“Education is not something which the teacher does, but is a natural process that develops spontaneously in the human being. It is not acquired by listening to words, but by virtue of experiences in which the child acts on his environment. We must offer the child the help he needs and be at his service so that he does not have to walk alone.” — Maria Montessori
Before and After School Care
Any student may attend the before and after school time. Before school time begins at 7:00a.m. and continues until classes begin at 8:45a.m. During before care, children have free play time with manipulatives, puzzles, toys for imaginary play, and arts and crafts materials. After school time begins as the regular school day ends at 3:30p.m. and continues until 6:00p.m. In after care children enjoy outdoor play time at the playground, indoor group movement, arts and crafts, and free play time with manipulatives, puzzles, and toys for imaginary play. Snack is given to all children present at 4:30p.m. Before and after school care fees are $3.50 per hour for time used. A statement of fees owed is sent home at the end of the month and payment is due with the next month’s tuition payment.
Lunch and Recess
Students bring their lunch daily in a standard lunch bag or lunch box. A hot lunch is given to all full day students every Friday. Students learn to set up and clean up their table and to eat with good table manners. Recess (play time) takes place outdoors at one of 2 playgrounds each day provided it is not raining and the temperature is above 20 degrees with the wind chill. In the winter season, students bring snow pants, snow boots, winter hat, mittens, and scarves for outdoor fun in the snow.
Field trips are opportunities to reinforce classroom lessons while taking a trip to another location. Field trips are taken 3 to 4 times per year and coordinate with classroom themes and lessons. Field trip possibilities are the Apple Orchard in Hobart, Indiana, a local college for a play, show, or concert, the South Holland Fire Department, the Shedd Aquarium, and other facilities. We also invite special visitors to present to our students including South Holland Fire Fighters, South Holland Police Officers, and Dave DiNaso and his Travelling World of Reptiles. We welcome all parents who want to chaperone a field trip. There is a chaperone fee for most trips due to the cost incurred by our school from the bus service and facility fee.
Laren’s summer program is 8 or 9 weeks long (depending on the start of the next school year) and is offered to all current students and alumni. Classes are taught by our current staff members. It is a full day program and is an extension of the regular school year to maintain students’ learning and progress.
The daily schedule is the same as the regular school year with before care beginning at 7:00a.m., class time starting at 8:45a.m. and ending at 3:30p.m., and after care until 6:00p.m.
From 8:45-11:30am students learn in the Montessori environment. 11:30am-1:00p.m. is lunch time and recess time. Students bring their lunch Monday through Thursday and enjoy hot lunch every Friday. From 1:00-3:15p.m. students are divided into groups to enjoy arts and crafts related to the weekly theme, outdoor water playtime with small pools, water tables, and sprinklers, and outdoor games. There is a weekly field trip related to the theme as well.
Students may purchase ice cream novelties for their snack on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Profit from the ice cream sale is used to purchase classroom materials.
There is a separate enrollment form for the summer program. The enrollment form with required deposit is due by the end of April. Tuition is $150 per week. Total summer tuition is payable in 2 payments at the beginning of June and July. Before and after care time is $3.50 per hour billed each month.
The Laren Montessori Community Garden was created in the spring of 2011 behind the Calvary Church Gymnasium by our elementary teacher along with the work of Laren staff members and Laren parents. We are currently examining the needs and future existence of the garden since we suspended our elementary program. All input and assistance is welcome.
In Spring of 2017 we created a small Community Garden for our Early Childhood program beside our playground. The students easily take care and of the garden on a daily basis. Our garden is a part of the Montessori curriculum for both the regular school year and summer program.
After school activities are offered in our Laren school building to all students. A different activity is offered each day and include Music Class, Book Club with Art, Indonesian Dance Class, and Basketball Class. These programs have their own enrollment forms and fees, which are paid directly to the instructor of the class.