FAQ

Montessori FAQ

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MONTESSORI AND A TRADITIONAL EDUCATION?

For children six and under, Montessori emphasizes learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching, or reading. Children in Montessori classes learn at their own, individual pace and according to their own choice of activities from hundreds of possibilities. They are not required to sit and listen to a teacher talk to them as a group, but are engaged in individual or group activities of their own, with materials that have been introduced to them 1:1 by the teacher who knows what each child is ready to do. Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning.

Above age six children learn to do independent research, arrange field trips to gather information, interview specialists, create group presentation, dramas, art exhibits, musical productions, science projects, and so forth. There is no limit to what they create in this kind of intelligently guided freedom. There are no text books or adult-directed group lessons or daily schedule. There is great respect for the choices of the children, but they easily keep up with or surpass what they would be doing in a more traditional setting. There is no wasted time and children enjoy their work and study. The children ask each other for lessons and much of the learning comes from sharing and inspiring each other instead of competing.

WHY DOES MONTESSORI HAVE MULTI-AGE CLASSROOMS?

Multi-age classrooms afford us the luxury of adapting the curriculum to the individual child. Each child can work at his or her own pace, while remaining in community with his or her peers. In addition, the multi age format allows all older children to be the leaders of the classroom community even those children who may be shy or quiet. Moreover, multi age grouping allows each child to find his or her own pace without feeling “ahead” or “behind” in relation to peers. A classroom whose children have varying abilities is a community in which everyone learns from one another and contributes.

ARE MONTESSORI CHILDREN SUCCESSFUL LATER IN LIFE?

Research studies show that Montessori children are well prepared for later life academically, socially, and emotionally. In addition to scoring well on standardized tests, Montessori children are ranked above average on such criteria as following directions, turning in work on time, listening attentively, using basic skills, showing responsibility, asking provocative questions, showing enthusiasm for learning, and adapting to new situations.

More >> “Does It Work? What Research Says About Montessori and Student Outcomes”

ARE MONTESSORI SCHOOLS RELIGIOUS?

No. Montessori educates children without reference to religious denomination. As a result, our classrooms are extremely diverse, with representation from all races, cultures and religions.

IS MONTESSORI A FRANCHISE? WHO CAN OPEN A MONTESSORI SCHOOL?

The term Montessori is not trademarked and anyone, regardless of training, experience or affiliation can open a “Montessori” school. It is essential that parents researching Montessori act as good consumers to ensure the authenticity of their chosen program.

WHO ACCREDITS MONTESSORI SCHOOLS?

Dr. Montessori founded the Association Montessori Internationale in 1929 to preserve her legacy. AMS & AMI ensures that Montessori schools and teachers are both well-grounded in the basic principles of the method and ready to carry those principles forward in the modern educational world. AMS & AMI offers teacher training and conferences, approves the production of Montessori materials and books, and, through their AMS & AMI-USA branch office, accredits schools.

ISN'T MONTESSORI JUST A PRESCHOOL?

Montessori schools may be best known for their programs with young children, but the underlying educational method describes programs for students up through high school.

IF CHILDREN ARE FREE TO CHOOSE THEIR OWN WORK, HOW DO YOU ENSURE THEY RECEIVE A WELL-ROUNDED EDUCATION?

Montessori children are free to choose within limits and have only as much freedom as they can handle with appropriate responsibility. The classroom teacher and assistant ensure that children do not interfere with each other and that each child is progressing at their appropriate pace in all subjects.

MONTESSORI CLASSROOMS DON’T LOOK LIKE REGULAR CLASSROOMS. WHERE ARE THE ROWS OF DESKS? WHERE DOES THE TEACHER STAND??

The different arrangement of a Montessori classroom mirrors the Montessori methods differences from traditional education. Rather than putting the teacher at the focal point of the class, with children dependent on her for information and activity, the classroom shows a literally child-centered approach. Children work at tables or on floor mats where they can spread out their materials, and the teacher circulates about the room, giving lessons or resolving issues as they arise.

ARE MONTESSORI SCHOOLS AS ACADEMICALLY RIGOROUS AS TRADITIONAL SCHOOLS?

Yes. Montessori classrooms encourage deep learning of the concepts behind academic skills rather than rote practice of abstract techniques. The success of our students appears in the experiences of our alumni, who compete successfully with traditionally educated students in a variety of high schools and universities.

SINCE MONTESSORI CLASSROOMS EMPHASIZE NON-COMPETITIVENESS, HOW ARE STUDENTS ADEQUATELY PREPARED FOR REAL-LIFE COMPETITION LATER ON?

