Chief Executive Officer, Hewitt EnnisKnupp, Inc., Chicago, IL

When my wife and I found Countryside five years ago, I had never heard of the Montessori method of teaching. Since then, I have come to value (and be amazed by!) these learning methods; their intuitive nature, their accessibility to young children, and their effectiveness. Even more impressive to me are the citizenship lessons my children have learned. They are willing teachers/coaches to younger children; they have a genuine and informed interest in their school, community, and nation; they delight in the natural world and in solving problems with their peers. All this by the ages of 6, 8, and 10! I couldn’t ask for a better parenting partner than Countryside.

Two things stand out in my oldest child’s first grade year at Countryside.

  • The first was him begging (begging!) to be grilled on square roots (which he had just learned to do abstractly – that is, in his head). I threw out 9 and then 16, which he answered quickly and followed up with, “Dad, those are too easy!” Next came “40” from me, and after a moment, “Six, remainder 4!” from him.
  • Even more memorable was his out-of-the-blue decision later that year to ask the children coming to his birthday party to bring a gift suitable for a local charity instead of a present for him. Nothing illustrates how our family has been touched by CDS better than those two anecdotes – a joy for knowledge combined with a joy for giving and a sense of community. Thank you Countryside!