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Erkinder – The Montessori High School Experience

Lower and Upper Level Erkinder

Our Erdkinder program, spanning grades 7-12, actively recognizes and caters to the unique developmental needs of adolescents.  Our Erkinder program acts as an extension into the Montessori high school experience. The program is thoughtfully divided into Lower Erdkinder (grades 7-9) and Upper Erdkinder (grades 10-12), each tailored to provide an educational experience that transcends traditional learning levels. Lower Erdkinder operates at a high school level, while Upper Erdkinder operates at a college level. Our primary aim is to instill in students a sense of humility and a profound realization of their role in envisioning a peaceful humanity. As guides in the development of adolescent children, our objectives encompass:

  • Providing a secure environment conducive to learning through meaningful work.
  • Facilitating meaningful exchanges among peers, adults, and field experts.
  • Offering multiple choices to cater to individual differences while maintaining learning goals.
  • Following Montessori’s pedagogy of the three-period lesson, emphasizing didactic presentation, exploration, and knowledge assessment.
  • Positing challenging questions to actively engage students in the learning process.
  • Interlinking disciplines to impart a deep, holistic, and interconnected knowledge.
  • Delivering individualized attention and guidance through the adolescent experience.
  • Offering diverse experiences beyond the classroom to enhance comprehensive learning.
  • Demonstrating the meaningfulness of work through adult-like experiences.
  • Allowing dedicated time for reflection, enabling students to contemplate their lives and immediate and future goals.

Our program remains dedicated to individualization. Children receive presentations in small groups, ensuring that teachers cater to varied learning styles, interests, strengths, and weaknesses. Teachers aim to uphold Montessori’s element of choice throughout learning, regardless of the child’s learning style, interests, strengths, or weaknesses, fostering engagement and in-depth knowledge development instead of mere fact processing or memorization.

The Montessori Educational Syllabus

Our approach doesn’t view classes as isolated units but rather as extensions between curriculum areas. Within each subject, we aim to intertwine concepts with the utilization of the “Great Ideas of the Western World,” the “52 Virtues,” and their moral and ethical implications throughout history. Aligned with Montessori philosophy, we continue the tradition of the three-period lesson in the Erdkinder environment. The first period lesson involves didactic presentation or sensorial experience. The second period involves research, papers, readings, and art. The third period serves as proof of knowledge acquisition, taking various forms such as written or oral exams or dramatic performances. Our program spans three years, offering both three-year and year-long courses. Three-year courses are designed to evolve in complexity over the student’s Erdkinder program involvement. We actively encourage parental involvement through observations.

Given the sensitivity of adolescents, parents are welcome to participate before or after school, delving into their children’s subject area albums. Monthly parent/student morals and ethics meetings provide a platform for parents to hear their child’s perspective on various issues and share their own insights.

Three Year Courses

  • English Grammar Structure and Writing
    • Aimed at sharpening grammar and writing skills, with exposure to the Arco word list to expand vocabulary.
  • Erdkinder Morals and Ethics
    • Focused on self-awareness, human awareness, and fostering a love for service through psychology and community projects. Additionally, in conjunction with this course, students actively participate in numerous community service projects, both within and beyond 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
    • Encompassing various forms of creative expression, including art, music, dance, and drama.
  • Physical Education
    • Prioritizing strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular training through team games and individual activities.
  • World Language
    • Offering full-immersion Spanish classes and Japanese instruction focusing on vocabulary and sentence structure.
  • Typing/Computer Skills
    • Integrating technology presentations with associated follow-up assignments, emphasizing the use of Microsoft Office suite and typing skills.
  • Microeconomics
    • Enriching students with real-world work experiences and instilling financial principles, including the significance of money, our program adopts a comprehensive approach. By implementing a meticulously structured rotation of apprenticeships taking place every six weeks, which operate as small-scale enterprises where students engage actively in both the production and sale of goods, this immersive process acts as a gateway to gaining profound insights into the intricacies of financial principles. It transcends mere knowledge dissemination about the value of money, expanding its reach to cultivate a nuanced understanding of crucial aspects, including dynamics of profit and loss, fluctuations in supply and demand, and the intricacies of labor costs.The array of apprenticeships available, ranging from operating a café to undertaking sewing projects and participating in gardening, embodies a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach. This integrated strategy seamlessly weaves together subjects like finance, history, chemistry, and mathematics into the fabric of each apprenticeship’s instruction. Such a holistic fusion ensures that students not only gain hands-on practical skills but also develop a well-rounded comprehension of theoretical concepts, fostering a dynamic and enriched educational experience.

Year Long Courses

  • History
    • Covering U.S. history, European civilizations, and civilizations across Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas, the course instills appreciation for civilizations’ development. It begins with a presentation on the timeline of civilizations, providing a visual framework for each area of concentration.
  • Mathematics
    • Beginning with an introduction to the timeline of mathematics, the first year reviews pre-algebra and advances to algebra I. The second year covers more advanced algebra skills and introduces geometry. Banking and economics are covered to reinforce lessons in microeconomics. The third year involves algebra II and pre-calculus.
  • Literature
    • The aims of this course are to attain a sense of appreciation for great literature. To also 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 focuses on Earth science. Children may engage in meaningful work within the sciences as an integral part of the curriculum.

The Erkinder – Montessori high school experience gives your child the tools as well as the physical,  mental skills to go out into the world with a sense of purpose and humanity.

“My vision of the future is no longer just of people taking exams, earning a secondary diploma, and proceeding on to university, but of individuals passing from one stage of independence to a higher, by means of their own activity, through their own effort of will, which constitutes the inner evolution of the individual.” — Maria Montessori, The Erdkinder

Erkinder Teens- Montessori High School Experience

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
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