Montessori classrooms emphasize competition with oneself: self-monitoring, self-correction, and a variety of other executive skills aimed at continuous improvement. Students typically become comfortable with their strengths and learn how to address their weaknesses. In older classes, students commonly participate in competitive activities with clear “winners” in which students give their best performances while simultaneously encouraging peers to do the same. It is a healthy competition in which all contenders are content that they did their best in an environment with clear and consistent rules.

Admissions FAQ

I NEED HELP WITH ENROLLMENT OR SMART TUITION FOR NEXT YEAR

If you need re-enrollment paperwork, please contact front-desk@clms.org.  If you have deposit, fees, bond, or Smart Tuition questions, please contact finance@clms.org

ARE YOU OPEN FOR SCHOOL TOURS?

We are. Admissions is open and we are currently accepting enrollment inquiries for next year. We hope you’ll look around our website to learn more about our programs and watch a virtual tour of our school, then schedule your visit or a phone call to discuss placement and tuition. We are happy to answer general questions by email through the Request Information form on our Home page.

CAN I DROP BY AT ANY TIME FOR A SCHOOL TOUR?

Due to the high interest in our program, tours are held Monday-Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. by appointment. We are happy to answer general questions on the phone or by email. You may also schedule a tour online or call us at (815) 338-0013.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND THE SCHOOL TOUR?

The whole family is welcome!

IS THERE A WAITING LIST?

We are accepting enrollments for Fall 2020 at this time. Typically we have rolling admissions for Birth-6 throughout the year, depending on availability.

HOW FAR IN ADVANCE MAY I SUBMIT AN APPLICATION?

Parents are encouraged to apply as early as possible to secure a spot.

MAY I REQUEST A SPECIFIC CLASSROOM/TEACHER?

Yes, you may request a specific teacher or classroom. We try to accommodate requests but cannot guarantee placement.

WHAT FACTORS DETERMINE MY CHILD'S PLACEMENT?

Depending on the openings that are available, our goal is to balance the classrooms by age and gender of the children.

IS THERE A SIBLING DISCOUNT?

Yes, there is a $200.00 discount for each additional child.

About Our School

WHAT ARE THE HOURS AT CLMS?

Infant, Toddler and Early Childhood classes are open from 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Lower Elementary – Middle School classes are open from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Before and After school programs are available from 7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

ARE YOU A RELIGIOUS SCHOOL?

Our school is non-sectarian and is not affiliated with any church or religion. Students from a wide range of ethnicities and religious beliefs attend our campus and we foster an environment of cultural sensitivity and mutual respect.

DO YOU OFFER BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS?

Yes. Before school care is available from 7:00 a.m. – 8:15 am. After school care is available from 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

DO YOU OFFER MUSIC LESSONS?

Yes. We offer Elementary classroom music instruction, 1 hour per week. In addition private band lessons are available.

DO YOU OFFER SUMMER SCHOOL?

We offer summer school for Infant, Toddler, Early Childhood, and Elementary-aged children. For more information, see Summer Camp.

DO STUDENTS TAKE STANDARDIZED TESTS?

Standardized testing starts at our school in the first grade and is part of a comprehensive evaluation of the child’s social, emotional and academic development. Scores are available upon request.

HOW CAN PARENTS GET INVOLVED?

All parents are members of our Parent Group and are invited to participate in the classroom and school in a variety of ways, which are explained in the family acclimation process.

DO YOU OFFER CHILDCARE DURING HOLIDAYS?

Yes, we offer “Enrichment Day” programs on some holidays when school is not in session. Please refer to our School Calendar for details.

HOW DO YOU SCREEN YOUR EMPLOYEES?

All employees, teachers, assistants, administrators and staff receive a full background check through the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ). We do not employ anyone with a criminal record.

HOW OFTEN ARE PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES?

We offer conferences 3 times a year; Fall, Winter and Spring. During this time, the child’s social, emotional and academic progress is discussed in detail. Parents may also schedule a meeting with the teacher(s) at any time throughout the year as needed.

IS YOUR SCHOOL ACCREDITED?

Crystal Lake Montessori School is fully accredited by the American Montessori Society (AMS), recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education and a member of the Association of Illinois Montessori Schools. We are licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to provide care and education to infants and young children.

Request Information

Request more information or schedule a tour with Beth, our Director of Admissions 

3013 S. Country Club Rd

Woodstock, IL 60098

(815) 338-0013