Montessori education in Canada

Access detailed profiles of 61 top Montessori schools in Canada








 
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Bayview/Hwy 407
 
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"TMS is a leading, accredited independent school that offers a unique design of Montessori and International Baccalaureate programmes. Our students thrive in academics while building a foundation of Significance for life." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $20,850 to $36,770
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Oakville, Ontario
Winston Churchill/Lakeshore Road East
 
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"Clanmore is one of the few schools offering authentic Montessori programming from Toddler - Middle School. Our culture is warm and inviting and our philosophy empowers us to support each child as a unique individual." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $10,000 to $20,000
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Oakville, Ontario
Trafalgar Road/Dundas
 
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"TRMS uniquely provides enriched French as a second language (FSL) instruction for all levels from Preschool to Elementary. We give students a head start in their educational journey, instilling a "Love of Learning!"" —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 3 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $15,695 to $17,375
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"We identify the experiences that facilitate education that empowers the individual and fosters a community of collaborative contributors through interdisciplinary, integrated integrated projects." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $9,565 to $32,000
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Toronto, Ontario
Spadina Ave/College Street
 
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"Authentic, CCMA accredited Montessori Schools located in downtown Toronto, offering programs for Toddlers, Casa, Elementary and Adolescent children in beautiful settings with large and expansive natural playgrounds." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $21,500 to $23,900
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Mississauga, Ontario
Lakeshore Road/Southdown
 
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"Peel Montessori and Carrington College div. students learn above grade level for subjects of strength. Individualized curriculum, advanced academic strategies, and character development give students a personal edge." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; Montessori
  • $9,500 to $18,500
  • Day school
  • 150 students
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Toronto, Ontario
 
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"At Central Montessori School (CMS), young minds are inspired to be creative, innovative, and inquisitive. We cultivate bright, young leaders and strong communicators ready for the 21st century." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 6 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $9,400 to $21,200
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Richmond Hill, Ontario
Yonge Street/Silverwood Ave.
 
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"Century Private School in Richmond Hill runs from preschool to grade twelve, with small class ratio to ensure best learning for our students." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $18,500 to $28,500
  • Day school
  • 0 students
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Toronto, Ontario
 
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"Humberside Montessori School is internationally recognized and accredited by Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). Our AMI certified teachers provide an authentic Montessori experience for our students." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $12,500 to $19,900
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Scarborough, Ontario
Kennedy Road/Progress Avenue
 
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"Enquiring Minds Montessori is a one-of-a-kind Montessori Art School. We have created a unique learning experience that fosters academic and artistic excellence in a nurturing environment while challenging young minds." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 6 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $11,158 to $17,500
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Toronto, Ontario
Queen Street East/Glen Manor Drive
 
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"Our objective is to guide children with respect and understanding, developing in them a love of learning. Our aim is to create a nurturing environment full of intellectual, social and moral learning and development." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $7,775 to $23,500
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North York, Ontario
Sheppard Avenue East/Victoria Park Avenue
 
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"Head Start Montessori was founded in 2002, on the premise that children need a warm, loving and authentic Montessori environment for them to grow into well-adjusted and peaceful beings. H.S.M. is a home away from home." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 3 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $14,500 to $18,500
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Newmarket, Ontario
 
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"LMMH was established in 2003, the school offers a unique French Immersion Program as well as an English Program for children from 2 ½ to 13 years of age. Our students also learn to ski, golf, play tennis and more." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $13,500 to $15,500
  • Day school
  • 120 students
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Oakville, Ontario
QEW/Ford Drive / Ninth Line
 
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"La Villa Montessori is an AMI recognized School that adheres to Dr. Montessori's principles. We provide a nurturing environment that fulfills the child's emotional, social, physical and intellectual needs." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 6 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $6,000 to $17,000
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Toronto, Ontario
 
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"Bannockburn School leads in Montessori education by offering an exceptional, enriched Montessori curriculum in a nurturing environment carefully prepared to meet the needs of children in the formative years of childhood." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 6 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $17,975 to $27,300
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North York / Scarborough, Ontario
Victoria Park/Lawrence
 
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"Nurturing innate love for learning, we offer independent educational chances for young children to cultivate lifelong knowledge and self discovery." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to SK (Coed)
  • Montessori approach
  • $8,500 to $13,500
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Mississauga, Ontario
 
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"Rotherglen School - MISSISSAUGA is a montessori school that offers programs from JK to grade eight. The average class size is 18 students." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; Montessori
  • $14,900 to $20,315
  • Day school
  • 400 students
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Mississauga, Ontario
Hurontario St/Matheson Blvd E
 
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"ABC Montessori is one of Mississauga's premier private schools. We offers both Montessori and traditional school programs from preschool to Grade 5 with an emphasis on developing literacy, numeracy, sciences, and arts." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 5 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; Montessori
  • $9,950 to $11,500
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Toronto, Ontario
Dufferin St/Lawrence Ave W
 
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"Leonardo Da Vinci Academy provides exceptional schooling for the formative years. Our unique curriculum aims to instil a love of learning and challenges students to develop their full potential." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; Montessori
  • $10,500 to $18,300
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Markham, Ontario
Woodbine/16th Avenue
 
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"Trinity Montessori School offers programs from toddler to grade six in Markham, Ontario. Its average class size is nine students." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 6 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; Montessori
  • $12,000 to $14,000
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Mississauga, Ontario
Glen Erin/Dundas
 
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"Kaban Montessori School is a CCMA accredited school in the west area of Mississauga . Our environments foster each child's interests and abilities while supporting them to achieve their full potential." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 6 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $1,720 to $1,770
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Ottawa, Ontario
Alta Vista Drive/Industrial Road
 
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"OMS Montessori is a non for profit, independent school offering separate French and English programs within a world class Montessori environment." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 6 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $9,765 to $16,850
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Oakville, Ontario
 
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"Rotherglen School - OAKVILLE offers programs for students age 4 to grade eight. The average class size is 18 students." —From the school

  • Gr. K to 8 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; Montessori
  • $17,650 to $27,560
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Oshawa, Ontario
Wilson Road/Adelaide Ave
 
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"At G.B.MS, D.E.P.S and Durham Academy Secondary school focus is on each individual student and helping them meet their unique potential and goals. We believe in excellent customer service and families have a voice. Throughout the year we enhance our programs through program enhancement and enrichment." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; Montessori
  • $10,400 to $14,000
  • Day, Homestay
  • 187 students
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Markham, Ontario
Denison/Warden
 
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"Our curriculum are designed to build essential skills and concepts that help with the cognitive, social, creative, emotional, and physical development of your child with the aim to be a successful learner for life!" —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 3 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $10,500 to $16,500
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Kanata, Ontario
Eagleson Road/Stonehaven Drive
 
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"For 50 years, Kanata Montessori has offered excellent learning environments for students to grow emotionally, socially and academically into a positive global citizen." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $16,750 to $22,500
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North Vancouver, British Columbia
Keith Rd/Lynnmouth Ave
 
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"Collaborative and engaging, North Star's programs put students at the center of their learning and quest for knowledge." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 7 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $8,550 to $16,785
  • Day school
  • 110 students
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Port Perry, Ontario
Reach St/Old Simcoe Rd
 
