Frequently Asked Questions

Below find answers to some of our more commonly asked questions.

What exactly is the Montessori method?

The Montessori approach is a system of education that is both a philosophy of child growth and a rationale for guiding such growth. It is based on the child’s developmental needs, exposure to materials, and experiences through which to develop intelligence as well as physical and psychological abilities. Children need adults to expose them to the possibilities of life, but children themselves must direct their response to those possibilities. The premises of Montessori education are:

  • Children are to be respected as different from adults and as individuals who differ from each other.
  • The child possesses unusual sensitivity and mental powers for absorbing and learning from his or her environment that are unlike those of the adult both in quality and capacity.
  • The most important years of growth are the first six years of life when unconscious learning is gradually brought to the conscious level.
  • The child has a deep love and need for purposeful work. He or she works, however, not as an adult for profit and completion of a job, but for the sake of the activity itself. It is the activity which accomplishes the most important goal of the child: the development of him or herself, inclusive of mental, physical, and psychological powers.

For a more extensive overview of the Montessori approach, please read Desmond Perry’s An Introduction to Montessori.

Is Montessori for all children?

The Montessori approach has been used successfully with children up to age eighteen from all socioeconomic levels, representing those in regular classes as well as gifted, mentally retarded, emotionally disturbed, and physically handicapped. Because of its individual approach, it is uniquely suited to educating children of differing needs, temperaments, and abilities.

Is the child free to do what he or she chooses in the classroom?

The child is free to move about the classroom at will, to talk to other children, to work with any equipment or material whose purpose he or she understands, or to ask the teacher to introduce a new material. The teacher observes the child, noting his or her needs and interests. The teacher uses her observations to facilitate learning by guiding the child towards those activities that will best serve his or her development. The child is not free to disturb other children at work or to abuse the equipment that is so important to his or her development.

Why is the Montessori approach beneficial to children?

The goal of Montessori is multi-faceted: it encourages self-discipline, self-knowledge, and independence; it instills a lifelong love of learning; and it provides an organized approach to problem solving and academic skills.

How will my child make the transition from a Montessori classroom to a traditional classroom?

Most children appear to adjust readily to new classroom situations. In all likelihood this is because they have developed self-discipline and independence in the Montessori environment.

What forms of payment does Montessori Children’s House of North Barrington accept?

We accept checks and money orders; we do not accept cash or credit cards. All tuition payments (including the first one which is due upon application) must be made either in check or money order.

Does Montessori Children’s House of North Barrington offer any discounts?

Yes. A second (or third, or fourth) child enrolled in the preschool, toddler program, or summer camp will receive 15% off their tuition. Also, parents that pay the entire tuition for the preschool and toddler programs at least 30 days prior to the start of school will receive 3% off their entire tuition bill.

May I change my child’s program after the school year has began?

Depending on program availability and your child’s development, yes. However, you will incur a $50 processing fee.

Your question not answered? Call the school office at (847) 550-0917, and someone will be glad to assist you.

Portions of the above adapted from
Montessori: A Modern Approach
by Paula Lillard.

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