“The greatest gifts we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.”

– Dr. Maria Montessori


History of Crystal Lake Montessori School

The Crystal Lake Montessori School (CLMS) is a private school located on 3.6 acres of beautiful property along Country Club Road near Woodstock, Illinois.  It was founded in 1981 and was housed in a small building in Ridgefield, Illinois until 1985 when the current property was purchased and construction of the new school began.  

By 2001, the school contained 13 Montessori classrooms serving infants through middle school students. Additional rooms for art, music, and drama along with a full gym and stage were included.   A large grassy and wooded area with playground equipment completes this lovely bucolic setting. CLMS serves students in the region of McHenry County, western Lake County, and even up into Wisconsin.  CLMS has achieved recognition as an International Peace site and as a Certified Wildlife Habitat and is one of few Montessori schools fully accredited by the American Montessori Society.

We Are an International Peace Site

PEACE is what every man been is craving for, and it can be brought about by humanity through the child.

-Maria Montessori


Crystal Lake Montessori school became an International Peace Site in 2004.  Partnering with World Citizen, we embrace their mission to empower communities to educate for a just and peaceful world.

Being an International Peace Site means that CLMS is committed to the following 5 PEACE ACTIONS: 

  • SEEK peace within yourself and others
  • REACH OUT in service
  • PROTECT the environment
  • RESPECT diversity
  • BE a responsible citizen of the world

These activities are evident in every classroom though out the school year curriculum in addition to school wide events and community outreach.

We welcome parents, students and staff to share ideas on ways to bring these actions to life at school, home and in the community.  We strive to serve as living examples of these 5 PEACE ACTIONS.  PEACE REQUIRES ACTION.  There is no better time than the present moment.

The History of Montessori Schools

Montessori education dates back to 1907, when Maria Montessori opened the Casa dei Bambini, or Children’s House, in a low-income district of Rome. Her unique philosophy sparked the interest of educators worldwide, and in the following decades Montessori schools opened throughout Europe, in North and South America, and, finally, on every continent but Antartica.

Countless books and articles about Montessori have been published in nearly every language.  Dr. Montessori first described her approach in Il Metodo della Pedagogia Scientifica applicator all’educazione infantile nelle Case dei Bambini, published in 1909.  The book’s English-language version, succinctly titled The Montessori Method, was a ringing success on both sides of the Atlantic.

In 1929 Dr. Montessori established the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) to support the swell of Montessori schools, teacher education programs, and national organizations around the world.

In the United States, Montessori caught on quickly, propelled by prominent advocates and glowing media reports. But by the 1920s the movement had fizzled, and 40 years would go by before Montessori schools would return in substantial numbers.

The leader of the American revival was Nancy McCormick Rambusch, a vibrant, persuasive educator intent on bringing about change. In 1960 Dr. Rambusch launched the American Montessori Society, the first—and still the largest—of several modern-era organizations supporting Montessori in America.

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Crystal Lake Montessori School

3013 S. Country Club Rd

Woodstock, IL 60098

(815) 338-0013