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"CHMS offers authentic supportive, vibrant, child centered AMI Montessori that is perfect for curious, inquisitive students looking to thrive in a social, hands on, collaborative, challenging environment." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $8,000 to $12,000
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Pickering, Ontario
Kingston/Altona
 
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"École Montessori is Durham Region's premier French private school dedicated to transforming your child into a bilingual critical thinker with our enriched curriculum that fosters the genius within each student." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 6 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $8,400 to $21,000
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Mississauga, Ontario
 
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"Meadow Green Academy provides a strong Christian education in a nurturing environment. Strong academics combined with sports, enriched music, visual arts, and dramatic arts programs provide a well-rounded experience" —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; Montessori
  • $9,800 to $16,990
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Toronto, Ontario
Bathurst St./Eglinton Ave. West
 
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"NOW WITH LICENSED DAYCARE! Bring your child for a free trial to let him or her experience the difference. Don't be surprised if he or she doesn't want to go home at the end of the day! SUMMER CAMP PROGRAMS AVAILABLE!" —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 6 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum; Waldorf
  • $15,500 to $17,500
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Fredericton, New Brunswick
 
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"The main objective of FMA is to provide your child with a planned and stimulating environment in order for them to be able to reach their own individual and highest learning potential while honouring the whole child." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 10 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $9,500 to $14,500
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Richmond Hill, Ontario
Major Mackenzie/Bayview Avenue
 
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"Richmond Hill Montessori Private School offers programs from pre-school to grade eight. Its average class size is 20 students." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; Montessori
  • $25,000 to $26,800
  • Day school
  • 600 students
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Aurora, Ontario
St. John Sideroad/Yonge St.
 
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"Aurora Montessori offers an enriched Montessori program for students, Toddler to Grade 8, with an option of an OSSD credit in Grade 9 Math. A unique Mindfulness and Technology program develops key 21st-century skills!" —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $14,200 to $23,300
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Unionville, Ontario
Kennedy Road/16th Avenue
 
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"UC offers year-ahead advanced programs from pre-school to Grade 10. We blend high standards for academic success with the social and emotional development of the individual child." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 10 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; Montessori
  • $10,650 to $19,400
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Toronto, Ontario
Queen St E/Woodbine Ave
 
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"ATI is a school for ambitious teens who want to develop into independent, curious, self-motivated individuals. Gain the skills, knowledge and agency to build the future that you want. Located in The Beaches." —From the school

  • Gr. 7 to 9 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $18,000
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Pickering, Ontario
whites/kingston road
 
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"Montessori Learning Centre of Pickering is a non denominational, inclusive school that offers programs from Pre-school to Grade eight. We acknowledge and celebrate religious and cultural events as part of our cultural program." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $12,000 to $14,000
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St. Catharines, Ontario
Edinburgh Dr/Scott Street
 
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"We provide students with opportunities to explore real-world concepts and issues, broadening their sense of responsibility, develop their critical thinking skills, and empower them to take action in a global community." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $7,300 to $15,200
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Whitby, Ontario
Brock Street South/Dundas Streer West
 
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"The Hatch House Montessori School is a very child centered school where each student is respected for their uniqueness and is guided through learning accordingly. Ask about our unique, fully bilingual elementary program." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $12,250 to $15,750
  • Day school
  • 0 students
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Mississauga, Ontario
 
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"Guiding Light Academy is a Catholic private elementary school in Streetsville, Mississauga. We offer an enriched curriculum for JK, SK and Grades 1 to 8. We are located just minutes away from the Streetsville Go Station." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; Montessori
  • $11,000
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Brantford, Ontario
Fairview Drive/North Park Street
 
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"Braemar House School is a not-for-profit elementary school that proves each day that children thrive in a nurturing environment." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; Montessori
  • $15,328
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Brantford, Ontario
Charlotte St/Chatham St
 
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"Located in Brantford, Ontario, Montessori House of Children (MHC) provides excellent programs for grades Nursery to 3 and helps young children reach their learning potential with both independent and self-directed learning. MHC also offers support for students with learning differences." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to SK (Coed)
  • Montessori approach
  • $12,000 to $13,000
  • Day school
  • 41 students
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Hamilton, Ontario
Garth Street/Fennell Avenue West
 
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"Established in 1901, Hillfield Strathallan College is one of Canada’s leading co-educational independent schools, offering academic programs from Montessori Toddler and Pre-K to Grade 12, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; Montessori
  • $21,123 to $33,334
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Oakville, Ontario
Lakeshore Road East/Bel Air Drive
 
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"Offering Montessori programs from Toddler to Grade 8, Dearcroft is accredited by CCMA and staffed by dedicated teachers. We have three campuses in Oakville, delivering exceptional Montessori Programs." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $10,300 to $24,800
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Toronto, Ontario
Lawrence Ave./Bathurst St.
 
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"The Clover School's innovative curriculum combines Montessori essentials with heart-centred learning practices designed to nurture the ​mind​, heart, health, and soul of each child." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 6 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $15,611 to $25,160
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Ottawa, Ontario
Baseline Rd./Woodroffe Ave.
 
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"Bishop Hamilton Montessori School, a not-for-profit independent school in Ottawa, provides an authentic Christian Montessori approach for children 3 months to 14 years." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $6,183 to $22,970
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Markham, Ontario
14th Ave/Kennedy
 
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"Trillium School is a private school that offers programs from pre-school to grade twelve in Markham with Montessori-based kindergarten." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; Montessori
  • $8,200 to $41,500
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Toronto, Ontario
Bloor/Spadina
 
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"Guidepost is a new Montessori school coming to Toronto [Annex], serving children from 10 weeks to 12 years old. We offer year-round programming and rolling admissions into our programs to meet the needs of every family." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $20,700 to $25,350
  • Day school
  • 100 students
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Mississauga, Ontario
Tomken Rd./Eglinton Ave. E
 
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"Northstar Montessori offers an accredited Montessori curriculum from Toddler age to Grade 8. Our goal is to develop strong character and contributing citizens who understand that their involvement makes a difference." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $10,800 to $16,900
  • Day school
  • 300 students
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Toronto, Ontario
University Ave./Dundas street
 
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"Cornerstone students love to shape the future. They INSPIRE learning, DISCOVER their potential, EMPOWER themselves to be innovative citizens. Our boundless learning strategies open doors for successful learning." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum; Montessori
  • $15,800 to $26,000
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Ottawa, Ontario
Bank Street/Marché Way
 
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"The Element nurtures focused, engaged and internally motivated students who strive to do their best. The Element High School provides conditions that will put youth ‘in their element,’ in school and beyond." —From the school

  • Gr. 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; Montessori
  • $19,760 to $23,005
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Some schools aren't Montessori schools, but use a Montessori approach for their preschool or daycare program. This approach gives young learners plenty of freedom to choose tasks and activities that interest them, which promotes their independence and confidence. It also strongly emphasizes concrete learning, where children work with lots of hands-on materials, and do practical life activities. Children usually work independently or in small groups in these programs.



 

Bond Academy


Toronto, Ontario
Ellesmere Rd/Birchmount Rd
 
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"Our Beyond the Books approach provides opportunities for success in class & beyond; nurturing the growth of students' confidence & self-esteem, to take risks when learning, to reach their personal & academic potential.

