Guidepost Montessori at Wicker Park Preschool

Choosing the right Montessori preschool for your child is one of the most important decisions you'll make. The foundational blocks of a child's education are built during these years, so often parents may feel overwhelmed with making the right choice.

Guidepost Montessori locations in Chicago offer a nurturing environment for young minds with a focus on independence and activities.

We've compiled a list of the most popular questions about Montessori preschool and also provide you with a comprehensive overview of all the things you should consider and know when choosing the right preschool for your child.

guidepost montessori students sitting at tables

What is Montessori?

The Montessori method is a popular approach to preschool education that emphasizes hands-on learning, individualized attention, and independent thought.

photo of maria montessori

who was maria montessori?.

The Montessori method was developed by educator Maria Montessori in the early 1900s, and it is based on her observations of how children learn best. Montessori believed that children are natural learners and explorers, and can reach their full potential when left to discover the world in an independent manner.

children sitting in the grass learning from their guide

what is the montessori method in preschool?.

In a Montessori preschool, classrooms are designed to promote exploration and discovery. Materials are carefully chosen to encourage practical learning, and activities are often structured around the interests of the individual child.

Teachers receive specific training in the Montessori approach, and they work closely with each child to help them reach their full potential. The Montessori environment has been shown to be successful in promoting independence, self-motivation, and a love of learning in young children.

children sitting in montessori classroom on the floor playing with blocks

what is the difference between a montessori preschool and a typical preschool?.

While both Montessori and traditional preschools provide an educational foundation for young children, there are some key differences between the two approaches.

In a Montessori preschool, the focus is on developing the whole child, both academically and emotionally. These preschools often have a more relaxed atmosphere, and children are free to move around and explore the classroom at their own pace.

In contrast, traditional preschools tend to have a more structured environment, with desks and chairs arranged in rows and children following a set schedule. Academic learning is also emphasized more in traditional preschools, with children being introduced to basic reading, writing, and math concepts.

Ultimately, the decision of which type of preschool to send your child to depends on your family's individual needs and preferences.

photo of a guidepost montessori classroom

what do montessori classrooms look like?.

If you've ever stepped into a Montessori classroom, you know that it looks very different from a more traditional preschool classroom environment. For starters, the classrooms are typically filled with montessori materials, all of which are carefully chosen to engage the senses and promote learning.

There are also often low shelves and child-sized furniture, so that children can easily access and manipulate materials.

The overall goal of the Montessori approach is to create an environment that is both stimulating and supportive, so that children can explore, discover, and learn at their own pace.

children at guidepost montessori sweeping and placing trash into can

what is the prepared environment in a montessori school?.

The prepared environment is a concept developed by Italian physician Maria Montessori. It refers to an educational setting that is designed to meet the needs of the child, both physically and emotionally.

The prepared environment includes everything from the layout of the room to the materials that are available for use. The aim is to create a space where the child can feel safe and comfortable, and where they can explore and learn at their own pace.

In a Montessori classroom you might find low shelves with carefully selected materials, which are updated regularly to meet the changing needs of the children. The prepared environment is an important part of the Montessori approach, as it provides a supportive and stimulating learning environment that encourages intellectual independence and self-direction.

children sitting at a table in a montessori classroom

what is the best age for montessori?.

Montessori classrooms are typically divided into three age groups: 3-6 years, 6-9 years, and 9-12 years.

While the Montessori method can be beneficial for children of all ages, many experts believe that the 3-6 age group is the most receptive to this type of learning. This is because young children are naturally curious and able to absorb new information quickly.

Additionally, the Montessori method relies heavily on peer interaction, which is developmentally appropriate for this age group. For these reasons, the 3-6 age group is often considered the best age for Montessori.

What are the pros of a Montessori education?

A Montessori education can offer many benefits to children:

One of the most notable benefits is that Montessori programs often have lower teacher-to-student ratios than traditional schools, which means that each child can receive more individualized attention.

