Art history for kids

No doubt the greatest task of a teacher working with young children is to encourage their interest in art.
One cannot expect children ages 4-5 years to have a conscious perception of art history, but we can begin to teach them to examine sculpture, ceramics and murals.
Even in professional art studies it is very important to acquire the ability to recognize different styles based on familiar characteristic details.  If a child learns to copy an image of a bull at the gate of Ishtar in Babylon, the child may not remember the names of either the Gates nor the town.  No problem.  Someday he or she will see it in a museum or depicted on a photograph in a book or somewhere else and - will surely recognize it!
In our lessons, we look at pictures and we may watch short films that relate to the style of that age as well.  We then draw a "copy" of a recognizable object that pertains to that era.  At the end of the month, we play lotto where the child is asked to combine cards depicting the artwork with the images of people who lived in the period when those works were created.

Graphic arts

In our arts and crafts classes, we are learning a variety of techniques through which our young artists can begin to reveal their talents.  We draw patterns on the sand, we sew with wooden needles, we make mosaics with grains and panels with dried flowers and leaves.
We explore different genres, we introduce children to various types of decorative painting and we teach them to hold a brush and pencil.

Music in kindergarten

Pedagogue Olga Brown has developed a unique method of musical education for preschoolers based on 30 years of experience in public and private kindergartens both in Russia and in the United States.  It includes listening to classical and modern music, singing, producing rhythmic movements to music and dance, participating in musical-didactic games, playing musical instruments and taking part in theatrical performances.
One of the principal objectives of this program is to cultivate a love for music and an interest in various types of musical activity and an ability to apply and use the obtained knowledge in everyday life.  Equally important is the development of a musical ear and of vocal skills.

Music in kindergarten
The basis for this methodology is learning through play -- one of the most important principles of teaching music to preschoolers today.  Our lessons are always fun and exciting!  We sing, play, dance....We come into contact with the greatest art of all times -- Music!

Teaching Reading, Writing and Mathematics by the Method of Zaitsev

Why did we choose this particular technique for our children? Of course, this is not an accident!
It was Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy who taught children in this way, that is, using novel basic reading unit (something between traditional syllables and phonemes – distinct sounds) called “sklad ”. He wrote that the “sound method”, which had penetrated into Russia from the West since the 70s of the 19th century, is “a misunderstanding”, “contrary to the spirit of the Russian language and the habits of the people”, when the same can be achieved easier and faster? ". Lev Nikolayevich had the right to such a conclusion: from his youth, he taught peasant children, organized schools for them; He was personally acquainted and corresponded with the most prominent teachers of his time. In 1873, Lev Nikolaevich wrote that his students were able to master reading in no more than 10 lessons. Such rates seem fantastic, is it not?
Nikolai Aleksandrovich Zaitsev is a direct follower of Lev Nikolaevich.
His methodology today is considered one of the best development systems for teaching preschoolers to read, write and count. This method is universal - it is perfect for working with one-and-a-half year old children, and with three-year-olds, and with older children.
Small children do not know how to think analytically, it is difficult for them to turn abstract letters into sounds, and then put them into words, but they are especially susceptible to signals coming from the senses, so N.A. Zaitsev developed a system based on these features of the development of children.

This early development system is based on the following basic principles:

  • The first principle is the absence of coercion. Children learn by playing. Sometimes they are not even aware that the learning process is going on, because there are no tables or desks, kids can run, sit, come closer or stand aside - as they wish. Children do not have to repeat the words after the teacher - everything happens only on a voluntary basis.
  • The second principle is reading through “sklad ”. Children do not learn letters but read right through the “sklad ”. Just do not confuse with syllables! The “sklad ” is the speech unit of the Zaitsev method, is a consonant-vowel pair, or a consonant and a hard or soft sign, or one letter. All sklad are displayed on tables and on the faces of cubes.
  • The third principle – Fist, we start writing, then reading. Children show on the table the necessary “sklad ” or find the cube faces to compose a word, that is, they turn sounds into characters- and, indeed, this is a words! The essence of Zaitsev's method is to show words to a child, and not to explain how individual letters merge into syllables, and then into words.
  • Principle Four - the use of multiple senses. When learning, hearing, sight and touch are involved, there are a lot of cubes - large and small; light and heavy; "Gold", "iron", "wooden" and white; with different fillers that sound louder or wilder. The inscriptions on the cubes are bright, clear, multicolored - they can be seen from afar. "Sound" cubes become one of the most favorite toys of almost all kids.

All these principles are the basis of our work.
Classes are conducted by a certified specialist in the method of Zaitsev -Olga Dimitriadis.





Telephone: 301-365-3763
Bethesda, Maryland (Carderock Springs)

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