  1. Character Education
  2. Free Before/After School Program
  3. Weekly Swimming Lessons
  4. Early start French Classes

—From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum
  • $7,000 to $16,000
 
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Burlington, Ontario
Walkers Line/Fairveiw Street
 
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"Ashwood Glen offers a Montessori program for children aged 18months - 6 yrs. The Grades 1 - 8 Learning Program applies the IB framework to extend the learning outcomes of the Ontario curriculum." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $14,000 to $20,000
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Markham, Ontario
Brimley Road/14th Ave South
 
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"Established in 1974, Somerset Academy is an independent, not-for-profit private school that provides education to students in JK Grades 8. Somerset Academy has an average class size of 13 to 18 students." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $12,850 to $15,200
  • Day school
  • 0 students
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Unionville, Ontario
Brimley Road/14th Ave
 
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"Founded in 1990, Yip's Montessori Program cater to children from 1.5 to 6 years old. Yip's campuses are located in Markham and Unionville." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to SK (Coed)
  • Montessori approach
  • $9,480 to $15,840
  • Day school
  • 0 students
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Markham, Ontario
Woodbine/HWY 7
 
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"Wishing Well Schools offers a comprehensive academic program catering to a wide age range, spanning from 18 months to Grade 8. Our curriculum includes a Montessori program designed for children aged 18 months to 6 years." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $17,500 to $17,700
  • Day school
  • 295 students
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Mississauga, Ontario
Hurontario/Queensway
 
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"Shepherd Montessori Private Catholic School in Mississauga offers Casa Montessori programs for children a ged 2.5 to 6. Before- and after-school care and summer camps also available." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to SK (Coed)
  • Montessori approach
  • $7,070 to $11,960
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Toronto, Ontario
Prince Edward Dr N/Bloor Street West
 
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"Prince Edward Montessori School offers programs for various grades in Toronto. Its average class size is ten to 16 students. " —From the school

  • Gr. NS to SK (Coed)
  • Montessori approach
  • $7,325 to $14,934
  • Day school
  • 100 students
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Markham, Ontario
Kennedy Road/Steeles Avenue
 
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"Located in Markham, Ontario, Town Centre Private Schools is an International Baccalaureate® Continuum School offering a Montessori Pre-School program as well as an IB Elementary School and optional IB Diploma Programme." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $3,690 to $18,950
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Toronto, Ontario
Lower Spadina/Bathurst
 
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"At Free Spirit MDT, we are dedicated to creating a nurturing, stimulating and welcoming environment. Learning in a intimate setting, we are able to take into consideration and encourage the free spirit of each child." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to K (Coed)
  • Montessori approach
  • $11,600 to $15,700
  • Day school
  • 16 students
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Mississauga, Ontario
Erin Mills Pkwy/Millcreek Drive
 
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"Western Heights offers an enriched Montessori program that fosters a love of learning. The school actively engages its close-knit parent community to offer an enriched curriculum that adapts to each student's needs." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to SK (Coed)
  • Montessori approach
  • $13,000 to $18,000
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  • Montessori provides a unique alternative to conventional schools. Its progressive approach, introduced by Maria Montessori, is used in thousands of schools worldwide.

  • Montessori schools are child-centred. They don’t have a pre-planned or one-size-fits-all curriculum. Instead, children’s studies radiate from their core interests into all curricular areas.

  • Teachers capitalize on the way children naturally learn. Children learn in developmentally appropriate ways, and thereby build confidence and self-esteem.

  • Learning is decentralized. Teachers rarely lecture, and children do lots of self-directed work, mostly at their own pace. Children often do work that interests and stimulates them, either on their own or in small groups.

  • There’s plenty of concrete learning and practical life activities. At the higher levels, though, there tends to be more abstract learning.

  • Classroom policies vary between Montessori schools. Traditional or classic schools tend to have high teacher-to-student ratios, large classes, few lectures, and few specialist classes. Progressive or supplemented schools are less strict about these things.

  • Montessori education is challenging, and promotes independence, focus, and discipline. Its tailored learning approach is ideal for many students, including those who are motivated, strong on academics, and like to choose some of their own work. It may not be the right fit, though, for students who prefer a conventional approach.

  • We list Montessori schools on this site, and provide tools for comparing those schools. Moreover, our parent discussion forum allows you to discuss options and get answers to your questions.




Montessori vs. conventional schools
The Montessori philosophy of education is unique. Its progressive approach is an appealing alternative to the approach followed by most schools today. In fact, Montessori education, in many ways, is contrary to the approach currently used in conventional or mainstream schools.

At their core, Montessori schools are child- or student-focused. They provide a learning environment which places kids front and centre. In this way, they’re similar to Waldorf and Reggio Emilia schools.

Students, in Montessori schools, work in a decentralized learning environment, usually by themselves or in small groups with peers of different ages. They often collaborate, with each other and their teachers. There is no one-size-fits-all curriculum. This means kids have quite a bit of freedom to choose their own projects and work at their own pace.

Today’s conventional schools, on the other hand, tend to be teacher-focused. Teachers deliver lectures to the whole class. These are meant to impart knowledge to students. Students need to demonstrate they’ve acquired this knowledge through teacher-administered tests and assignments. With a preset, age-specific curriculum, students have much less opportunity to explore their interests and passions.

All in all, there are many differences between Montessori schools and today’s conventional schools. Below, we outline some of the main ones. We’ll discuss many of these differences in greater detail throughout this guide.


Montessori Schools
Montessori education involves lots of concrete learning, practical life activities, and problem solving.
 
Montessori schoolsConventional schools
  • Self-directed learning
  • Individualized curriculum
  • Teacher guides and mentors
  • Freedom to move and work in class
  • Focus on curiosity and problem solving
  • Main focus on concrete learning
  • Focus on the whole child
  • Focus on effort
  • Multi-age classes
  • Motivated by self-development
  • Integrated curriculum
  • Children set their own pace
  • No grades, tests, or assignments
  • Teacher-directed learning
  • Curriculum the same for all students
  • Teacher lectures
  • Assigned seats and set class periods
  • Focus on memorization and acquiring knowledge
  • Main focus on abstract learning
  • Focus on child’s academic progress
  • Focus on outcomes
  • Classes one age (usually)
  • More teacher-motivated
  • Mostly subject-specific curriculum
  • Teachers set pace
  • Grades, tests, and assignments

Montessori Schools
The Montessori approach varies somewhat between different schools. All schools, though, provide a caring and supportive classroom environment for children with different learning styles.


The Montessori philosophy informs its method and classroom policies. That said, schools can vary in their classroom policies and the way they implement them.

In this section, we discuss Montessori classroom policies. These include common and less common ones.

Common Montessori classroom policies
Below, we outline classroom policies that are commonly found in a Montessori school. Remember, though, not all Montessori schools follow these policies, and there’s a lot of variation in how they’re implemented.

  • Mixed-age classrooms
  • Decentralized learning
  • Self-directed learning
  • Focus on the concrete
  • Minimal pretend play
  • Integrated curriculum
  • Uninterrupted work time
  • Character education
  • Minimal external rewards
  • Minimal homework
  • Minimal technology

Mixed-age classrooms
Montessori schools have mixed-age classrooms, often with 3-year age groupings. There are toddler classes from birth to age 3, primary (or casa) classes for ages 3-6, and elementary classes for ages 6-9 and 9-12. At some elementary schools, all six years are combined into one class. Most middle and high schools have mixed-age classes as well. Parents are encouraged to keep their child in school for at least one full 3-year cycle.

