Beginning Montessori Education At Home

Montessori Education

It’s never too early to start preparing your child for his or her Montessori education. By introducing Montessori-inspired activities to a child’s play time at home, you can help to make the transition from home to your child’s first Montessori school a fun and stress-free experience.

Hello World!

At the age of four, your child is discovering new things every day about the world he or she lives in. Everything, from their own body to the weather is of fascination to young children and, there are a number of activities you can do with your child in order to harness this fascination.

The Seasons

At this age, your child will recognise that sometimes it’s cold and they need to wear a sweater and, other times, it’s hot and they have trips to the beach or the park. This is a great time to start teaching your child about the seasons with a Season Collage Board. Attach a large piece of card to the wall in the child’s playroom and divide it into four sections marked Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Discuss with your child these four seasons and, what they mean to the child. Together, you can then collect clippings from magazines, your own photographs and stick them to the collage in the corresponding section. You can also add simple key words to the collage which your child will understand such as hot, cold, rain, snow, beach etc. This is a great way to teach your child not just about the seasons but also about observation and identification and, rudimentary reading and writing skills.

Our World

It’s extremely important for children to gain an insight into different countries and cultures – and to understand that geography needn’t be boring. Download child-friendly maps from Kidzone and, concentrating on one country or region at a time, explore it with your child, noting down details such as language, food and quirks. It’s a good idea to take this one slowly, concentrating on one country per week so that your child doesn’t become overwhelmed. Try cooking a dish from that week’s country and learning a word in that language and noting these down in a World Diary.

Back To Nature

Many Montessori schools include nature and agriculture studies and this is a really easy one to give your child a head start on. Take a walk with your child around a local park or beach. Stop regularly to observe what is around you and discuss with your child. Collect objects such as acorns, sea-shells and leaves and discuss them. Back home, attach these objects to a collage and encourage your child to look through magazines to find pictures of similar items to add to the collage. You can also add key words, photographs of your own and drawings. As your collage grows, so does your child’s understanding of the world around him or her.

Montessori education in Virginia is very much child-based and child-focused so, if your child does not show an interest in a particular activity then, put that activity aside for another time and try something new. Trying different activities is a fantastic way of finding out where your child’s interests lay and, cultivating those interests.

Our Guide To The Top 3 Montessori Schools In Virginia

Montessori schools in VirginiaThere are a number of factors to consider when choosing a Montessori school in Virginia.  From curriculum to class size, safety to surroundings, the choice can often be baffling.

We’ve put together our pick of the Top 3 Montessori schools in Virginia to help you narrow your choices and find the best Montessori school for your child.

Mountainside Montessori

Promising the very highest standards of Montessori education whilst fostering community, respect, and cooperation, Mountainside Montessori combines academica, free play in nature, agriculture and foreign language studies. Mountainside Montessori has its own farm which includes pigs, goats and chickens and the school focuses on agriculture as well as an appreciation and internalization of Fauquier County’s history and values.

Montessori Academy Of Virginia

The Montessori Academy of Virginia combines traditional academic with child development through the 8 Montessori principles.  The Montessori Academy’s main focus is on the individual learning stages and development of each child in order to prepare them to make a meaningful contribution to society, as they grow older.

The school’s educational program is based on the values introduced by Dr. Maria Montessori over 100 years ago.  utilizes the educational program created by the first female Italian medical doctor, Dr. Maria Montessori over hundred years ago.

Montessori Children’s House

The Montessori Children’s House uses individual interest, activities and motivations to form a vital level of development for younger children.  Each child is guaranteed individual attention and engagement for a full Montessori experience. Montessori Children’s House’s mottos independence, responsibility, innovation and initiative.

As you prepare to choose a Montessori school for your child, rest assured that the quality of Montessori schools in Virginia is second to none.

For a full list of Montessori schools in Virginia, visit:

What To Look For In A Montessori Daycare Facility

Daycare Facility

One of the most important decisions a parent will ever make is choosing the right Montessori daycare facility for their child.  It goes without saying that, first and foremost, safety is the priority but, there are also a number of other factors to take into consideration.  First time parents are often baffled by the range of options available when it comes to daycare and find themselves unsure as to which are important. Often when choosing daycare, it comes down to gut instinct but, the following check list will help guide you in choosing the right one for you and your child:


Ask the Manager / Team Leader what precautions they have in place regarding the safety of the children, ie lockdown procedures, identity procedures during pick-up etc. A good daycare facility should be able to give you a comprehensive, printed statement of all safety processes in place.


