The Enrollment Process

    Join our community

    Choosing a school is an important decision for your entire family.

    Our enrollment process isn’t just paperwork, it is a chance for us to get to know each other before class starts.

    1. Just Exploring

    If you are newer to Montessori we invite you to explore our website and attend a Virtual Open House to learn more about our programs and approach.

    2. Doing my Research

    If you are in the process of choosing a school for your child and have questions about tuition or specifically how our school can help you and your family schedule an information meeting and we’ll be in touch to answer all your questions.

    3. Get on the Waitlist

    So, you’ve decided to join our school, Welcome

    Complete the waitlist application and we will reach out to you once the enrollment period opens!

    4. Enroll (and Celebrate!)

    Once the enrollment period opens, we will reach out to you to schedule an in-person meeting and sign all the enrollment papers! 

    Our classes start in August each year. We hope to see you there!

    Just a quick question?

    Admissions FAQ

    In brief: Montessori classrooms are Time Variable, Mastery Fixed; Conventional classrooms are Time Fixed, Mastery Variable.

    Montessori classrooms treat every child as an individual, with a unique path to mastery. Conventional classrooms are organized around the logistical needs of the teacher- teaching the whole class the same lesson at the same time.

    Time: A “cycle” in Montessori is three years long with mixed-age classes, whereas conventional education has “grades” that are one year long and children are grouped by birthday. 

    There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all education. Children progress at different rates in different subject areas. Perhaps your child is a voracious reader but still working on arithmetic? Perhaps your child is obsessed with dinosaurs, but can’t quite read the text on the page? The Montessori method embraces the uniqueness of your child and helps them grow in all domains, at their own pace.

    With the flexibility of a three year cycle, combined with a mixed-age class, children are grouped by ability, not by birthday. Say a 4 year old is very adept at mathematics? Great! She can work with a 6 year old who is on the same lesson. Maybe that same 4 year old needs extra practice with reading? Great! We have the time and flexibility to give as much practice as she needs.

    Mastery: Children move on to the next concept when they have mastered the prerequisites. That’s it. No child will be pushed along to the next lesson with only a partial understanding because “it’s time to move on.” 

    Children are also never held back because their same-age peers aren’t ready to move on. If the content is mastered, it’s time for the next lesson!

    Read more →

    No, our Montessori school is not affiliated with any religion. We welcome students and families from all backgrounds and beliefs. While we teach children to be respectful of different cultures and religions, our curriculum and instruction does not promote any particular faith or religious doctrine. Our focus is on providing a nurturing educational environment that follows the Montessori principles and allows children to grow academically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually at their own pace.

    No, our Montessori school would not be considered a “progressive” school in the modern sense of that term. The Montessori method is an established educational approach developed over a century ago by Dr. Maria Montessori, based on her scientific observations of how children naturally learn.

    While the Montessori method was pioneering and innovative when it emerged, it differs from current progressive education models in fundamental ways. Montessori environments have a structured classroom flow, self-directed learning is guided by specific Montessori materials, and there are periods of instructional lessons.

    Our aim is to follow the comprehensive, time-tested Montessori philosophy and methods. This allows children to develop independence, self-discipline, and social skills alongside their academic growth. While we are eager to continue learning about modern research on human development, we remain grounded in Dr. Montessori’s principles rather than trends in progressive education.

    For tuition rates please visit our tuition information page.

    While our school currently does not offer financial aid, it’s crucial to understand our position as a private institution.

    To implement a financial aid program as a fully private school would require charging some families more and reallocating funds to other families, which we believe would not be fair. Instead, we are dedicated to offering the lowest possible rate to every family, ensuring that our tuition reflects the true cost of providing high-quality Montessori education without additional financial burdens to some.

    To help families budget, tuition rates will not increase while your child is continuously enrolled at Rhyme and Reason Academy. The tuition you start with, is the tuition you end with! We also offer flexible payment plans to accommodate different financial situations.

    Parents are often looking for small class sizes because they believe it will give their child more individual attention. 

    Which makes parents surprised that our preschool classes are up to 28 children, led by a lead guide and assistants. How could a class so large possibly work? The secret is in the Montessori Materials and the mixed-age classes.

    Children in our classes really do get a lot of individual attention, nearly all lessons are given in small groups or one-on-one and each student has an individualized curriculum plan that is tailored to their unique needs. There is no expectation that children will progress in lockstep with their peers.

    How does this work? What are the other children doing while these small lessons are occurring? Through the self-correcting materials they are able to practice independently. They are fully absorbed in the latest lesson they’ve been given.

    The other piece of magic is the mixed-age class. In a mixed-age class children have many more opportunities to work with and learn from each other. Older students, who have been with the same class for up to three years are very knowledgable and are able to help younger and newer students. Older children get to be mentors and role models. This creates a balance and stability to the classroom culture as well as an opportunity for children to learn from each other.

    No. At all levels, children bring their own lunches.

    No. But we encourage families to work together for carpooling opportunities.

    All of our lead teachers go through rigorous MACTE-accredited Montessori training specialized to the particular age group they teach. 

    Our teachers not only learn how to present materials and lessons to children, but also the philosophical backbone of the Montessori Method, the latest research on child development, and how to care for a child’s social and emotional needs. 

    We strive for a high-fidelity program and we know this is only possible through high-quality training.

    The state of Virginia requires that children are exactly 3 years old to start in our classes.

    However, we do offer rolling enrollment for children who are just a little too young on the first day of school. Pending a class isn’t already at capacity, alternative start dates are in October and January.

    Yes. Children need to be potty trained (or very close to it!) by the beginning of the school year. 

    Here is a great resource for toilet learning. Guidepost Montessori →

    Please review this checklist to see if your child is developmentally ready to join: View checklist here.

    Yes. Primary is flexible; children who still nap, sleep in the afternoons, while those who remain awake engage in educational activities.

    Children in Elementary do not have nap time.

    Yes, for children ages 3 to 4. Children may come for the first half of the day through lunch and then leave during recess.

    All children ages 5 and older must attend full-day school.

    No; we only offer a five-day program.

    Understandably, you’re exploring scheduling options that best suit your family’s needs. In our commitment to the Montessori philosophy, we’ve found that a five-day program is essential for providing children with a consistent, immersive learning experience that fully supports their natural development and curiosity.

    The daily routine fosters a deep sense of belonging and community among the children, which is vital for their social and emotional growth. Moreover, it allows children the uninterrupted time necessary to engage deeply with their work, fostering independence, concentration, and a love for learning that Montessori education aims to cultivate. We’ve observed that children thrive on the continuity and structure that a five-day cycle offers, enabling them to make the most significant strides in their personal and academic development.

    Yes, our school proudly operates a year-round program. This continuous educational model is crafted to support a child’s learning and development consistently throughout the year. Beyond adhering to Montessori principles, a year-round schedule offers broad benefits. It minimizes the lengthy breaks typical of traditional schooling, which can lead to a regression in learning and social skills. Instead, our students enjoy more frequent and shorter breaks, allowing for rest and rejuvenation without significant disruption to their learning process.

    The year-round format also enables more flexible family scheduling for vacations and alleviates the intense summer scramble for childcare or enrichment activities. Importantly, it provides a stable, ongoing community for children, reinforcing strong, meaningful relationships with peers and teachers.

    See our school calendar →

    Yes, we consistently have a waitlist for the Primary program, but generally have open spaces for Elementary.

    Children are accepted into the program based on a variety of factors including: age, intention on continuing to Elementary, previous Montessori experience, and whether they have a sibling already enrolled.

    Yes! You may send your child to any private school you like.

    Read more on our School Choice page.