Additionally, Montessori classrooms are designed to encourage exploration and learning, which can help children to develop a love of learning.

Another benefit of a Montessori education is that it typically includes a mix of ages in each classroom, which can help children to develop important social skills.

And finally, Montessori schools often place an emphasis on developing strong character traits such as empathy and responsibility, which can lay the foundation for success later in life. In sum, there are many reasons why a Montessori education can be advantageous for children.

what is guidepost montessori?.

Guidepost Montessori has a dedicated team of Montessori educators, advocates and leaders, who are passionate about spreading the power of the Montessori movement.

We are committed to providing each child with an individualized education in a nurturing environment that is designed to promote academic excellence, personal growth and social responsibility.

Our highly trained teachers guide children through the Montessori curriculum using hands-on materials and a variety of engaging activities.

child holding their drawing up over their head while sitting a table in a class room

what makes guidepost different from other montessori programs?.

What sets us apart is our bespoke educational approach, which takes the best of Montessori and traditional teaching methods. Our classrooms are designed with independence, curiosity and personalized learning in mind.

Plus, we have some great extras like art, music and language classes - something you wouldn't find at other schools.

If you're looking for a Montessori school that is both cutting-edge and well-rounded, look no further than Guidepost Montessori. Our experienced teachers are dedicated to helping each student reach his or her full potential. Contact us today to learn more about our programs.

children sitting on the floor with a guide in a guidepost montessori classroom

how do montessori teachers teach?.

Montessori guides (teachers) emphasize independent exploration when it comes to educating young children and must go through specialized Montessori teacher training. Classrooms are equipped with a variety of materials that encourage students to engage with their surroundings.

For instance, students might use blocks to construct towers or sort objects by color and shape. Montessori teachers also focus on providing individualized attention to each student. Rather than working in large groups, students are often allowed to work at their own pace and choose the activities that interest them.

This approach helps to foster a love of learning in each student. While a Montessori program may not be for everyone, the method is proven to be an effective way of teaching for many students.

Meet Our School Team

Head of School

Alexander Phillips

Assistant Head of School

Gladys Contreras

Children's House Spanish Immersion Lead Guide

Paulina Dominguez

children sitting on the floor at guidepost montessori learning with their guide

what are some typical montessori preschool activities?.

Montessori preschool activities are designed to encourage children to explore their natural environment and develop a sense of independence. Activities that preschool children may do could fall into the categories of Order, Classify, and Measure—key concepts that lay the foundation for academic success.

For example, in an ordering activity, children arrange shells according to size. This simple task helps them to understand the concept of order and develops their fine motor skills.

In a classifying activity, children might sort leaves by shape. This helps them to understand the concept of classification and develops their visual discrimination skills.

In a measuring activity, children use shells to measure the length of a stick. This helps them to understand the concept of measurement and develops their problem-solving skills. By engaging in these and other Montessori activities, children gain a strong foundation on which to build future academic success.

what does the montessori preschool curriculum look like?.

The Montessori preschool curriculum emphasizes child-centered learning and includes language activities, sensory activities and age-appropriate practical life activities.

The preschool curriculum is designed to provide a stimulating environment that encourages a love of lifelong learning. Classrooms are typically filled with materials that allow children to manipulate and experiment, such as blocks and puzzles. Children may also participate in cultural activities, such as ones related to music, dance and/or arts and crafts.

Teachers often use a mix of whole-group and small-group instruction, as well as one-on-one work with students. The goal of the Montessori curriculum is to help each child develop to his or her fullest potential.

Hear what Guidepost Montessori at Wicker Park parents are saying on Yelp!

Alison Y.

"Guidepost is a wonderful school with caring and attentive staff and administration. You can tell they truly love working with children and are excited to help them learn and grow. My daughter loved her time there and the extended day programming was especially fun for her! Highly recommend."

Drew S.