Whether your child has a food allergy / intolerance, or you just prefer them to eat healthily, it’s important that the daycare facility takes your preferences seriously.  Check that they are prepared to follow your preferences and that your child will not have access to other, unsuitable, foods during their visit.

Sensitive issues

All children develop at different rates – which means that, whereas some children may be potty trained, yours may not.  Should this be the case, discuss this with a potential daycare facility to ensure that it will be dealt with in a sensitive manner.


Just like adults, children will often squabble and fight.  Whether it’s fighting over a toy or competing for attention, conflicts will occur and, you need to know the daycare facilities policies in dealing with it when it does.  If the facility’s attitude toward this differs from yours, it may be a deal breaker.   


When entrusting your child to a daycare facility you will, understandably, want to know what their day will entail  Ask for a detailed description of a typical day in order to get a feel for how proactive and forward thinking they are.  Try to choose a Montessori daycare which offers a wide range of educational and developmental activities rather than one which encourages ‘nap time’ and ‘free play.’

Enrolling your child into daycare can feel like their first step away from you but, choosing a good Montessori daycare facility will enrich your child’s life, encourage friendships and accelerate development.

What Parents Want From Their Child’s Montessori Education

Montessori academyIn our competitive world, most parents start thinking about their child’s Montessori education even before he or she is born.  Considered one of the most important decisions faced by parents, the choice of a Montessori academy or school is dependent on a number of factors and, we’ve put together the top five boxes to be ticked when making this incredibly important decision.




First and foremost, parents want to know that, when they entrust their child to a Montessori school, the staff there will be highly experienced i ensuring that the child’s safety is guaranteed.  From playground bullying to lockdown procedures, the safety measures that a Montessori academy or school has in place can be a deal breaker.




Parents of Montessori students want to know what their child’s day will involve.  From academic endeavours to free time and special curriculum items such as agriculture, a good Montessori academy should be able and willing to share with parents the structure of their child’s school day.




Parents need to know that their child will be recognised as an individual and will receive as much attention and care from staff as he or she needs.  From funny little quirks to special needs, it is vital that a Montessori academy is equipped to recognise each child’s unique and individual qualities.




Many parents enjoy being involved in their child’s Montessori education in Virginia including participating in school events and decision making.  Whilst assuring busy parents that it’s not compulsory, a good Montessori academy in Virginia should be able to offer parents the opportunity to become hands-on with school events, should they desire to do so.




As important as these other factors are, the point of a Montessori education is to prepare the child for their academic career.  Most parents will have checked out the school’s academic rating before even looking at the prospectus of a Montessori academy and will often require proof of results before entrusting their child’s future to the school.


There are, of course, other factors to consider when choosing a Montessori academy in Virginia such as location and reputation – many parents find that they immediately ‘get a feel’ for a school on their first visit so it’s worth making an informal appointment with the Principal before going further.

The Parent Trap – What Are The Issues For Today’s Parent?

What Are The Issues For Today’s ParentA recent meme making the rounds on Facebook claims that 90% of being the parent of a young child is continuously asking, ‘Why is this wet?’ Very amusing but, of course,
very very far from the truth.
Parenting is all about worrying – worrying if the child is healthy, worrying that they are happy and, of course, worrying about their Montessori education.

Cause for concern

A recent survey listed some of the main worries that parents have regarding their children and found that most of these concerns centre around their child’s Montessori
academy life.


A lot of parents find that, when their child leaves the cocoon of home in order to begin their Montessori education, they worry that they will fall victim to bad influences. Most schools are made up of students from different races, different cultures and different home backgrounds. As a country which celebrates diversity within Montessori education, this is of course a good thing but it does unfortunately lead to the possibility of negative influence such as an attentive and quiet child falling under the spell of a more boisterous child prone to distracting classrooms.


