Why Montessori Elementary School is Different

Can You Find These Unique Features at Your Local Public or Private School?


A life lived fully, moment by moment, is a joyous, wondrous adventure. To experience life in this way is exhilarating! This is the way of the child. At the Riverwoods Montessori School this joy of life is the heart of the curriculum.

Students learn about the world around them and sharpen their geography skills

Why Is the Montessori Approach to Learning at the Riverwoods Montessori School the Best Choice For Your Child?

A Montessori education is child centered and works in harmony with the natural development of the child. Intellectually, six to twelve-year-old children are in what Dr. Maria Montessori called the "second plane of development - the period of the Reasoning Mind". During this time, children are very curious about the world around them. A Montessori classroom supports and encourages each child's pursuit of answers to questions about the world as he or she learns and develops. The freedom and responsibility of the children to be active participants in their learning empowers our children. These children are the hope and promise of the future!

Students measure sound waves with scientific equipment Multi-Age Classrooms

Children from six to twelve years of age follow the child's natural desire to be with others in organized activity where each child has a different status and role to play. Older children serve as leaders and role models and master their skills by helping others. Younger children benefit from observing and participating in the interesting activities of others. All children are able to work at their own pace and find peers who are working at their level of ability. They learn independence as well as inter-dependence.

Early math educationChildren Practice Living in Peace

Everyday situations give the child an opportunity to develop a sense of ethics and to practice living in peace and harmony with others. A strong sense of community is developed as the children and adults get to know each other very well during the course of the three-year cycles. The inner light of the child shines forth as he or she lives each day in the peaceful Montessori community. Children discover who they are and begin to find their unique places in the world. In this way, the joy of life is expressed in each child, and our world is all the better for it. The Riverwoods Montessori School is proud to be an international, multi-cultural community of staff and families.

individual work plans lead to discovery and enlightenmentIndividualized Work Plans

The Montessori directress/teacher meets regularly with each child and his or her parents to create, assess, and expand an individual work plan that helps guide the child in his or her endeavors. Each day, the teacher gives individual, selective, and collective lessons to provide the child with the keys to further discovery and enlightenment. The teacher is continually observing and noting each child's progress so the teacher can know how to best assist with him or her.

elementary education using hands-on learning for math, reading, writing, language, math, geometry, and moreIntegrated Curriculum Promotes
Sense of Wonder

The curriculum
is based on stories called "The Great Lessons," beginning with "The Story of the Universe." These stories provide a sense of wonder and a big-picture framework from which the child's questions emerge and become the basis of the research about the world. Through the course of research, all the traditional academic subjects are explored and interrelated, giving a more relevant and comprehensive body of knowledge. Children choose and work with various hands-on materials and resources through their studies in reading, writing, language, math, geometry, geography, history, the sciences, foreign language, physical education, and the fine arts - both individually and in collaboration with others. Additional classes such as Monart drawing class, chess, and classic piano lessons are offered as well.

Long division of large numbers using test tube division materialsSpecially Designed Environments

The Montessori prepared environment offers a rich array of specially designed, self-correcting manipulative materials and resources to meet the wide range of interests and abilities of the mixed-age groups. A gymnasium to meet the needs of a growing body, a music area to create joyful sounds, a greenhouse, and spacious wooded outdoor environment with a pond to commune with nature, are a few of the special spaces found at the Riverwoods Montessori School.

Students are learning about 3D imagery at Northwestern University"Going Out" Into the Community to Learn

The greater world is also the classroom as the children go out into the community to learn more about the people, places (and processes) of the world in the course of their work. Some of these activities have included: science exploration at Northwestern University, commerce at a local community bank, and the arts at The Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire.

Riverwoods Montessori is nationally accredited at the highest level
Nationally Accredited

The Riverwoods Montessori School is one of only a handful of schools in Illinois that are nationally accredited by the American Montessori Society in recognition of the highest level of excellence.

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