Mixed-age classrooms promote lots of interaction, problem solving, and child-to-child teaching. Children can work with and learn from older peers, who teach, mentor and model behaviour to them, often better than adults do. Older children also reinforce their own knowledge this way. In this setting, children are often stimulated and rarely bored.

“Our schools,” says Montessori, “show that children of different ages help one another. The younger ones see what the older ones are doing, and ask for explanations. … There are many things which no teacher can convey to a child of three, but a child of five can do it with the utmost ease.” (The Absorbent Mind, 1967)

Decentralized learning
Students can roam around class, work on their own tasks, join groups, and work with peers. Teachers rarely provide whole-class lectures. Instead, they observe, guide, and sometimes give brief lessons to small groups of students.

This creates a dynamic learning environment. Students often work well alone and in groups. Freed from teacher interference, they tend to learn skills and concepts more easily. They also become more independent and confident.

Self-directed learning
Students have a lot of leeway to choose tasks and learning materials. While structure is provided, students can often choose tasks they’re interested in and likely to complete.

When given freedom, students tend to choose work that’s developmentally appropriate and helps them grow. They also often choose tasks that interest and challenge them. This promotes enthusiasm and a love of learning.

Angeline Stoll Lillard, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, is a renowned expert on Montessori education and childhood learning. In Montessori: The Science behind the Genius (2005), she describes how self-directed learning feeds children’s natural curiosity:

“People learn best about the topics they’re most interested in…Montessori allows each child to choose what to work on, and when, with occasional limits if a child is not getting to parts of the curriculum. The elementary child invests a great deal of time researching and writing about topics of personal interest. Children’s studies radiate from a core of deep interests into all curricular areas, rather than having all curricular areas delivered in a predetermined array and schedule.”

Focus on the concrete
Students work with a lot of concrete learning material. This includes puzzles called manipulatives, which are self-correcting. They also work with blocks, tiles, pink towers, sandpaper letters, golden beads, and other material.

Concrete learning has a lot of benefits. They include the following:

  • It helps to develop fine motor skills and improve muscle strength.
  • It helps children connect with the real world, which helps them mature.
  • It combines learning with movement, involving many of the senses in learning.

This last point is crucial. The more of our senses that are involved in learning, the more our cognition is “embodied.” And research shows that embodied cognition has much to recommend it. For instance, it improves children’s focus and engagement. It also can lead to faster and more efficient learning.


“When given freedom, students tend to choose work that’s developmentally appropriate and helps them grow. They also often choose tasks that interest and challenge them.”


Minimal pretend play
Pretend play is rarely encouraged. Work is emphasized over pretend play. Even in preschool, classrooms don’t have dolls, dollhouses, pretend kitchens or houses, dress-up clothes, or other common playthings. Rather, they have real kitchens, real (child-sized) furniture, work tools, food, cooking utensils, and other practical objects. Below, we provide an extensive list of standard classroom materials.

The focus on work over play is based on several key claims about children.

  • They prefer to work with real things than play with pretend things.
  • They learn better through tasks than through pretend play.
  • It’s important for them to start to connect with the real world at a young age.

There’s nothing wrong with pretend play, according to Isabelle Kunicki-Carter, director of Foster Hill Montessori School, in Toronto, Ontario. The mistake, rather, is to force-feed it. “Imposing fantasy on children is unhealthy. They should come to it themselves. What’s most important is that children choose their own learning paths.”

Integrated curriculum
Subjects are rarely taught on their own. Interdisciplinary learning is a big focus. Even subjects such as science and math are often integrated into other parts of the curriculum. For instance, students may be given what schools refer to as a great lesson on the start of human communication. Here, they’ll learn about science, but also about history, language, and other subjects.

There are widely known benefits to this approach. Most importantly, it allows students to connect concepts from many different disciplines, and view them in a wider context. This often makes learning more engaging. And for many, learning the wider applications of a subject is exciting and instills a passion to learn more.

Uninterrupted work time
Students are usually given at least one full uninterrupted work period of three hours a day. Some schools have two of these work periods. These periods exclude outside play, group storytime, circle time, music, or anything that takes time away from a chosen task.

Uninterrupted work time allows students to choose and complete their chosen work, either on their own or with peers. If they’re interrupted when they’re learning something of special interest to them, it can be hard to regain focus and interest. Uninterrupted work time thus nurtures focus, concentration, and a love of learning. These traits are crucial to future success, in school and beyond.

“Montessori schools,” says Montessori (To Educate the Human Potential, 1948), “have proved that the child needs a cycle of work for which he has been mentally prepared; such intelligent work with interest is not fatiguing, and he should not be arbitrarily cut off from it by a call to play. Interest is not immediately born, and if when it has been created the work is withdrawn (for recess or any other adult-imposed break), it is like depriving a whetted appetite of food that will satisfy it.”

Elizabeth Hainstock, a renowned Montessori researcher, agrees. She argues, in The Essential Montessori (1997), that every child has a strong desire to see tasks through.

“He needs to complete what Dr. Montessori called his “cycles of activity”—those periods of intense concentration on a particular task that should be worked to completion. Not to allow this causes the developing child great frustration. It is the inner need that compels him to work so long and hard at a particular task, long after the older child or adult would have lost interest and grown weary.”

Character education
While academics are important, this is only part of the focus. Montessori schools aim to educate the whole child: their character, sense of self, and values.

For instance, students are taught to take care of themselves, each other, and their environment. They do this through tasks such as cooking, cleaning, building, and gardening. They’re also taught to move with grace, be polite, be helpful, and do work in the community, among other things.

Students thereby grow in key ways, including the following:

  • They become more well-rounded and mature.
  • They learn several key values and traits, such as justice, responsibility, independence, and patience.
  • They learn many practical skills and acquire useful knowledge.

Rachel Meltzer, whose son Kalil attended the preschool program at Taddle Creek Montessori, in Toronto, Ontario, raves about the program’s focus on the whole child. “I love how they emphasize much more than academics, things like character, self-sufficiency, collaboration, and knowledge and skills. The holistic approach is great. Kalil learned a lot more than his letters and numbers.”

Montessori Schools
Montessori schools have lots of decentralized and self-directed learning. Children are encouraged to choose work that interests and challenges them.

Minimal external rewards
Tests or assignments are almost never given, at least in primary and elementary school. Sometimes they’re given in middle school, but mostly for practice. Usually, though, they’re not graded.

In high school, tests and assignments are given and graded. But this is mainly done to meet provincial curricular requirements in Canada and prepare students for university. Other than that, grades are not given out.

Also, students are rarely praised. And when they are, it’s for effort—not outcomes.

Rewards are rarely given, since they can impede learning and motivation. Instead, students are encouraged to find motivation from within. By choosing their own tasks, learning becomes its own reward. This can inspire a love of learning, sometimes a lifelong one.

Recent research seems to show some of the costs of the reward systems used in many mainstream schools. In “The Risks of Rewards” (1994), Alfie Kohn discusses some of these costs.

“Grades in particular have been found to have a detrimental effect on creative thinking, long-term retention, interest in learning, and preference for challenging tasks (Butler & Nisan, 1986; Grolnick & Ryan, 1987). These detrimental effects are not the result of too many bad grades, too many good grades, or the wrong formula for calculating grades. Rather, they result from the practice of grading itself, and the extrinsic orientation it promotes.”

