Kindergarten Program Hours
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
7:30 a.m. - 5:55 p.m.
The Brooksfield School’s full-day Kindergarten Program is the culmination of three years of work for our students. It’s all part of an innovative Montessori kindergarten curriculum in McLean, Virginia, accessible to any family in the Washington, D.C., metro area.
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At Brooksfield, kindergarten students work with their younger peers during morning classes. The mixed-age group is part of the Montessori method that encourages children to learn from each other, a technique that has been shown to improve student outcomes.
Kindergarten students come together each afternoon for Kindergarten Focus Time to continue their morning lessons and delve deeper into special units of study as well as:
- language and creative writing
- science and geography
This focus time provides an opportunity to reinforce the kindergartener's important role as a leader and role within the school community. In turn they are encouraged to bring their lessons to their younger classmates.
Some of the special units of study in Science and Geography include:
- solids, liquids and gas
- experimenting with states of matter
- map studies
- world biomes
- simple machines and more
They also expand their skills in Language, Math and Writing with lessons on:
- grammar (articles, nouns and verbs)
- time and money
- creative writing
We encourage social responsibility with community outreach projects, such as:
- making and delivering lavender sachets to nursing home residents over the holidays
- making no sew blankets for the local children’s hospital
- cultivating an organic garden to donate food to the local homeless shelter
- making Thanksgiving meals for the needy
- studying the needs of a local park and finding a local supplier to donate birdhouses
Finally, the kindergarten students have specialist classes each week such as:
- Physical Education
The kindergarteners also study dance, geography, history, art and art history, and theater.
Schedule At a Glance
7:30 – 8:45 a.m. Dragonfly Club Arrival — Open for Regular Extended Day
8:45 – 9:00 a.m. Arrival of Primary School
9:05 – 9:25 a.m. Circle Time
9:30 – 11:00 a.m. Work Time**
11:00 – 11:45 a.m. Playground
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch/Playground
1:00 – 2:40 p.m. Work Time**
2:45 – 3:00 p.m. Dismissal
3:00 p.m. Start of Dragonfly Club
Up to 5:55 p.m.
**Specialists in gardening, foreign language, art, creative movement, music, physical education and computers are also integrated into the school day to assist students’ creative growth and development.
A Kindergarten that Fosters Love of Learning
The longer a child’s exposure to the Montessori Method, the greater their outcomes in more-traditional classrooms. Kindergarteners who learn independent thinking, problem solving, curiosity and respect for others tend to be better prepared for first grade and beyond.
Brooksfield School kindergarteners are given some independence in their lesson plans. They’re given daily goals and decide on how to fulfill those goals. This gives them experience in goal-setting, meeting deadlines and executive functioning skills.
“It is surprising to notice that even from the earliest age, man finds the greatest satisfaction in feeling independent. The exalting feeling of being sufficient to oneself comes as a revelation.” - Maria Montessori
Montessori Kindergarten Leads to Discoveries
Montessori kindergarten allows children to focus on things they’re interested in, which fosters a lifelong love of learning. Instead of desks and worksheets, they get their choice of hands-on activities. These activities encourage physical development, and then they’re encouraged to branch out into wider subjects once they’ve mastered an activity. In this way, children “discover” things that they love while still learning cornerstone subjects.
The flexibility of Montessori kindergarten means that your child will have a teacher who can listen to their needs and accommodate them. Kindergarteners at Brooksfield love coming to school everyday, because they find school exciting. Keeping things active and interesting means they won’t develop a dislike of school at a young age, something that can stick with a child for years.
Everything in Montessori kindergarten is built around guidance, rather than lecturing. Books and supplies are kept at the children’s level, so they’re easily accessible to the kids rather than kept away at the teacher’s height to be doled out at his or her convenience. In this way, kindergarteners are encouraged to reach for what interests them and learning by doing. The teacher facilitates this process, rather than dictating. This allows the teacher to follow the child.
“Brooksfield is where my daughter fell in love with learning. It is where she developed the skills to be confident and the excitement for new discoveries and adventures. We are very grateful to the teachers at Brooksfield for giving our daughter a great foundation as she begins her education journey.” - Leila G.
A Hands-on Approach to Kindergarten
We encourage kindergarteners to move around the classroom and explore all the educational possibilities surrounding them. The discovery process fosters creativity while the hands-on approach means children engage on a deeper level.
With a teacher guiding the way, children gain strong understandings of the concepts each activity is meant to teach.
Think of learning to drive. Sure, you can learn the principles of operating a car. You can read the manual and study your state DMV’s pamphlet on the rules of the road. But did you really know anything about driving until you got behind the wheel and pressed the gas?
The value of experiential learning is why states require dozens of hours of instruction behind the wheel before they’ll give a teen a driver’s license. And it’s why Montessori kindergartens give children objects to feel their way through their learnings.
This process gives our kindergarteners (and our teachers) the opportunity to figure out what learning approach works best for the child. Very few learn well through a traditional lecture, especially not at a young age.
“This was an amazing experience for both my children. They learned so much and were ahead of the game when placed in their elementary school. They did not just advanced academically, but they learned social, environmental and life skills, as well.” - Peggy E.
Kindergarteners Learning to Lead
One of the biggest benefits of the Montessori Method is the leadership skills the children learn. In a mixed-age cohort, the younger children look up to the older ones.
While teachers guide activities, kindergarteners are encouraged to teach the younger students crucial skills. This peer learning has been proven to lead to better academic outcomes in both the mentor and protege, as well as teaching valuable socialization skills like empathy.
In mixed-age classrooms, the younger children do what they naturally do in the home, they observe. In the home, it’s older siblings and parents. In the Montessori classroom, it’s the older children and teachers. These are leadership opportunities that wouldn’t present themselves in classrooms defined by a single age group.
By taking on teaching responsibilities, the kindergarteners reinforce their own knowledge. Nothing reinforces a concept like teaching it to others. The kindergartener’s self-confidence grows with their academic skills.
“One often sees the small ones intently watching the work of others, particularly the older ones. In doing this, they absorb much more than it seems, and are already preparing themselves for more active social participation in the community of the class.” - Maria Montessori