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Fax: 815.834.0681



Montessori School of Lemont

16427 W. 135th Street
Lemont, Illinois 60439
The school is on 135th Street between Archer Avenue (Route 171 ) and Smith Road 



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M-F: 8:00am – 4:00pm

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Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve put together some answers to commonly asked questions to give you more information about our school.

All questions are welcomed, please contact us using the form above or call our office at 815-834-0607.

How is the Montessori classroom different from conventional classrooms?
“Follow the child” is one of the basic teachings of Maria Montessori and one of the clearest distinguishing factors. Children are given lessons, either individually or in small groups, using concrete materials and can work at their own pace. Another distinguishing characteristic of the Montessori approach is the inclusion of multiple age levels within a single classroom. Younger children learn from observation of the older children and older children can master or refine their skills by helping younger children.

The Montessori teaching materials also distinguish Montessori classrooms from conventional classrooms. These concrete materials speak to the multi-sensory learning style of the young child. As the child matures, abstract concepts are introduced, and relate back to earlier materials. As the child matures and is capable of abstract thinking, fewer materials are needed. The emphasis on following the child and observing his or her natural interests allow teachers to tailor the learning environment to meet the individual needs of each child.

Is it true that Montessori classrooms are unstructured?
The two biggest misconceptions about Montessori actually contradict each other:  “Montessori is unstructured” and “Montessori is too structured.” The ‘unstructured’ misconception is understandable to those of us used to rows of desks where everyone is working on a singular task. In Montessori, each child may be working on different activities, based on their skill and interest levels.

The ‘too-structured’ misconception may stem from the training our teachers receive that requires lessons to be given a consistent, sequenced manner. This is because children don’t miss a thing! They will repeat or mimic what they observe so the adult must be precise, careful, and deliberate. Once the child has received a lesson, they are free to repeat the lesson as often as they choose. Montessori believed in allowing children “freedom within limits” and understood that humans crave choice in their work and study. When children are shown respect and trusted with (initially very small) choices, their work becomes meaningful, lasting, and joyful.

What languages are taught at Montessori School of Lemont?
Beginning in the 3 to 6 year old classes, children are introduced to the languages and cultures of Mexico and China. The children receive Spanish instruction twice per week and Mandarin Chinese once per week. Latin is also taught at the Adolescent level.
Are you a nut-free campus?

Yes, we are. For the safety of our students, we do not allow products containing peanuts and tree nuts on our campus. 

Are computers available in the classrooms?
Montessori School of Lemont has a 1:1 technology program at the Adolescent level (7th & 8th grades). Technology is only used after students have evolved from concrete to abstract thinking and have the requisite skills to use it effectively. Computers are not used as an instructional delivery system; rather, students are taught to use them as tools for writing or artistic expression, for research and presentations, and for constructing, modeling, or investigating hypotheses.
Are standardized tests given to Montessori School of Lemont students?
All elementary students (1st-8th grades) take the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. These tests measure individual competency in math, reading, and social studies and provide a comparison of the students scores to national averages for children of equivalent ages.

These test scores are only one measure of performance. The teacher’s direct observation and interaction with the child is the primary measure used to identify areas of development. This testing allows children to become familiar with the testing process they will experience in high school and beyond. MSOL students typically score very high relative to national averages particularly with respect to conceptual thinking skills.


Are before and after school care available? What after school activities are available?

Before and after school care is available for additional fees. Registration is required and Administrative approval is needed to use this program. Before School Care begins at 7:45 a.m. Children in After School Care may be picked up at any time between the end of the full school day and 5:00 p.m.

Optional after school activities are available from 3:30- 4:30 p.m. for an additional fee. Children can participate in After School Specials including soccer, art, cooking, robotics, chess, music, or yoga. Specials may change each semester.


How are students taught reading? Writing? Math? Science?
Maria Montessori developed a complete curriculum tailored to the developmental stages she observed in children. Materials designed to teach specific aspects of  a subject are presented to each child. As the child masters the concepts, new materials and lessons that build on the child’s knowledge and accomplishments are presented.

At the 3-6 year old level, the emphasis is on creating a learning environment based on the use of concrete materials to demonstrate and explain concepts. For example, children are introduced to the symbols of letters that they learn to trace repeatedly while saying the sound of that letter. Then the letter can be placed around the room with an object that has that sound at the beginning of the word, such as “t” for table. Later, as the child recognizes more such sounds, they can compose words using letters of a “movable alphabet” and eventually, sentences.

In math, a child learns that one bead represents a “unit”. Ten “unit” beads wired together in a line represent the “tens” place value. Ten “tens” connected together create one “hundred-square,” and ten hundreds stacked together create a cube of one thousand beads. From there we physically ‘build’ numbers and this concrete foundation for learning the decimal system, squaring, and cubing will be built upon in the elementary level.

At the elementary level, the emphasis is on presenting the universe to the child.  Five “Great Lessons” are presented in sequence and focus on the formation of the universe, life on earth, humans, and the development of language and math.  These stories provide the context for the studies in every curricular area from geography and history to math, music, art and different languages.


What is the admissions process?
Applications are available after the first of the year for the following academic year. Current students and their siblings are enrolled in February of each year, and new families are notified of their enrollment status in March. At all levels, priority is given to siblings of currently enrolled students, staff children, and children of alumni.


My child turns 3 in September (or October). Can we enroll early?
At MSOL, children must be three years old by September 1st and potty trained in order to begin school unless a parent or guardian is available to be present on campus while the child attends class.  An early start can be a valuable opportunity for the child to spend an extra year in our Primary program.  Montessori recognized that toddlers are capable and eager to be independent and “Do by self!” which is possible in the prepared environment of a Montessori 3-6 classroom.
Does my child need to be toilet trained?
Yes. There is a correlation between the maturity required to master toilet training and the developmental readiness to be independent in the 3-6 classroom. But of course accidents happen and each child has a change of clothes stored at school to change into as necessary.
How are parents involved at Montessori School of Lemont?
The triangle is often used as a symbol of the interrelationship of home, school, and student. The school seeks to support parents through various meetings and educational events, as well as opportunities for involvement in classroom life. Parent observation in classes are encouraged, and parent- teacher conferences help build an atmosphere of trust and communication. Each class invites parents and other family members to meet at least twice each year into the classroom to view student work and lessons. Also, our active Parent’s Association organizes family events and coordinates volunteer opportunities for parents.


How is Montessori School of Lemont governed?
MSOL’s Board of Directors is a professional board of seven members who are elected annually.  The board is comprised of MSOL alumni, staff and parents who are Montessori and/or Illinois State certified teachers or financial professionals. The Executive Director serves as a voting member of the board which meets quarterly. There are three standing committees of the board: policy, development, and finance, that meet periodically and report to the board as needed.