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“Amid the shadows of doubts and fear that hang heavily over the human race, we can now catch a glimpse of the light that will dissipate them, because a new society is already coming into being. A new humanity for a new world is already being born!”—Maria Montessori

Our Erdkinder program (grades 7-12) recognizes and addresses the unique developmental needs of adolescents. The program is broken into Lower Erdkinder (grade 7-9) and Upper Erdkinder (grades 10-12). The lower program is taught at a high school level and the upper program is taught at a college level. We strive to instill in our students a sense of humility as well as a realization of the part they will play in maintaining a vision for a peaceful humanity. As guides to the development of the adolescent child our goals are:

  • To provide children with a safe environment where they can learn by expanding their experience via meaningful work
  • To offer children meaningful exchange with their peers, with adults in the environment, and with experts in the field
  • To provide for individual differences by offering students multiple choices, while maintaining expected learning goals
  • To follow Montessori’s pedagogy of the three-period lesson, with the didactic lesson being given first (or an experiential opportunity for engagement), plenty of exploration as the second period, and, finally, an assessment of knowledge, whether it be oral, written, or dramatic performance
  • To ask challenging questions that engage our students in their learning
  • To link disciplines to offer our children a deep, holistic, and interconnected knowledge as opposed to isolated surface knowledge
  • To give our children individualized attention
  • To serve as facilitators and guides of learning through their adolescent experiences
  • To utilize the land and Montessori’s principle of pedagogy of place to incorporate the resources of our local community into various curriculum areas in order to give the children a sense of ownership and belonging through their experiential learning in the community
  • To offer a variety of experiences beyond the classroom to enhance the children’s learning of all curriculum areas
  • To show children that work is meaningful by offering them adult-like work experiences
  • To offer time for reflection so children can ponder their lives and their immediate and future goals

Our program is dedicated to being individualized. Children receive presentations in small groups, and teachers account for varied learning styles. In giving lessons and assignments to develop children’s goals and objectives for each area of study, teachers cater to all learning styles, interests, strengths, and weaknesses of the children. Children are given an element of choice with respect to their assignments as well as their presentation of the material.

No matter what the child’s learning style, areas of interest, strengths, or weaknesses, the teacher aims to uphold Montessori’s element of choice throughout learning so as to engage the child and enhance their learning experience through the development of in-depth knowledge rather than fact processing or memorization.

Parents are encouraged to come for observations. Because of the sensitivity of children throughout adolescence, we encourage parents to come in before or after school to look through their children’s albums for each subject area. We also have our monthly parent/student morals and ethics meeting, where parents can hear their child’s perspective on various issues as well as share their own.

The Educational Syllabus

We do not see our classes as individual units, rather more an extension between curriculum areas. Within each subject we aim to tie together concepts of other subjects via the utilization of the “Great Ideas of the Western World,” the “52 Virtues,” and their moral and ethical implications throughout history.

In accordance with the Montessori philosophy, we continue the tradition of the three- period lesson in the Erdkinder environment. The first period lesson involves the didactic presentation or sensorial experience. The second period involves research, papers, readings, and art. The third period is the proof of knowledge acquisition, which can take many forms. Children may have a written or oral exam or a dramatic performance as a part of the third period of a lesson.

Our program is a three-year program. Within our framework for learning, there are courses that are three-year courses as well as courses that are year long. Three-year courses are designed to grow in complexity over the three years of the student’s involvement in the Erdkinder program.