Focusing on reward systems in general, he adds

“Studies over many years have found that behaviour modification programs are rarely successful at producing lasting changes in attitudes or even behaviour. When the rewards stop, people usually return to the way they acted before the program began. More disturbingly, researchers have recently discovered that children whose parents make frequent use of rewards tend to be less generous than their peers (Fabes et al. 1989; Grusec, 1991; Kohn, 1990).”

Minimal homework
Homework is almost never assigned, even in middle or high school. It’s usually not encouraged either. Some teachers allow students to take work home, if it needs to get done. But when work is taken home, and whether it’s taken home, is normally the student’s call.

This policy has several benefits. And, it’s supported by some potent claims.

  • Students should be free to choose their own learning paths. Assigning homework interferes with this freedom, and the love of learning that comes from this.
  • Homework can interfere with precious family time.
  • Learning materials need to stay in the classroom.
  • Students accomplish enough during the school day.

Minimal technology
Very little, if any, modern-day technology is used. This is especially true in the early years. Computers, tablets, whiteboards, TVs, and similar devices are rarely used in class. And when they are, it’s typically for a specific purpose, such as a research project.

It’s believed that too much screen time can interfere with focus and development. For instance, it can lead to shorter attention spans and impede concentration. It can also limit interaction between peers and stunt social development. Overall, too much screen time can prevent a child from becoming what Maria Montessori called normalized: independent, disciplined, focused, and mature.

Less common Montessori classroom policies
Below, we discuss some classroom policies used less commonly in Montessori schools. While some schools use them, others don’t (or they may be less strict about them). We also discuss the rationale for these policies.

  • High teacher-to-student ratio
  • Minimal arts and crafts projects
  • Minimal unstructured activity
  • Few specialist classes
  • Minimal commercial materials

High teacher-to-student ratio
Some schools have a high teacher-to-student ratio, at least at the upper levels. For instance, there may be 1 teacher to 25 or 30 students in middle or high school (or even elementary school).

Anne E. Laws, coordinator of the Montessori Assurance Program in Canada, considers high teacher-to-student ratios a crucial feature of the Montessori program. According to Laws, this prevents teachers from needlessly interfering with students’ work. It can thus promote focus and engagement. It can also enhance learning.

“A large group of students can create excitement and a dynamic learning environment. It makes for an active classroom with a lot of collaboration. Children try to discover things on their own, and with the help of their peers. They ask their classmates questions. They don’t rely on adults to solve things.”

Minimal arts and crafts projects
Some schools have little, if any, time allotted to arts and crafts. And, they may have no arts and crafts projects. Even in schools with no assigned arts and crafts projects, though, students normally have the option of working on art or creative projects.

Art projects, it’s claimed, can limit self-direction. Like other assigned work, they interfere with students’ freedom to choose their own work and complete it. Also, students should spend a lot of time on practical work. But some artwork, the claim runs, doesn’t seem practical.


“The Montessori classroom reflects its unusual philosophy, and provides the basis for its classroom policies.”


Minimal unstructured activity
Some schools have little, if any, unstructured time. For instance, they may have minimal or no scheduled recess or time for “free explore.” Even some (though not many) preschools and elementary schools limit free-play time in this way.

This policy is supported by a few key claims about free-play periods:

  • They can be an unwanted interruption. In particular, they can interfere with a student’s focus on a chosen task.
  • They can stifle motivation and a passion for learning.
  • They can cause frustration.

According to Lillard (2005), Maria Montessori believed scheduled recess should not be part of the school day. Montessori’s main rationale is that it interferes with concentration.

“Recess time could be detrimental in Montessori because for any given child on a given day a clock-imposed recess time might well come at a moment of intense concentration on work. Of course such concentration must be broken at some times, notably at the end of the school day, but Dr. Montessori’s goal was to minimize these interruptions.”

Few specialist classes
Some schools have few, if any, specialist classes, such as art, music, gym, or foreign languages. All or most of these classes, in these schools, will be taught by the core teacher, rather than a specialist. Also, some schools may not have a designated period for some of these classes.

The core teacher, it’s reasoned, knows students the best, and is thus best able to teach all or most subjects. And in general, content should be delivered more through material and short lessons than through direct instruction (for instance, by a specialist teacher).

Lillard (2005) stresses the second point:

“In Montessori education, the material and lessons, rather than the teacher, are intended to operate for the child as organizing structures. Rather than an expert teacher providing core principles around which the child can organize his or her knowledge, the material provide those principles. The Montessori materials embody basic principles, and they structure knowledge in each area of the curriculum.”

Minimal commercial materials
Some schools have few, if any, commercial materials. For instance, they may have no toys, board games, jigsaw puzzles, or other material often found in mainstream schools.

The reasoning is that this material is conducive to play, not learning. Moreover, using it can detract from students’ focus on work, even when it’s used during free time.

Summary of classroom policies and rationales
The following table lists each Montessori classroom policy, and briefly summarizes its main rationale(s). The policies are divided into “common” and “less common.”

 
PolicyRationale

Common policies:

  • Mixed-age classrooms
  • Decentralized learning
  • Self-directed learning
  • Focus on the concrete
  • Minimal pretend play
  • Integrated curriculum
  • Uninterrupted work time
  • Character education
  • Minimal external rewards
  • Minimal technology
  • Minimal homework

Common policies:

  • Children teach and mentor each other
  • Children learn best on their own and in groups
  • Promotes independence, confidence, and a love of learning
  • Promotes focused engagement and faster learning
  • Children learn better through work than play, and should engage with the real world
  • Work is more engaging, with wider applications
  • Develops focus and concentration
  • Children learn important traits, virtues, and practical skills
  • Grades impede motivation; motivation should come from within
  • Screen time interferes with focus, concentration, and development
  • Assigning homework interferes with self-direction and family time

Less common policies:

  • High teacher-to-student ratio
  • Minimal arts and crafts projects
  • Minimal unstructured activity
  • Few specialist classes

  • Minimal commercial materials

Less common policies:

  • Prevents teacher interference, and promotes independence and collaboration
  • Art projects interfere with self-direction, and often aren’t practical
  • Scheduled free-play time interferes with focus and concentration
  • Core teacher knows students the best; content best delivered through short lessons and material
  • These materials promote play instead of learning

Related story:
Benefits of Montessori schools

Classic and supplemented schools
Different schools have different interpretations of the Montessori philosophy. And they implement it in different ways. This means there are different types of Montessori schools.

Some theorists divide Montessori schools into two main groups: classic (or traditional) and supplemented (or progressive). For instance, Lillard (Preschool children’s development, 2012), adopts this useful classification:

“The existing literature rarely discriminates Montessori program implementations, but two basic styles can be observed ... : a classic approach that adheres tightly to Dr. Montessori’s original program as outlined in her books (Montessori, 1967, 1989a, 1989b) and a supplemented one in which conventional school activities and materials are added to the core program.”

Classic (or traditional) schools stick to the original Montessori program, and rarely make changes. According to Chertoff (The Great Montessori Schism, 2012), they tout

“the continuity of instruction across all … schools, and … resistance to fads. If your child switches instructors [between classic schools], he’ll be taught the same way. If you move, you can be sure that your new school will use the same pedagogy. Short-lived trends in education won’t affect how your kid learns. You’ll know exactly what you’re getting.”

