On this page, we cover private schools in the Maritimes area that offer Montessori programs and support.
For a more complete guide to Montessori education, including a discussion of curricular approaches, start with our introductory guide.
There are lots of private Montessori schools in Maritimes. These schools vary in terms of their classroom practices, curricular approaches, program offerings, and special needs support. The schools listed below reflect this diversity. They can be filtered for a wide range of features.
For general advice on how to choose and evaluate private schools, check out our choosing a school guide. For advice on choosing Montessori schools (including preschools), see our main Montessori school guide. To learn about how to choose the right preschool, read our dedicated guide.
Private school expos are a great starting point for finding a school, at any level. We have annual private school expos in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, and Halton-peel. These expos allow you to speak with lots of private schools in Canada, many of which are (or have) preschools, all in one place. Our expos are all held in the fall.
Another great resource in your school search is the Our Kids parent discussion forum. The forum is an ideal place to discuss options and debate topics related to Montessori schools and preschools. Our community of parents, educational experts, school officials, and alumni can help answer your questions and stimulate your thinking.
Attending open houses is a great way to learn more about schools. For general advice on open house visits, check out our guide on school visits.
The cost of Montessori schools in Maritimes tends to be lower than the cost of other private schools in Maritimes. In fact, Montessori schools are usually on the lower side of private school tuition in general.
Many schools offer needs-based financial aid, such as bursaries or tuition relief. Other schools, though not as many, offer scholarships, which are given based on merit—for instance, in academics or athletics. You can learn more about need- and merit-based financial aid in our dedicated guide. You can also read about preschool costs in general.
Below, you’ll find the range of costs for Montessori private schools in the Maritimes provinces:
|Tuition (day school)||Students receiving financial aid||Grade eligibility for financial aid||Avg. aid package size (annual)|
Average class size
Special needs support
Montessori schools, in the Maritimes and other provinces, often have large mixed-age classes with high teacher-to-student ratios. They also tend to have lots of interaction, student-to-student teaching, and group and independent work.
Below, the Montessori philosophy and teaching approach is discussed in more detail. For more comprehensive coverage, see our main Montessori school guide.
The Montessori philosophy of education is unique. Some of the main principles of this philosophy are the following:
Student-centred: There is no set curriculum. Students are free to move around the class, choose their own work, and determine the pace of their studies. This can make for a dynamic learning environment.
Uninterrupted work time: Montessori schools give kids lots of uninterrupted work time, especially at the elementary level. In many schools, they’re given at least one 3-hour, uninterrupted work period to focus on their chosen work, free of interruptions. Uninterrupted work periods are believed to improve children’s concentration, self-discipline, and work habits.
Concrete learning: Learning tends to be concrete and hands-on. At the primary and elementary level (and sometimes at the secondary level), kids work with lots of different concrete materials, including “manipulatives”—or self-correcting puzzles. They also work with blocks, rods, spindle boxes, and many other materials. Concrete learning engages many of the senses. And, research has shown that it can speed up learning, especially for younger kids.
No external rewards: In primary and elementary school, kids aren’t given tests or assignments, or graded on any of their work. Kids also aren’t praised very much, and when they are praised, it’s for effort—not outcome. Progress is assessed informally, through observation and developmental rubrics, rather than formally, through grades or report cards.
Montessori teachers rarely provide direct instruction. They almost never stand at the front of the class and lecture to all the students. And when they do lecture, the lectures are usually short, interactive, and engaging.
More often, though, teachers move around the class, and give lessons to or guide students. They usually work with students one-on-one or in small groups. They often encourage students to repeat and practice activities, and they plan projects to meet each student’s learning needs. Their primary role is to connect students with their work, rather than to impart knowledge to them. Teachers are thus viewed more as “guides” or “mentors” than “teachers” in the traditional sense.
Montessori schools, in the Maritimes and other provinces, have mixed-age classes, with kids aged 0-3 (toddler), 3-6 (primary), 6-9 (lower-elementary), 9-12 (upper elementary), and so on. The mixed-age classroom informs the teaching approach and learning environment. Most Montessori classes have lots of group work. Kids work together in small groups on projects and tasks, with some guidance from the teacher.
Montessori children help each other, and older children often mentor their younger classmates, by helping with them with their work and modelling appropriate behaviour. This can reinforce knowledge and skills learned in the classroom, for both older and younger kids.
There are Montessori schools in the Maritimes provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. These schools have many virtues, and many features to recommend them.
Like other Montessori schools, not to mention Waldorf and Reggio Emilia schools, they emphasize decentralized learning, concrete learning, self-direction, and independence. They also tend to have a lot of student-to-student learning, cooperation, and collaboration. Many students find this interactive environment both stimulating and rewarding.
Montessori schools in the Maritimes provinces have multi-age classrooms at every level. There are toddler classes from 0-3, primary classes from 3-6, elementary classes from 6-9 and 9-12, and middle school classes from 12-14.
The multi-age classroom can be a very effective learning environment. Children learn from each other, often better than from adults. Older children can mentor younger children, which can reinforce learning for both. Older peers can also be role-models for their younger classmates, modelling good behaviour and manners. This can be an especially effective approach for children with advanced learning abilities.