It’s the worst fear of many parents that they will discover that their child is being bullied by another. As a parent, it can be almost impossible to believe that not everybody is as
in awe of their child as they are. Bullying can stem from many issues such as jealousy, insecurity or a sense of injustice. A good school or Montessori academy will be expert at spotting signs of bullying and will take steps to stop it.


Anybody who owns a television or uses the internet will be aware of the occasional, horrific attacks by students on their fellow students and teachers. In 2018, most schools and Montessori education facilities now have strategies and lockdown procedures in place to deal with these situations and, children and teachers are given regular drills to ensure that they know what to do should such an attack take place.

Internet safety

With children as young as seven now owning cell phones, many parents worry that they have no control over what their child might see on the internet whilst in the school playground. Many schools and Montessori academies in Virginia are reaching a stage of imposing a complete ban on cell phones in schools for just this reason.
Unfortunately, unless they perform time-consuming checks of each child’s pockets and bags, this one is quite difficult to keep a handle on.


Even in very young children in Montessori education, some parents worry that their child may come into contact with illegal drugs during their school day. Recent horror stories in the news have told stories of children as young as nine and ten being found with cannabis in their school bags – hard to believe but no less worrying.
At Mountainside Montessori Academy in Virginia, we are more than aware of all of these concerns – and many more. At Mountainside we don’t believe that our job stops with your child’s academic education which is why we regularly speak to all of our students about issues which may be worrying themselves or their parents. As a Montessori with a strict anti-bullying policy, we also work hard to ensure that every child in attendance in our schools is happy and free from the threat of verbal or physical abuse.

A world of experience Montessori education

A world of experience

As inexpensive travel and a greater understanding of our world become more and more accessible, increasing numbers of children have travelled overseas by the time they are
just six or seven. With trips to Europe, Asia and beyond growing in popularity all the time, we believe that helping children to identify their own boundaries is of paramount
importance during their Montessori education.

Bringing the world closer

We understand that time and budget restrictions mean that it’s not always possible to schedule trips to London or Bangalore during the school break – which is why we’ve
devised our hugely popular summer camp focusing on travel. Five Days, Five Countries is a five day camp for children aged between 5 and 10 and is
designed to encourage children to explore their world.

During this fun and educational week, children will learn important geography skills as well as taking part in fun activities designed to teach them about other countries and
cultures. Food and social activities from five different countries will be introduced to the children (nothing scary, we promise – absolutely no frogs legs!) including cooking of the
dishes. We’re also delighted to welcome special guests who will engage the children with stories of their own travels to ignite your child’s interest.
For more information about the camp and about accommodation, visit: [insert link]

The Figures Don’t Lie – Montessori Students Excel

Year upon year, the number of Montessori schools in Virginia is steadily growing as more and more educators switch on to Dr. Maria Montessori’s revolutionary education methods.

Living the dream

The Montessori Association for Virginia describes Montessori as ‘Everything you think a school should be.  It is an education that considers the whole child – the intellectual, social, emotional being.’  To be honest, it’s difficult to imagine who wouldn’t want that for their child, isn’t it?

Pretty words aside, a recent study found that a Montessori education offers significant advantages to students in later life.  Among a study of a group of 5 year olds, the study proved that Montessori students were significantly more prepared for elementary school in terms of reading and math skills than non-Montessori educated children.

An all round education

Professor Lillard who was in charge of the study said that, of the results, ‘Particularly remarkable are the positive social effects of Montessori education as well as the ‘executive function’ – the ability to adapt to changing and complex issues and problems.’

“We found significant advantages for the Montessori students in these tests for both age groups,” Lillard said. “Particularly remarkable are the positive social effects of Montessori education. Typically the home environment overwhelms all other influences in that area.”
Other areas where Montessori educated children excelled was in behavioral tests where they displayed an advanced sense of justice and fairness.

When term time holidays mean a jail term | Montessori Education System

When term time holidays mean a jail term


In recent years, there have been a number of cases in Great Britain of legal action being taken against parents for taking their children on vacation in term time. Following new legislation in the UK, 26 parents were jailed in 2017, depriving children of their parent for up to a month for the sake of a week in Tenerife.  As many parents continue to defy the new legislation, as the leading Montessori academiy of Virginia have to ask, just how harmful is it to a child to miss five days of school in the best Montessori schools in Virginia?


