The adolescent curriculum is based on a “society” and relates to the needs of the particular community. 

Traditional education often teaches subjects in isolation from life outside the classroom. Facts and skills are focused on one particular content area.  The Montessori adolescent program, however, offers lessons with practical applications across the subject areas and allows students to make improvements in their own community.

“What will I use this for?” is an often-asked question of the adolescent, as he is determined to use knowledge to DO something in the world. Projects such as monitoring our local waterways, creating a business, or volunteering at soup kitchens are real-world opportunities for lessons in science, language arts, math, history and they offer practical life experience. 

Creating a business is a key component in MAP. Students work as a group to find ways of making money, their first direct experiences of the economic connections in society. The success of earning money for a job well-done is a strong source of validation for the adolescent’s skills and contributions. In addition, students will tell you, service is not a requirement, it’s a part of our curriculum. Rather than have an arbitrary requirement for hours of service, students participate in a variety of projects and activities that serve others and make the world more beautiful. Exploring avenues for giving back and creating opportunities for these activities is proven to be a greater indicator of service becoming a way of life rather than an isolated checklist. 

How do we accomplish all this? Our weekly schedule is designed to be flexible and fluid. Without bells to tell us our time is up, we can continue discussions that delve deeper into subjects. We can also adjust our time to participate in cultural, occupational and service activities. This versatility allows students an autonomy that helps develop organizational skills, study habits, and promotes healthy self-esteem.

Meet the Team in
The MAP Program

Tina Davidson

Head of School

Tina Davidson

I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher. I graduated from Bowling Green State University with a BA in Communications Education and spent nearly ten years as a high school English, Speech and Drama teacher. When my husband and I were teaching in a high school district on the south side of Chicago, we were very lucky to have had many opportunities to learn about “new” strategies in teacher training like brain-based education, quantum learning and teaching, and multiple intelligences. Years later, we were standing in an observation room watching a little girl slice a banana for her classmates. The rest of the children were happily engaged in a variety of activities. We were hooked on Montessori from those first moments, watching children work in different modalities, at different speeds and being led by their interests. Our daughter was enrolled that fall and three years later, when our twins were ready to begin preschool, I began my training at Seton Montessori Institute. 15 years later, all three of our children have completed their full Montessori cycle and, after 12 years leading a 3-6 classroom, I’m ready to begin a new chapter in my Montessori story.

My dream of opening a Montessori school has become a reality. And it’s a big dream! At its heart is a strong community of people who care about children and the best possible opportunities for them. As my journey continues, I look forward to promoting Montessori’s vision of peace – learning to understand, understanding to sympathize and sympathizing to create an atmosphere of peace and hope. Academics and compassion go hand in hand. I believe we can make the world more beautiful and we will do that, planting one seed at a time.

Renee Kunkel

Adolescent Guide

Renee Kunkel

My name is Renee Kunkel. I’ve been married to my husband, Matt, for almost 22 years. We have 18 year old twin daughters, Hannah and Delaney, and Molly, a 3 year old blue pit bull. I enjoy dabbling in photography and playing all sorts of board games.

I’ve been teaching in some capacity since I graduated from U of I in 1995 with a degree Speech Education. I began my career teaching English, Speech, and Yearbook classes in public high school. I homeschooled my girls from kindergarten through their sophomore year of high school. In addition, I lead several homeschool co-op classes in Speech, Poetry & Photography, Spanish, and Yearbook. I’m looking forward to beginning a new adventure at Lupine while my daughters begin their college educations. I’m excited to be a part of the Lupine family and meet all of you!