Little Oaks Montessori Academy leads the way of early learning
First impressions are very pleasing when you enter the doors at Little Oaks Montessori Academy (LOMA) in Herndon, Virginia. Fresh flowers, plants and custom pieces from local artists adorn the lobby and hallways. Classrooms are spacious, bright and airy. The sight of happy, engaged children is apparent in every classroom. Since opening in Fall 2017, LOMA is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after destinations for parents wanting the finest educational opportunities for their preschool-age children.
Uniquely, Little Oaks Montessori Academy was founded by two doctors of clinical psychology: Dr. Heather Abbott and Dr. Areej Iftaiha. Studying various methods of childhood learning, both founders believe the Montessori method is the best approach to ensure that children receive a high-quality early education. “The Montessori philosophy is the most comprehensive philosophy of learning that corroborates with our current understanding of brain development,” stated Dr. Abbott.
“In the first six years of life, children’s brains are like sponges. Everything they see or hear, they absorb,” added Lisa Shaw, head of school.
“You’ll never see a chalkboard hanging in a classroom because our teachers don’t dictate information,” Shaw continued. “Research indicates the most effective way for children to learn is through teaching others and having hands-on experiences. We incorporate hands-on, tactile learning into most lessons. For example, LOMA has a garden-to-table program where the children cultivate the garden and use what they grow for practical life lessons. Children learn botany and science, how to prepare foods, and where foods come from. And older children may help younger children practice skills, such as planting seeds or peeling a banana.”
Little Oaks Montessori Academy focuses on many other areas of development. “We are preparing children for life, not just elementary school. For example, grace and courtesy are an important part of our program,” Shaw said. “When we eat, we set the table with place mats, napkins and real plates and glassware. Children practice social skills, using greetings, common courtesy as well as learning to share.”
The Little Oaks curriculum is divided into three programs. The Infant Program (ages 8-18 months) offers a warm, safe and experience-rich environment for young learners. The Toddler Program (ages 18 months-3 years) focuses on language and growth through simple, imitative tasks. The Primary Program (ages 3-6 years) helps students understand their place in the world, along with introductions to basic traditional disciplines, such as mathematics and biology. All age groups experience dual language programs, where both English and Spanish are taught in the classroom.
LOMA follows the Fairfax County Public School calendar, and is open from 7:00AM to 6:00PM Monday through Friday, including before-care and after-care hours. Summer programs are offered in July and August.
Parents are welcome to set-up an appointment to visit Little Oaks Montessori Academy or attend an open house. One look at the beautiful facility and engaged students will demonstrate the value of a truly authentic Montessori education.
Little Oaks Montessori Academy
13525 Dulles Technology Drive, #103
Herndon, VA 20171