Unfair practices


The reason for parents defying the legislation is usually quite simple – vacation prices rise dramatically during official school holidays – In 2016, parents reported that popular resort company, Centreparcs, increased its prices by as much as £680 for a family of four between term time and the school holidays; a price hike which some parents say forced them to take their children out of school.  There have been a number of calls for the Government to intervene in these unfair practices but no action has, so far, been taken.   Although older children facing important exams should not, of course, be encouraged to miss school, how important is it for younger children?


Some Montessori education professionals in the USA and the UK feel that it’s too distracting for classes to be constantly fluctuating as children are taken out of school, however, others say it can actually be a good thing.  Some schools now work this on a merit system whereby a child whose work and attendance record is consistent may be granted term time vacation, encouraging children and parents to make sure that this is the case.  On the child’s return to class, teachers then encourage another child to show the holiday-maker the work that he or she missed, therefore encouraging teamwork.


A high price to pay


Whatever a school’s stance on term time vacations, many parents firmly believe that their child experiencing new countries, cultures and ways of life is worth a huge amount – even jail time!

Montessori Education System

Montessori education system

An Education Is More Than The Sum Of Its Parts


Today’s Montessori education system is increasingly competitive with schools vying for the top spot in county tables and the best results in tests and exams – even for children as young as six and seven.  Not only does this add considerable stress to the lives of teachers and principals but, studies show that these young children are also suffering the effects of the pressure to compete.


An education for life


At Mountainside Montessori, one of the best Montessori schools in Virginia, we firmly believe that a child’s education is so much more than learning to read and write and passing tests.  For the past 14 years, we’ve been dedicated to not only providing an academic education but an education for life.  A few years back, a study revealed that an alarming number of children have no idea where basic food groups come from and how they are raised / grown.  What’s the point of our children being able to add and subtract without a basic understanding of the world that they live in?


To address this imbalance, our schools have, since 2010, included hands-on sustainable agriculture and environment activities for all children as well as free play in nature.  We believe that children need to be taught to respect and protect our Earth and, where better to start than in the earth itself?


Giving something back


By learning to grow crops and to spend time in nature, we know that our students are receiving much more than the ability to pass tests – they’re learning life skills that will serve them well into adulthood.


Oh, and by the way, our students are also great at passing tests too – Mountainside Montessori School is the best Montessori academy in Virginia as recognized by AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) for maintaining their standards and the high level of excellence that Maria Montessori envisioned.

Early Childhood Education Mountainside Montessori

Early Childhood Education Mountainside Montessori

You cannot start at a better place to explore early childhood education. Helping a child learn and
develop, understand the world around them and where they are going is an enormous
responsibility. The Montessori Method for education is an ideal solution. View their website
and take a few minutes to browse through everything.
You will be amazed by what you will learn, so imagine what your toddler or kindergartener can
achieve once you look at their curriculum. This is a model for early childhood education.
Starting children out as toddlers, when they are so inquisitive and energetic makes good use of
all that energy to give them something to learn about and think about. Actor, director and
philanthropist, George Clooney went to Montessori as a toddler and look where he is now. Even
at that tender age, children soak up knowledge that can remain with them all their lives. Start
them out young and eager.
Like many Montessori schools, Mountainside does more than just learn in the classroom. Their
campus offers agricultural education and in 2016 added pigs, goats and chickens that the children
help care for and learn about. Students in Toddler, Primary, Elementary and Adolescent classes
all take part in doing some chores and learning about the farm. Its an opportunity to get outside
and explore nature and have some fun. Students are not restricted to a classroom all day. They
are free to explore.
This method of early childhood education is helping children learn good study habits at a young
age will stay with them all their lives. Now is the perfect time to get them in school. This will
give them a model to follow and that is how they learn by developing their own lessons. Watch
the videos and see how our students progress and even help each other. That is why there are
three age groups in each class. Older students can help the younger ones and they build bonds
by working together.
Mountainside Montessori is a beautiful school with exceptional leadership and teachers that care
about early childhood education and work together to make sure each student succeeds. Here is
our website again: Contact us today for a tour.