What is the Montessori Method?

Montessori is a comprehensive educational approach from birth to adulthood which focuses on hands-on manipulative materials for development.  These manipulatives encourage children to engage in learning activities at their own individual level and pace, rather than learning based on chronological age.

Under the guidance of a trained Montessori directress, children learn by manipulating and discovering the materials, which promotes independence, concentration, coordination, respect, self-confidence, responsibility, and freedom.  The multi-age classroom allows for peer-to-peer learning and fostering of leadership skills.


Libertyville Montessori School understands that every child is unique, and Montessori students’ progress at their own pace, a hallmark of the Montessori Method.  Deeply rooted in the development of critical learning and of life skills, an LMS education is wholly organized around the individual.  We prepare children for the wider world and future education by focusing on five critical areas of learning- Language, Cultural, Practical Life, Sensorial, and Math.

Practical Life

Lessons of self-help and physical movement are critical to development.  The Montessori Method creates time for the study of scooping motion, tweezing, tying, buttoning, etc., which ties into exploration of the physical sciences.  By exploring Care of Self, Care of Environment, Grace and Courtesy, and Movement, a child builds self-confidence and develops fine and large motor skills critical to the student’s interaction with the world.


Even beginning with learning letter sounds, we include the study of language in every part of the Montessori curriculum.  Special sandpaper letters provide a sensory learning experience to help children imprint letter shapes into their memory.  Language study then progresses into the development of vocabulary, reading skill, and writing and composition skill.


The Montessori student learns by gathering not only facts but experiences available only through the senses.  Sensory study helps imprint lessons into the memory.  Special materials used throughout the Montessori classroom, like the Geometric Cabinet, provide opportunity to learn about objects, their names and purpose, and their very shape, thus providing a multidimensional approach to education.


Cognitive development that began in Practical Life Skills and Sensorial education continues with the study of abstract thinking.  Using the Colored Bead System, among other sensory materials, the Montessori student learns basic addition and skip counting which leads into multiplication and number building up to four-digit numbers.


Vital to Montessori Education is the extension of language skills into the study of the world around the student:  geography, history, science, zoology, and botany.  Lessons in geography, paired with the cultural study of the world’s continents and countries, gives the student a sense of place and time in the world.  Hands-on activities, like studying the Sandpaper Globe enhance the learning experience, a multidimensional approach to learning.