Supplemented (or progressive) Montessori schools, meanwhile, have a different approach. While they’re faithful to Montessori principles, they supplement them with more modern curricular approaches and materials. For instance, they might have lower teacher-to-student ratios and more specialist classes than classic schools.

The main rationale for this approach is that schools must evolve to meet the needs of children. As our understanding of science, society, the environment, psychology, and other important areas of study evolves, so does our understanding of children’s needs. Our teaching practices, it’s urged, must in turn adapt.

“Here’s the problem, as some Montessori teachers saw it, even in the 1950s: Sometimes those short-lived trends aren’t short-lived, and sometimes they are not trends. As we discover more about learning, or as the times change, does the way we teach kids have to change as well?” (Chertoff, 2012) [Emphasis in the original]

In fact, according to some theorists, support for the supplemented approach can be garnered from Maria Montessori’s work. Montessori’s research, writings, and observations, it’s claimed, support supplementing her teaching methods, in some cases.

“Dr. Montessori adjusted and adapted her educational system to better serve children’s needs, and well-functioning Montessori classrooms typically share many features reflecting those adjustments.” (Lillard, 2005)

Given their different outlooks, it’s not surprising that classic schools often have different classroom policies than supplemented schools. Below, we outline some of the possible differences.

A warning about the term “Montessori”

“Montessori” isn’t a trademarked term. This means any school can call itself “Montessori,” even if it doesn’t follow any Montessori principles.

As a parent, you should ensure that any prospective school follows Montessori principles. You should also look closely at its policies, to get a sense of its approach and decide whether it’s the right fit for your child.

 
Classic Montessori schools Supplemented Montessori schools
  • Three-year age groupings
  • Few, if any, whole-class lectures
  • High teacher-to-student ratio
  • Minimal unstructured activity
  • Minimal pretend or fantasy play
  • Three-hour uninterrupted work periods
  • Less specialist classes and teachers
  • Minimal commercial materials
  • Minimal arts and crafts projects
  • Minimal modern-day technology
  • Two-year age groupings
  • More whole-class lectures
  • Lower teacher-to-student ratio
  • More unstructured activity
  • More pretend or fantasy play
  • Shorter uninterrupted work periods
  • More specialist classes and teachers
  • More commercial materials
  • More arts and crafts projects
  • More modern-day technology

The scale from classic to supplemented
Of course, almost no school falls neatly into either of these categories. Few schools are strictly classic or supplemented. Most have both classic and supplemented classroom policies, as well as some policies that fall somewhere in the middle. And naturally, each school will have its own unique culture, character, and feel.

In truth, then, the distinction between classic and supplemented schools (not to mention the above table) is simplistic. Most Montessori schools are really on a scale from classic to supplemented. Where they fall on the scale will be based on how they interpret the Montessori philosophy, and how this is reflected in their classroom policies.

Moreover, the policies are themselves on a scale from classic to supplemented. For each policy, there are a wide range of ways it can be implemented, on this scale. For instance, a school might have three-year age groupings in all its classes (classic), most of its classes (moderately classic), a few of its classes (moderately supplemented), or none of its classes (supplemented).

It can be helpful to see where a school’s policies fall on this scale. This can give you some much-needed perspective when considering different Montessori schools.

In the end, though, what’s most important is to focus on a school’s policies themselves, rather than where they rank on the scale from classic to supplemented. For any school, you should take a close look at its classroom policies (among other things), and gauge whether they’re a good fit for your child.

Montessori Schools
Montessori schools don’t use a one-size-fits-all curriculum. Teachers tailor the curriculum to the unique learning needs of each child.


The Montessori philosophy is unique. It also has progressive classroom policies that contrast with those of conventional schools.

The Montessori classroom reflects its unusual philosophy, and provides the basis for its classroom policies. Below, we look at three features of this classroom: the classroom setup, learning materials, and role of the teacher.

Further down the page, we outline some benefits of Montessori education, and provide a table looking at what types of students might be suitable for it. Near the end, we provide tools for comparing Montessori schools in terms of their academics, tuition, and financial aid.


The Montessori classroom has an unusual setup. Unlike most schools, no desk is at the front. And, the teacher is often found in some part of the room with a small group of children, discussing their work or giving a lesson.

Classrooms are usually large, open spaces, with low shelves, different sizes of tables that seat one to four children, and child-sized chairs. They have different areas, divided by low shelving. Each area has learning material for subjects such as language, music, science, math, and culture. Material is also grouped by area of interest and in order of increasing difficulty.

The Montessori classroom is often quiet, even at the lower levels. For instance, in an elementary class at Forest Hill Montessori, in Toronto, Ontario, students could be seen working calmly. They were also well behaved, had good manners, and had a strong rapport with the teacher and each other.

Since the students weren’t assigned seats or desks, they moved freely about. Most of them worked at tables, but some worked on the floor on small rugs. Some students worked alone, but many worked in groups—asking and answering questions, observing, and helping each other. So, while the class was calm and orderly, it was also lively and dynamic.

Classrooms, in most schools, are quite neat. Extra materials are kept out of sight in a closet and brought in and out of class, based on students’ needs and interests. Each material has its place on the shelves, and students must return them when they’re done. There’s no limit, though, to how long they can work with any material.

Below, you can view a Montessori classroom in action. You’ll also get the inside scoop about the Montessori teaching method.

Video: Inside Montessori schools


Most Montessori schools don’t have textbooks, assignments, or tests. They do have many other learning materials, though. The norm is one of each material, with students expected to wait their turn. (This is thought to promote patience and respect.)

Elizabeth Hainstock, in The Essential Montessori (1997), divides Montessori learning materials into four main groups. Keep in mind, not every school has all or even most of these materials. And, some are used only at certain levels.

 
Motor educationSensory educationLanguageMath
  • Dressing frames
  • Polishing shoes
  • Washing hands
  • Pouring rice/water
  • Sweeping, dusting, folding
  • Setting table
  • Sorting, twisting
  • Scrubbing, peeling, polishing
  • Washing and drying dishes and tables
  • Cutting and pasting
  • Walking a line
  • Grace and courtesy

    Tactile

  • Rough and smooth boards
  • Fabrics
  • Mystery bag
  • Baric tablets
  • Thermal bottles

  • Visual

  • Knobbed cylinders
  • Knobless cylinders
  • Pink tower
  • Broad stair
  • Long rods
  • Colour tablets
  • Geometric tablet
  • Geometric solids
  • Constructive triangles
  • Binomial and trinomial cubes

  • Auditory

  • Sound cylinders
  • Bells
  • Silence game

  • Gustatory

  • Tasting bottles

  • Olfactory

  • Smell bottles
  • Sandpaper letters
  • Metal insets
  • Movable alphabet
  • Phonetic words
  • Initial consonants
  • Objects and words
  • Phonogram booklets
  • Parts of speech
  • Singular and plural
  • Positive, comparative, superlative
  • Grammar symbols
  • Books
  • Workbooks
  • Number rods
  • Sandpaper numbers
  • Spindle box
  • Golden bead material
  • Bead frames
  • Fraction insets
  • Sequin boards
  • Charts and boards for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division

Some schools have other material as well. You’re more likely to find the following material in elementary and secondary schools. You may also find it in more supplemented Montessori schools.

