Montessori School of Long Grove Brings Experiential Learning Outdoors

At the Montessori School of Long Grove, the classroom extends beyond four walls.  An important part of the curriculum in all levels includes “going out.”  Our elementary-aged children spent a week in May at The Country Experience – Amstutz Family Farm in Elizabeth, Illinois. 

The Country Experience is a working farm, built for meaningful fun. The children used hands-on experiences and real-world tools to build an appreciation for the value of time and effort, learn respect for life and nature, and develop important life skills including communication, responsibility, decision-making, teamwork, and respect for self and others.

As a class, the children were able to get inside the fences to care for the animals, gardens and each other.  These are real-life activities on the farm, so instead of  “imagine you need to . . .” they actually go out and experience it – feed the animals; plant and harvest in the garden; prepare, serve and clean-up after meals; and enjoy lots of free-range fun.  Decisionmaking has real outcomes; cooperation (or lack thereof) is clear to see; and the community of kids builds confidence, awareness of self and others, and an appreciation for life and complexity.

These experiences, the environment and the Montessori philosophy allow children to experience life and learn about themselves, their abilities and their place in the world. 

“My vision of the future is no longer of people taking exams and proceeding on that certification from the secondary school to the 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”Dr. Maria Montessori

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