Montessori uses hands-on materials and real specimens to make the learning process concrete and exciting. Learning is not in the abstract – it is real and relevant to the child’s level of understanding and everyday experience. This keeps students engaged deeply in the learning process, which helps them retain a love of learning instead of becoming bored.
Montessori Night 2024
Spend an evening at Oneness-Family School and discover why Montessori students love to learn!You are warmly invited to attend Montessori Night on February 29 from 6:00 - 7:30 pm at the Oneness-Family School Chevy Chase campus.
Experience Montessori learning through demonstrations by students and faculty. Explore our classrooms and learn about our unique Montessori curriculum for ages 2 through 12th grade.
Free childcare is provided for children age 2 through third grade, and includes a performance by The Great Zucchini, a renowned children's entertainer in the DC metro area for over 25 years!
Lower School Campus, 6701 Wisconsin Avenue
Montessori is a dynamic learning approach. In a Montessori environment, many things are happening at the same time. Teachers may be giving separate lessons to different small groups while other students are doing independent assignments. Teachers monitor student lessons and work every step of the way. The benefit is that students are getting lessons right for them and are also learning to work on their own to accomplish tasks.
In Montessori – the focus is always on the whole – the big picture. Facts are easily forgotten unless they are taught in a broader context. Montessori kids enjoy learning about “big ideas” - the essential concepts of science, geography, and history. They learn these concepts through inspiring stories and creative follow-up activities. Montessori students also continuously learn how to make connections between ideas in different subjects. The benefit is that Montessori students remember what they have learned at a deeper level.
Students progress at their own rate. In a Montessori school, there is no limit to how fast a student can progress. When a student is ready for a new challenge, the teachers are ready to help them to meet it. As a result, Montessori schools like OFS have students reading far above grade level, doing advanced math, learning research methods and utilizing technology to learn and to make presentations. OFS graduates entering high school, for example, are advancing to level 2 or 3 foreign languages, often taking Geometry or higher, and are frequently in advanced placement literature/writing classes. Of course, students who need support in a subject (and even advanced students often do), can get this too in a Montessori classroom where students receive individual attention.
Multi-age classrooms: Maria Montessori discovered the magic of multi-age classrooms over 85 years ago. Now, the concept has been adopted, in modified form, in many non-Montessori schools everywhere. A multi-age classroom taps into our natural desire to learn from others who know more than us and our joy in teaching others what we know. In addition, the multi-age classroom allows students to go through a 3-year leadership cycle, allowing students and families to stay with a team of teachers to build a deep relationship of trust and communication.
Intrinsic motivation: Montessori schools do not attempt to motivate by grades, threats, punishments, or rewards. Rather, with emphasis on choice and initiative, students take charge of their learning process in partnership with their teachers. Students do assignments not because of the grade they will get but because it has meaning and relevance to them. The reward of learning is the learning itself – not just a grade. In a Montessori environment, assessment can take many forms, including individual or group student projects and presentations – which build very strong communication skills.
Non-competitive learning: Montessori students gain very strong self-confidence because they understand their talents and the areas in which they need to improve. Moreover, they learn to appreciate the gifts of others. How does this prepare them for the “real world”? The more solid students are in who they are – and the greater their ability to empathize with others – the better prepared they will be for future success.
Self-Organization: Montessori students begin to plan their days in preschool. At OFS, in grades 1-3, they learn to do a daily work plan in consultation with their teachers, which includes the lessons they must attend and the independent assignments they will do. When students graduate to grades 4-5, they begin to plan a week at a time, and in grades 6-8, they learn to look at the entire scope of a cycle of learning – about eight weeks. Along the way, they learn how to break down longer-term projects and assignments into actionable steps. The benefit is that Montessori students are very self-directed and capable academic students and far ahead of their peers when it comes to knowing how to do a research paper or study for an exam.
Montessori classrooms encourage students to ask questions and challenge assumptions. Students learn early on that their ideas are important –and that all great ideas come from deep thinking. Maria Montessori understood that the heart of learning is in the questions students ask. Moreover, where traditional learning focuses on “one right answer," Montessori encourages students to discover more than one answer where possible. The benefit is that students learn to think differently about topics and to appreciate many viewpoints.
Part of a community: Both the social environment and the curriculum in a Montessori school are powerful reinforcements of the idea that we are part of a greater whole. From 2 years old onward, students learn how to care for their classroom and each other. As Montessori students get older, they learn to acknowledge each other and to solve conflicts that will arise. In their curriculum studies, Montessori’s “great lessons” focus on our human family, the evolution of life, and the shared home we call Earth. Students learn to see their place in the community and the world and to understand that they have an important responsibility to support the well-being of our planet and its great web of life.
Explore Montessori Education at Oneness-Family School
Located in Chevy Chase and Kensington, Maryland, Oneness-Family School has served families who value student-centered learning and personal growth alongside a rigorous curriculum for 35 years.
At Oneness-Family School, we champion academic, social, and emotional skills to prepare every student for life, not just for school. Our learning program combines a traditional Montessori curriculum emphasizing mindfulness, social-emotional development, and leadership skills. We teach students to be compassionate and courageous world citizens with an enduring love of learning.