Quality child-care and early preschool education are always in high demand in the La Grange area, and parents now have a new option for their kids with Children’s House Montessori School, which opened earlier this month on 31st Street in La Grange Park.
The preschool and kindergarten is run by Jamie and Steve Archer of Brookfield, the mom and dad of their own four kids. Jamie is a Montessori veteran with an M.A. in teaching from Dominican University; Steve is a Marines veteran and formerly completed teaching curriculum at Rosary College.
The Archers have spent most of 2012 setting up their classroom space at 1015 E. 31st Street, and said that their neighbors, and the Village of La Grange Park, have all been highly excited about and supportive of their move-in.
They have set up their classroom according to traditional Montessori principles of constructivist education, encouraging students to discover knowledge through exploration with learning tools, in classroom areas geared towards “practical life” and “sensory” development, for instance.
“Everything is very concrete at this age; everything has a sequential progression,” said ‘Ms. Jamie.’ “The whole classroom flows as a sequence, but each area also flows as a sequence. And that I think is one of the main things that sets Montessori aside from traditional education.”
The school also has a small garden out back where the Archers grow and dry sunflowers, for tactile fun and they also have a turnip-growing science experiment in the front window, as well as classroom pets.
“Part of what I most like about Montessori is its connection to nature,” ‘Steve Steve’ said. “It definitely teaches a respect for nature.”
A sure hit for the school’s students: it is located directly across from La Grange Park Fire Station No. 2, offering kids the chance to frequently see that beloved childhood staple—the fire truck—in action.
The school offers half-day, full-day and post-school care for kids ages three through kindergarten, and are currently accepting new students. Full-day students at the school also enjoy outdoor activities in Robinhood Park, followed by an organic catered lunch and a brief naptime.
For more information, check out the Children’s House Montessori website.