessons and to lead the intelligence on to a higher activity.

i) The Montessori program is designed to develop independence and responsibility. The organization of the classroom, the method of teaching, and the practical life lessons are oriented toward helping the child become a self-sufficient and disciplined individual.

j) The routine of the Montessori program is based upon the principle of freedom of choice rather than on set times for prescribed activities. Since everything in the Montessori environment is something planned that is worthwhile and educational, the child can be free to work by choosing what best fits his or hers needs and interests.

k) In the Montessori classroom children are viewed as positive beings whose primary aim is the work of constructing a competent adult. Rewards and punishments, therefore, can only get in the way. Development and learning by themselves are adequate motivators. Likewise, children do not need to be appealed to through fantasy, bright colors, or gimmicks, as theses things come between the child and real learning. Therefore, joy is discovered and experienced in the real world through the study of nature, science, math, music, reading, history, and geography rather than in a world of comics, cartoons, and fantasy. Imagination develops through concrete experience, development of in-depth knowledge, and freedom to use one’s mind.

How does a Montessori education benefit children?

Experience and research both indicate that children attending Montessori schools tend to be competent, self-disciplined, socially well adjusted and happy.

Competence: Children in Montessori schools are often several years above grade level in their basic skills. Also, since the Montessori education is comprehensive, children are often exceptionally knowledgeable in a number of other areas as well.

Self-discipline: Montessori schools are well known for children’s development of self-discipline. Children choose to work long and hard. They treat materials and others with respect. They display patience, and resistance to temptation and the ability to attend for long periods.

Social Adjustment: Montessori school children usually strike a visitor as friendly, empathetic and cooperative. The classroom is a cheerful social community where children happily help each other. It is not uncommon to see a child offer to help another child. Also, learning social grace and courtesy are a part of the Montessori curriculum.

Happiness: Most parents of children in a Montessori school comment on how much their children love school.

What is a Montessori Elementary classroom like?

A Montessori classroom is an exciting place to be. There are many interesting and beautiful resources with which the children can work. There are many interesting books on a wide assortment of topics such as on insects, plants, animals, different countries, history, etc. However, textbooks, workbooks, and ditto sheets are not used. Instead, children work with many different concrete materials, which help them to learn through an active process. In using these materials the children may make their own books, draw their own maps or time lines, and develop their own projects. As a result, the classroom is a busy, happy place to be. Since the classroom is well organized, with the intention of making all the materials visible and accessible for the children, the children can find what they want and work without having to wait for the teacher. Some children may be reading while others are doing math. Some people may be studying about ants while others are listening to classical music on headphones.

The children are all engaged in purposeful activity, which leads and develops the intelligence. The materials set out in the room have been carefully designed with an educational purpose in mind. Because of this, the children are free to move from activity to activity. They don’t need to wait for assignments from the teacher. Meanwhile, the teacher is free to help individuals or small groups. The teacher is not tied to a routine of having to present a series of large group lessons to the whole class. The classroom is activity-centered rather than teacher-centered. The teacher’s job is to prepare the classroom, set out the materials, and then observe the children and determine how to help. The teacher does not need to test the children because it is easy to see how they children are doing by observing their activities. In this way, the teacher can have immediate, up-to-date information about any child without time being taken way from learning and without threat of failure being imposed upon the child. Without the threat of failure, and with so many intriguing things to do, discipline problems disappear and a friendly, cooperative social community forms. Cooperation rather than competition becomes the tone of the room and adversarial relationships disappear, becoming friendships.

Is the Montessori method being used in public schools?

The Montessori method is now being used in many public as well as private schools. An increasing number of public school teachers are discovering the Montessori method of education. Many teachers find that the Montessori approach provides support for what they have intuitively been trying to do. These teachers are excited about Montessori and once they make the commitment to devote themselves to being trained in the practice of Montessori. The specific materials and techniques change the way they approach teaching. Part of the Montessori method is an emphasis on the child as a ‘child of the world.’

The self-directed nature of the Montessori method seems appropriate for pre-schoolers and even Kindergartners, but there is specific knowledge that Elementary children must learn. What if an Elementary Montessori child never becomes interested in handwriting or fractions, will s/he never learn those things? How does the Montessori teacher ensure that the students learn even the things they are not drawn to?

Elementary Montessori is not without structure. Different schools and different teachers will have their own way of organizing the classroom. Usually a contract is made between each student and the teacher each week. The contract is a written form of records that the child fills out as he completes his required work. Upon entering the class in the morning students check the schedule, which is posted for the day. This responsibility ritual gives everyone direction and provides continuity so that the children know what to expect and how to be accountable. Throughout the day, students have a good idea of where they are in fulfilling their responsibilities. Each student receives the guidance of the teacher with appropriate ways to accomplish their independent tasks. Some children require daily guidance, while weekly review and consequences work for other students. Consequences for not fulfilling the weekly contract may look like this: “You chose to visit your friends over getting your work finished, we will take time at the last 10 minutes of recess to hear how you plan to make a better choice tomorrow. Older children can write out their plan and present it to the teacher.” The natural consequences are pre-arranged so there are no surprises.

The Montessori method was created a century ago; is it applicable today?

While appropriate changes have been made to the original Montessori curriculum (including the introduction of computers and modifications to the Practical Life exercises to keep them culturally relevant), the basic tenants have changed little since Dr. Montessori’s lifetime because the developmental stages of humans have not changed. Furthermore, contemporary research and evaluation are confirming many of Montessori’s insights; a major example of this is in the area of learning-based research.

How do Montessori children do in the 'real world'?

Research studies show that Montessori children are well prepared for life academically, socially and emotionally. In addition to scoring well on standardized tests, Montessori children are ranked above average on such criteria as following directions, turning in work on time, listening attentively, using basic skills, showing responsibility, asking provocative questions, showing enthusiasm for learning, and adapting to new situations. The habits and skills, which a child develops in a Montessori classroom, are skills for a lifetime. They help him/her to work more effectively, to observe more carefully and to concentrate well no matter where s/he goes. Research shows that the best predictor of future success is a sense of self-esteem. Montessori programs, based on self-directed, non-competitive activities help children develop good self-images and the confidences to face challenges and change with optimism.

How does Montessori foster healthy competition?

Dr. Montessori simply observed that competition is an ineffective tool to motivate children to learn and work hard in school. Dr. Montessori, herself an extraordinary student and a very high achiever only objected to using competition to create an artificial motivation to get students to achieve. Montessori schools allow competition to evolve naturally among children, without adult interference unless the children begin to show poor sportsmanship. The key is the child’s voluntary decision to compete, rather than having it imposed on him/her.