"Our daughter has been attending Guidepost full time since it opened in late 2017, beginning when she was 2. We couldn't be happier with the teachers, leadership and the progress she has made while attending this school.

The staff is amazing, smart and talented, which shows in the progress of the students. We couldn't be happier with our decision to send our daughter here, and we will soon be sending our soon to be 2-year old son as well. If you like the Montessori education method, I would highly recommend Guidepost!"

child holding a wooden rabbit in a guidepost montessori classroom

what are mixed age classrooms in montessori?.

In a mixed age classroom, students of various ages are grouped together. This allows preschool students to learn from older students, and also provides opportunities for leadership and mentoring.

Mixed age classrooms are common in Montessori schools, which follow a child-centered approach to education. This means that the curriculum is flexible and tailored to the needs of each individual student.

In a mixed age classroom, this allows each student to progress at their own pace and receive individualized attention from their teachers. As a result, mixed age classrooms can provide a more supportive and engaging learning environment for all students.

child at guidepost montessori building with colorful blocks at a table

is montessori expensive?.

When considering the cost of a Montessori education, it is important to remember that quality comes at a price.

Montessori schools are more expensive than traditional schools because they offer a unique and individualized learning experience. In addition, Montessori schools often have smaller class sizes, which allows for more one-on-one interaction between students and teachers.

Furthermore, Montessori schools typically employ highly-trained and certified teachers, which also contributes to the higher cost.

While a Montessori education may be costly, many parents feel that it is worth the investment. By providing their children with a high-quality education, they are setting them up for success in school and in life.

Why should my child attend a Montessori preschool?

Montessori preschools provide a unique learning environment that can be beneficial for children in a number of ways.

First, Montessori preschools are designed to encourage independence. Children are free to move about the room and choose the activities they want to do, which gives them agency over their own learning.

Second, Montessori preschools place a strong emphasis on activities. Children learn best by doing, and so Montessori classrooms are full of materials that allow children to explore and experiment.

Finally, Montessori preschools are very supportive of individual differences. Children are allowed to work at their own pace and choose the activities that interest them, which helps them to feel successful and motivated. All of these factors combine to create a learning environment that can be very beneficial for young children.

children sitting at tables in a guidepost montessori classroom eating

what does children's house in montessori mean?.

Children's House is the name given to one of the programs (or levels) that makes up the Montessori educational system.

Usually, students in this program range in age from 3-6 years old, but all children will be evaluated and placed in the correct learning environment that will best suit their individual needs.

child in a guidepost montessori classroom

how can i find a great montessori preschool in chicago?.

We'd suggest starting with two of the most popular organizations: The American Montessori Society and the Association for Montessori International are trusted, established sources of information about Montessori and a place where you can begin your preschool search. Referrals are another option for you if you are searching for the right Montessori preschool in the Chicago area.

Guidepost Montessori also has a number of schools in the Chicago area. You can check out our locations page to find a suitable one and book a tour.

I'm interested in learning more about Montessori. Where can I go?

If you're interested in learning more about Montessori, our Guidepost Parenting blog is a wonderful resource. Alternatively, if you'd like to speak with someone, you can give us a call.

Areas Near Our Wicker Park Preschool in Chicago

  • Bucktown
  • East Village
  • Goose Island
  • Logan Square
  • Palmer Square
  • Smith Park
  • Ukrainian Village
  • West Town

Common Questions Asked About Our Guidepost Montessori at Wicker Park's Preschool Program:

  • What is the difference between preschool and nursery?

    A nursery usually allows children from as young as six weeks to 16 months of age. Preschool, on the other hand, tends to be for children between the ages of 3-6, who aren't yet old enough to begin primary school.

  • What age is too young for preschool?
  • When do kids start preschool?
  • My child is enrolled in a public school. Can I switch them to Montessori preschool?

Other Programs And Information About Guidepost Montessori At Wicker Park: