For a more complete guide to Montessori education, including a discussion of preschool and elementary school options, start with our introductory guide.
There are lots of private Montessori schools in Quebec. 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, as well as our expert advice guide. For advice on selecting Montessori schools (ecole Montessori), see our Montessori choosing guide. You can also read our guides to questions to ask private schools and questions students get asked at school interviews.
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, some of which Montessori schools, all in one place. Find a Montessori school near you.
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, education 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 Quebec tends to be lower than the cost of other private schools in Quebec. In fact, Montessori schools are usually on the lower side of private school tuition in general.
Private school tuition can range from $5,000 to over $30,000 per year for day students. There are no public Montessori schools in Quebec, though some public schools use certain Montessori principles and materials.
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. To learn more about preschool costs and financial aid, read our dedicated guide.
Below, you’ll find the range of costs for Montessori private schools in Quebec:
|Tuition (day school)||Students receiving financial aid||Grade eligibility for financial aid||Avg. aid package size (annual)|
Average class size
Special needs support
|Progressive||Montessori||Student-paced||Supportive||8 to 20||Indirect Support||Medium integration|
Montessori schools (ecole Montessori), in Quebec (including Montreal), have unique classroom practices. Some of the main ones are the following (for more comprehensive coverage, see our main Montessori school guide):
Self-directed work: Kid do lots of independent work. While the learning environment provides some structure, kids often choose their own tasks and learning materials. With some guidance from the teacher, they also determine the pace of their studies. This allows kids to do work they find stimulating and that they’re likely to complete. It can also lead to a love of learning, sometimes a long-lasting one.
Concrete learning: The main focus is on concrete learning, rather than abstract learning. Especially at the primary and elementary level, kids work with lots of different concrete materials to learn important skills and concepts. Concrete learning engages many of the senses. And research has shown that it benefits many kids.
No tests or grades: Like Waldorf and Reggio Emilia, Montessori schools almost never test students or give them assignments. Moreover, student work isn’t graded, except in high school (and sometimes middle school). Instead, student progress is informally assessed through observation and developmental rubrics. The belief is that kids should be intrinsically motivated—by doing meaningful work they enjoy and find fulfilling—rather externally motivated (by grades, report cards, and the like).
Individualized curriculum: Montessori schools focus heavily on academics, even sometimes at the preschool level (0-6). Kids must master the basics in math, science, the language arts, and other subjects. They can then move on to more advanced work. The curricular focus and pace, though, will differ between children. Each child will move at a different pace and study subjects in different ways, depending on their specific learning needs and interests. Each student will also have their own individualized learning plan, one that’s arrived at by both the student and teacher.
In Quebec Montessori schools, subjects are almost never taught in isolation. Typically, several subjects are taught together, as part of an “integrated curriculum.”
For instance, biology or chemistry aren’t taught as single subjects, except possibly in high school (and maybe middle school). Rather, they’ll be taught as part of an integrated unit. To this end, a teacher might deliver a “great lesson” on the beginning of life, where kids learn about biology, chemistry, history, religion, and other subjects.
An integrated curriculum can be very rewarding for students. It encourages them to make connections between ideas and concepts from a variety of disciplines. It also can lead to positive learning outcomes, such as a broadening of knowledge and a wider range of interests.
Unlike traditional schools, though, Montessori schools don’t deliver this curriculum through direct instruction. Teachers rarely, if ever, give long lectures or lessons. When lessons are given, they tend to be shorter and more interactive and engaging than lectures given in traditional schools.
Instead of lecturing, teachers tend to work with individuals or small groups of students. Their main role is to be a facilitator: they provide the necessary support and guidance for students to complete their work.
Sometimes, though, teachers will just sit back and observe kids work. Often, this will be group work, where small groups of kids come together (of their own accord) to work on different tasks and projects. The belief is that classmates often do a better job of teaching than the head teacher. In particular, older kids can excel at teaching and mentoring their younger peers, and modelling appropriate behaviour to them. The teacher, in these situations, will intervene or provide guidance only when absolutely necessary.
Montessori schools in Quebec developed from the teaching of Maria Montessori, who believed that when in a social environment, children tend to learn best when they’re encouraged individual growth. With the student as the master of their own learning, Montessori schools are ideal for parents who agree with Maria Montessori’s philosophy of education.
The Montessori philosophy declares children should individually direct their own learning. Your child will be learning at their own pace when attending Montessori schools because every child is seen as a unique individual. Those who follow the Montessori method say their students go from asking “help me to help myself” to “help me to do it myself” and eventually “help me to think for myself”.
Just because you’ve seen some schools with expensive tuition, doesn’t mean all schools have expensive tuition. Before choosing your Montessori school in Quebec, be sure you look into every school and payment options with detail, to find the offer that fits you best. If you’re looking for financial assistance, bursaries or scholarships (and tax breaks), it would be in your best interest to search for those as early as possible.
If you’re looking for more opportunities to help pay for school, check out these 18 tips to help the cost of private school.
Don’t choose a school until you’re positive it’ll be the best school for your child. But, how do you know it’d the best option? Here are a few things to take into consideration:
Have a look at the five steps in finding the right private school, for more information on how to choose the perfect match.