 
Community materialModern-day technologyScience and culture
  • Whiteboards or blackboards
  • Kitchen
  • Physical education equipment
  • Community meeting space
  • Lockers or other student storage
  • Material for care of the environment
  • Printer
  • Projector
  • Video camera
  • TVs
  • Computers
  • Tablets
  • Interactive whiteboards
  • Globes
  • Maps
  • Flags
  • Pictures
  • Poetry
  • Art materials
  • Art history books
  • Lab equipment
  • Test tubes
  • Botany material
  • Zoology material

The American Montessori Society (AMS) provides a more comprehensive list of classroom materials. It divides these materials by age level and subject. You can also check out Montessori services.


In class, the teacher’s main role is to connect students with the right tasks, so students can pursue their own learning. They also prepare the classroom to provide structure for students and protect their freedom.

Teachers guide and direct learning. While aware of all the students, they move around the class, giving lessons to individuals or small groups. They also allow students time to repeat and practice work. And, they help plan work for students.

Teachers don’t give many lectures, at least to the whole class. Nor do they try to impart knowledge to students. Thus the term “guide” is used in some schools instead of “teacher,” to highlight students’ role in their own learning.


“In class, the teacher’s main role is to connect students with the right tasks, so students can pursue their own learning.”


Unnecessary help is thought to hinder growth. Helping a student with something they can do on their own leads to too much reliance on adults. When students seek help from peers, on the other hand, this can spark insight and lead to excitement.

Pat Payne, mother of Jasmine (age 10) at River Valley school in Calgary, Alberta, sees the value of the Montessori teaching method:

“There’s lots of focus on personalized learning. Kids really become engaged in their work when they help choose it themselves. Jasmine loves working both with her friends and by herself. She loves asking lots of questions, and trying to solve problems with a group.”

Yet, she sees the teacher’s role as pivotal:

“The teachers are interested and attentive. They really care about the kids. They treat them as individuals, and make sure they find special learning opportunities.”

In most Montessori classes, teachers don’t give students tests or assignments. Nor do they grade work, except in high school (and sometimes middle school). Instead, they guide and monitor the progress of students.

Each student’s progress is tracked by following them for around three years. Teachers gauge progress by the handling of materials, accuracy of written work, ability to transfer concepts to new situations, and in other ways.

Sometimes teachers have a non-teaching assistant. The role of the assistant is to observe the class and assist students who need help. Assistants are meant to support teachers and allow them to give lessons and engage students in tasks.

Teacher-to-student ratio: it’s the law

In the past, the teaching ratio in many classes was 1 trained Montessori teacher (and perhaps 1 non-teaching assistant) to 25 or more students. Due to government regulations in Canada, the teacher-to-student ratio has been lowered in Montessori preschool (toddler rooms and primary school). In toddler rooms (ages 0 to 3), there must be 1 teacher for every 5 students. In primary school (ages 3 to 6), there must be 1 teacher for every 8 students.

Teacher-to-student ratios for elementary, middle, and high schools (unlike preschools) aren’t mandated. In these schools, the teacher-to-student ratio tends to be higher, such as 25 or 20 to 1, for each class.



We’ve looked at different types of Montessori schools and their classroom policies. We’ve also looked at Montessori teaching methods and classrooms. And, we’ve discussed many of the benefits of this approach.

Below, we go into the benefits of Montessori education in far more detail. In particular, we describe many, though not all, of the academic and social benefits it can have for your child.

To learn about the research behind some of these claims, read our Montessori benefits guide.


 
 Benefit
Academic
  • Early academics: There’s an early focus on developing cognitive skills. This can lead to positive learning and academic outcomes, such as getting a head-start, good grades, and positive attitudes about school.

  • Flexible learning: Learning is quite flexible. This means advanced students can move more quickly through the curriculum, feeling challenged and engaged. It also means students who struggle can move more slowly, avoiding frustration and disengagement.

  • Concrete learning: The focus on hands-on learning, especially in the lower levels, can lead to better focus and engagement. It can also lead to more efficient learning.

  • Student-to-student teaching: Older students teach and mentor younger students. This helps both master material and move through the curriculum more quickly.

  • Increased concentration: Recent research in neuroscience (Lillard, 2005) shows uninterrupted work periods can boost children’s focus, concentration, and discipline. This can reap huge rewards down the line.

  • Love of learning: Students have a lot of freedom to choose their work. This can lead to a long-term love of learning, both in and outside of school.
Social
  • Social skills: The structure of the class and the guidance of the teacher allow students to develop key social skills. These include communication, respect, cooperation, and sharing. Such skills are also modelled and reinforced by older peers.

  • Independence and responsibility: Students are taught at a young age to take care of the classroom, clean up after themselves, and practical skills, such as cooking. This promotes independence, confidence, and responsibility.

  • Moral education: Students are morally educated by the teacher (through short lessons and guidance) and peers (through interaction and modelling). There’s also focus on contributing to society and becoming better citizens of the world.

Montessori education has a lot of benefits for students of different ages and learning styles. Yet, like other approaches, it’s encountered criticism. As far back as the early 20th century, the American philosopher and educator John Dewey, and his student William Heard Kilpatrick, denounced the Montessori approach. In fact, Kilpatrick went on a crusade against it, attacking it in a popular pamphlet.

More recently, Chattin-McNichols and Weiss (1998), and Lopata, Wallace, and Finn (2005) have critiqued Montessori education. While they don’t dismiss it outright, they raise a number of concerns with it.

Below, we look at some of criticisms of Montessori education. We’ll also discuss potential responses to these criticism, as well as some controversial questions that call out for further study.


 
 CriticismPossible responsesRemaining questions
Academic
  • Learning is introduced too early. This leaves little time for free play. There’s some support for the value of play-based learning.
  • Some free-play time is allowed in preschool and elementary school, such as recess. Also, it’s not clear whether free-play time is conducive to learning.
  • What is the value of play-based learning? Can some things be learned in free-play time that can’t be learned in class?
  • Concrete learning isn’t effective for high-level studies. Some lecturing and textbook learning is needed for this.
  • Short lectures are sometimes given. And most middle and high schools have less concrete and more abstract learning. Also, it’s not clear how effective lectures and textbooks are.
  • How effective are lectures and textbook learning? Are they essential in elementary, middle, or high schools?
  • Some students don’t do well without a conventional classroom structure. They learn better when sitting at desks and facing the front of the class.
  • Students tend to learn better independently and through interaction. Once they get used to a decentralized classroom, they thrive in it.
  • What are the benefits of a conventional classroom? Do some students do better in this setting than a decentralized one?
  • Some students have trouble going from a conventional to a Montessori classroom, and vice versa.
  • This may be true, but it’s quite rare. When it occurs, teachers, support staff, and family can help with the transition.
  • What kinds of issues can arise when making these transitions? Can the issues that occur mostly be dealt with quite smoothly?
  • Pretend play isn’t encouraged. But, it enables children to act out and imagine different possibilities. This can nurture creativity: in the arts, writing, music, and other areas. It also can improve language skills.
  • Pretend play is sometimes allowed and rarely discouraged (especially in preschool). Also, it’s not clear whether pretend play nurtures creativity. Finally, children need and prefer to do things in the real world.
  • What’s the value of pretend play? Does pretend play detach children from reality (in a harmful way)?
  • All or most subjects are taught by core teachers. Some subjects, though, are best taught by specialist teachers. These may include foreign languages, art, music, and gym.
  • Some classes are taught by specialist teachers. This is common in elementary and secondary schools. And, core teachers have the skill and knowledge to teach many subjects at the lower levels.
  • Do many teachers have the ability to teach a wide range of subjects? If so, what level should they do this up to?
  • Students aren’t formally assessed or graded. But, this is needed to track their progress and motivate them.
  • Progress is tracked through observation, reports, and developmental rubrics. Also, students are best motivated by choosing tasks that interest them.
  • Are reports and developmental rubrics enough to assess progress? Are all students best motivated by choosing their own tasks?
  • Computers, interactive whiteboards, and tablets are rarely, if ever, used. This prevents students from acquiring digital literacy.
  • Young children don’t need much screen time; in fact, this impedes learning and development. Older children are sometimes allowed to use computers or tablets for specific things, like research. Also, digital literacy can (and likely will) be learned outside of school.
  • What amount and kinds of screen time are harmful? How important is digital literacy, and should it be taught in school?
Social
  • Young children need plenty of supervision and instruction to develop proper social skills and behaviour. Due to high teacher-to-student ratios, this often isn’t provided.
  • Many programs now have a low teacher-to-student ratio (due to legal requirements and other factors). These programs teach proper social skills and behaviour. Also, proper behaviour is modelled and reinforced by older peers and teachers.
  • How are proper behaviour and social skills best learned? Is much direct instruction by an adult necessary? Should older peers play a big role here?
  • Children don’t get enough free-play time (such as recess). They thus don’t have enough chances for spur-of-the-moment fun. They also may not get enough exercise.
  • Preschools and elementary schools usually have one or two daily recesses. Also, children can do fun things in class. What’s more, they get plenty of exercise from moving around in class so much.
  • Do children get enough exercise in class? Is free play the best way to excite and enliven young children?