Three Year Courses

  • English Grammar Structure and Writing
    • The aims of this course are to sharpen both the grammar skills as well as the writing skills of the students. As a part of this course, students are exposed to the Arco word list, where they explore a variety of ways to expand their vocabulary. The curriculum also covers grammar skills and word usage. Students work with parsing words in paragraphs or reverse parsing, sentence diagramming, grammar work sheets, and more. Significant work also deals with proofreading and editing. For the writing portion of this course, students engage in topics across all curriculum areas, where they utilize the 18 types of fiction and nonfiction.
  • Erdkinder Morals and Ethics
    • The aims of this course are self-awareness and human awareness, and include developing a love for service and engaging in meaningful discussion about ethical issues throughout our world. This course begins with psychology. Through the understanding of what motivates people as individuals and an understanding of their own self-motivation, students understand the impact of their contributions to society. In conjunction with this course, students are involved with numerous community service projects, both within and outside of the school community. In school, students serve as assistants in the primary (age 3-6) classrooms. Outside of the school community, they work with local outreach programs such as the Elgin Outreach Program, Hoffman Estates Adopt a Park Program, and Alden Senior Center.
  • Creative Expression
    • Our program includes a variety of forms of creative expression. Art instruction includes drawing and form, pastels, clay, ice sculpting, photography, mosaics, painting, structural design, dance, flower arranging, painting, music, and drama. Various types of music are also offered, including acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and keyboard piano with varied tempos and beats. Once they have a good grasp of melody and tune, students are encouraged to create their own compilations.
  • Physical Education
    • As children reach adolescence, their internal clocks tend to shift, causing them to feel less alert in the morning. For this reason children begin each day with a half hour of physical education. The emphasis of the program is strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular training. A variety of team games and individual activities are incorporated.
  • World Language
    • We currently offer both Spanish and Japanese language instruction. Spanish is a full-immersion language class. The children work on the foundations of language, verb conjugations, and sentence structure. Japanese utilizes both English and Japanese, working mainly on vocabulary and sentence structure.
  • Typing/Computer Skills
    • As technology has become such an integral part of our society, technology presentations are given with associated follow-up assignments. Children are expected to use the Microsoft Office suite of products for their work across all curriculum areas, and typing skills are reinforced using the Mavis Beacon typing system.
  • Microeconomics
    • An integral part of the Erdkinder program is the microeconomics program which serves as a link between subjects while also providing meaningful adult-like real work to engage the adolescent and them a sense of purpose. Apprenticeships are rotated on six-week cycles. These apprenticeships serve as a small businesses, where students produce and sell goods. It is through this process that children learn the value of money, as well as profit and loss, supply and demand, and the cost of labor. Among the apprenticeships offered are a café, sewing, and gardening. Subjects such as finance, history, chemistry, and mathematics are incorporated into the instruction of each apprenticeship.

Year Long Courses

  • History
    • The history curriculum includes the history of the United States and its government, the spread of civilizations throughout Europe, and the spread of civilizations across Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. Each topic is presented as a year-long course on a rotating basis. The goal is to instill a sense of appreciation for the development of civilizations and a sense of humility for the part an individual plays in the greater scheme of life. This course always begins with a presentation on the timeline of civilizations so that the children have a visual framework for each area of concentration.
  • Mathematics
    • The math curriculum begins with an introduction to the timeline of mathematics. The first year of the cycle begins with a review of pre-algebra and advances to algebra I. The second year of the cycle, students continue with more advanced algebra skills and begin work with geometry. Banking and economics are also covered to reinforce lessons in microeconomics. The children also work on word problems, which help them in language and develop abstract reasoning skills. The third year of the mathematics course involves algebra II and pre-calculus.
  • Literature
    • The aims of this course are to attain a sense of appreciation for great literature, to be able to analyze literature for its time period and influences, and to compare and contrast various forms of literature. The course begins with the development of language and written expression throughout the world. The literature curriculum parallels the history curriculum in that the children study the literature associated with the history of specified geographic areas and time periods. The first year of literature covers American literature, the second year of the cycle covers European literature and the third year of the cycle covers African, Asian, Australian, and North and South American literature.
  • Science
    • The science course is presented on a three-year rotation. One year of the science rotation is physical science (physics and chemistry). One year of the rotation involves the study of life sciences, and one year of the rotation focuses on Earth science. Children may engage in meaningful work within the sciences as an integral part of the curriculum. For instance, gardening is incorporated into the study of geology and the elements of the soil so students can experience better outcomes in the garden as a result of understanding the science behind it.

Freeman West

1250 Freeman Road
Hoffman Estates, IL 60192

  847-705-1234 Learn More & Get Directions

Freeman East

1200 Freeman Road
Hoffman Estates, IL 60192

  847-705-1234 Learn More & Get Directions


3805 Huntington Blvd.
Hoffman Estates, IL 60192

  847-705-5678 Learn More & Get Directions