Freedom Within Limits in a Beverly Montessori
If you are looking for a preschool or elementary school near Beverly, thank you for considering Council Oak for your Beverly Montessori school. We are right down the street in Blue Island, conveniently located right off of Western. Call us at 708-926-9720
We look forward to hearing from you. We have prepared this article as an introduction, including general information regarding:
- Information about Montessori education
- How Montessori differs from other schools
- The programs at Council Oak
- Our location and our school’s immediate natural setting
- Blue Island and our community here on the South Side
To paraphrase Maria Montessori: “Follow the child but follow the child as a leader.” This succinct principle, backed by rigorous research and real-world experience, led to a mode of childhood education that is now celebrated across the entire world.
Maria Montessori was an Italian reformer, doctor, and scientist who led a phenomenally interesting life and changed education forever. You can give your child access to her ideas, modernized and still very relevant, right here in Chicago’s near south suburbs.
Council Oak Montessori: A Montessori in Beverly Resource
The Montessori Method is based on a simple fact – children learn best when they are given the freedom to do so but within certain parameters. At first, this may seem strange to parents, and especially those who think a lack of rules can lead to misbehavior.
However, the Montessori Method is based on freedom within limits and curbs a child’s natural exuberance and redirects it towards productive work. It embraces the notion that children are natural explorers who are capable of learning by themselves in the right environment.
This environment includes logical activities, child-friendly workspaces, and low shelves, which encourage children to participate. By allowing children to freely move around the classroom, rather than remain at their desks (such as in traditional preschool and kindergarten settings), children can choose classwork they are comfortable doing. This curbs frustration, which can otherwise lead to misbehavior.
Making Space for Children to Learn
Chicago schools, similar to those you find in many other major metropolitan education departments, must sometimes make compromises to ensure the steady administration of instruction to all as mandated by the government. Montessori schools take a different approach.
Rather than a system fraught with rules and regulations, you have a true academy — a place to explore the material, theoretical and imaginary worlds of science, language, mathematics, engineering, art, human organization, and so on.
At Council Oak Montessori, we provide direction for the naturally unstoppable curiosity and creativity of our students. We provide guidance for the exploration of new academic territory. We provide insight into behavior, learning patterns, and skill development that children take forward throughout their adult lives.
This is all possible because, starting with our principles, our school is a place where children can learn. Students — not regulations, ease of lesson planning, standardized testing goals, and so on — are centered and prioritized.
Yes: Our teachers direct learning towards future success in academic and professional careers. Our students, generally speaking, perform very well on tests, get into many of the schools they want, and enter the professions they want. However, we also treat learning as a habit to form and reinforce across an entire lifetime
Beverly Neighborhood Montessori: Choosing a Path for Childhood Education in the Southern Chicago Area
First of all, a warm welcome to parents planning for their child’s future and potential neighbors considering relocation to the South Side area. We have chosen our location to provide security, culture, community, convenience, and above all, a nurturing environment for young learners.
Council Oak Montessori is located in Blue Island, Illinois, a town bordering Chicago. It is a city with a rich cultural, industrial and historical legacy. In fact, our building neighbors First Lutheran Church, the sanctuary of which was built in 1863. Our name comes from a burr oak tree that once hosted the Council meetings of the local Potawatomi Nation.
We currently have a number of options. We have highly developed music, wellness, and outdoor programs. The main academic courses consist of the following:
- Children’s House (ages 3-6)
- Lower Elementary (ages 6-9)
- Upper Elementary (ages 9-12)
- Middle School (7th and 8th grades)
To delve a bit deeper, the Middle School program would include cultural studies, independent enterprise, brief internships at local businesses, fundraising, charitable contribution, and more, in addition to (and often in combination with) the typical preparation for future academic success. Students explore the questions that typify the age group, such as “Who am I?”, “What are my interests?” and “Where is my place in the world?”, through community involvement, group study, and self-directed research.
As you can see, our Montessori school close to Beverly is a wonderful place for older children to make the most of this critical point in their lives. Similarly, our youngest age group thrives in a self-directed format. Yes, there is order and attentiveness in the Children’s House. A hallmark of Montessori early education, we have sessions on grace, courtesy, and manners.
However, there is also an understanding that real learning and skill acquisition does not conform to an adult schedule — it happens on a child’s own time. With this in mind, we include uninterrupted periods of child-led time into our youngest students’ curricula.
We go into greater detail about our programs elsewhere. We also invite you to contact us directly for specifics about the curriculum, the application of our principles, class schedules, teacher credentials, or any other aspects of our school.
Getting to Council Oak Montessori From Beverly
Getting to our school from Beverly is extremely simple, quick, and easy:
- You navigate to South Western Avenue and head south.
- Then, just before the merge with Gregory Street and subsequent river crossing, you take a right fork onto Old Western Avenue.
- You then take a soft right onto James Street.
- You will see our dedicated parking lot on the right at the end of James.
Suffice to say that this is certainly a trip one could make daily. Of course, please feel to contact us at any time for specific directions or confirmation of our hours.
Choosing Council Oak Montessori for Other South-Side Communities
We welcome children from many neighborhoods and towns. We are also extremely well suited for these students’ daily commutes.
Due to Blue Island’s historic and current importance as a satellite of Chicago, we are serviced by many of the public transportation and highway lines for which the city is famous. For example, there are multiple Metra Rail lines with depots a mere three or four blocks away from our school. We have a Rock Island (RI) line station at Blue Island-Vermont as well as the Blue Island Metra Electric station.
Beyond practical concerns, we have an idyllic environment that is relatively unique to the heart of Chicagoland. We are nestled into a quiet corner of Blue Island’s riverside, with just a manicured lawn and a residential street between us and the Little Calumet River. Our near neighbors include churches, the post office, and the fire department. In other words, along with the easy access to transportation, public safety, and culture, we still have a small-town America feel in our location.
Learning for the Individual, not for the Statistic
The benefits of the Montessori approach are enormous – that is, you unlock limitless opportunities for learning and instruction once you accept the fact children cannot control their emotions unless they are allowed to understand them. Since children are not forced to learn skills and subjects they are not ready for, they readily embrace the learning experience. It goes far beyond what we might think of as learning at one’s own pace to recognize the individual capability and development of each student.
This is what Council Oak Montessori is all about. At Council Oak Montessori, teachers have a defined curriculum each child is expected to master. However, it is spread over three (3) years rather than a single year and children can learn at their own pace.
For instance, each week, children agree to a ‘work contract’ with their teacher that outlines the work they need to complete until the end of the week. The work is usually done in four (4) days and the remaining three (3) focus on areas children are most interested in.
South Side Community and Education at Montessori in Beverly
We are proud to contribute to the culture and education of Blue Island, the South Side of Chicago, and its near neighbors. Our students come from various neighborhoods and municipalities in the area, including Pullman, Morgan Park, Robbins, Posen, Marionette Park, and others even further afield. Parents choose us not only because we are convenient, but also because they trust we can provide the best possible opportunities for their children.
Call Council Oak Montessori at 708-926-9720 and find out more about the great work the school is doing. Please contact us to learn more about our programs and facilities. Thank you for considering us, and we look forward to contributing to your child’s success in life.