There are plenty of reasons to pursue a Montessori education. And, many students are a great fit for it. But is Montessori for everyone? Maybe, but it’s worth looking more closely at this question.

Below, we outline which students may be suitable for Montessori education. Just keep in mind: there’s far more to deciding whether Montessori is right for your child than the points below. This table is meant to stimulate your thinking, not replace it. Also, note that your child might display traits from both columns.

 
Montessori education may be suitable for students who: Montessori education may not be suitable for students who:
  • Are independent
  • Are intrinsically motivated learners
  • Are good at taking directions
  • Have good work habits
  • Enjoy concrete learning
  • Enjoy self-directed learning
  • Enjoy project-based learning
  • Have strong academic skills
  • Have good social skills
  • Enjoy plenty of imaginative play
  • Are externally motivated
  • Prefer a conventional classroom structure
  • Prefer a standardized curriculum
  • Prefer lectures

Bear in mind, this table doesn’t focus on specific schools. What’s most important is to look at the school itself, to see whether it’s the right fit for your child.

To find a Montessori school near you, see our list. You can also compare schools by their academics, tuition, and financial aid.



When choosing a Montessori school, cost can be a factor. You want to find a school that’s a good fit for your child. But you also need a school that’s at a price you can afford.

Tuition
Private Montessori schools tend to be reasonably priced. And, they’re typically on the lower side of private school tuition in general. They can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $30,000 per year.

Pricing will vary based on several different factors. For instance, the size, location, level of schooling, and resources can affect the cost of tuition. And of course, boarding schools will tend to be more expensive than regular day schools.

In general, though, there are plenty of affordable Montessori schools in Canada. And keep in mind, if a school provides you with childcare, this may be tax deductible. The amount that is deducted is based on the part of the day devoted to childcare, such as after school supervision.

Funding
Many Montessori schools, like other private schools, offer funding to families. The two main kinds of funding are needs-based and merit-based financial aid.

Needs-based: If you can demonstrate need, some schools will help finance your child’s education. They might offer you a bursary to help you cover tuition and possibly even room and board (if your child is in a boarding school).

Merit-based: Some schools also offer merit-based financial aid. Based on certain criteria, such as academics or athletics, your child may be offered a scholarship that helps pay for their schooling.

Scholarships are less common than bursaries. They also tend to provide less support. But every little bit helps. So, don’t be afraid to apply. On OurKids.net, we list scholarships offered by private schools in Canada.


Montessori Schools
Montessori schools and programs are a great fit for students who are independent, enjoy concrete learning, and like choosing some of their own work.


Not all Montessori schools are certified, but many are. And sometimes this can factor into your decision about which school is the right fit.

There are many certifying or accrediting centres for Montessori programs in Canada, the United States, and elsewhere. Below, we list of some of the main ones. Some of these centres align to some extent with a classic or supplementary approach.

Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators: The Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA) is a Canadian, not-for-profit centre. The CCMA “provides a unified voice in negotiations with government and other agencies.” It’s an accrediting centre and provides teacher training programs. The CCMA is the dominant accrediting centre in Canada. There are 91 CCMA-accredited Montessori schools in Canada, most of which are in Ontario.

On the CCMA website, you can find the criteria for becoming a member school. You can also find a list of accredited CCMA member schools.

Association Montessori Internationale: The Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) was established by Maria Montessori and her son, Mario, in 1929. Its main headquarters are in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. AMI schools often have a classic curriculum, with three-year age groupings, large classes, and high teacher-to-student ratios. They also often have few lectures and less free-play time. There are 11 AMI Montessori schools in Canada (8 in Ontario, 1 in Quebec, 1 in British Columbia, and 1 in Alberta).

American Montessori Society: In the late 1960s, Nancy McCormick Rambusch, an AMI Montessori trained teacher, founded the American Montessori Society (AMS). She believed the Montessori method had to be modified to adapt to the culture in North America. In AMS schools, the Montessori curriculum is supplemented with resources, materials, and ideas used in more mainstream schools. Examples include the use of specialist teachers and classes, arts and crafts projects, commercial games and puzzles, and computers. AMS only accredits schools in the United States.

Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education: The Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) is an internationally recognized, standards setting, and certifying body for Montessori teacher education. MACTE certifies teachers but not schools. It also provides teacher training.

International Montessori Council: The International Montessori Council (IMC) is a global community of Montessori schools, teacher education programs, school administrators, educators, trustees, parent leaders, and friends of the Montessori movement. Members of the IMC are dedicated to “enriching the lives of children and adults through Montessori education by promoting Maria Montessori’s insights to the general public.” The IMC is an accrediting institution. It doesn’t have a teacher training program, though.



As mentioned, teachers play a huge role in Montessori programs. They really impact their value. The quality of teachers can sometimes make the difference between an effective and an ineffective program. You should look closely, then, at the credentials of the teachers of any school you’re considering.


There are many Montessori teacher training centres. Some also accredit schools, including AMI and AMS.

Some Montessori training centres don’t accredit schools, though. The main one in North America is MACTE. In Canada, most teachers are trained by AMI or MACTE, though some are trained by AMS (which is affiliated with MACTE).

The main AMI training centres in Canada are the Foundations for Montessori education, in Toronto, Ontario, and the Montessori Training Centre of BC, in Vancouver, British Columbia. Both these training centres have strict standards of evaluation. These are sanctioned by a governing body: Montessori Quality Assurance (Assurance Qualité Montessori).

Different training centres use different approaches to train teachers. There are also different training courses for each level of education. Oral and written exams are required by most training centres.


The standard Montessori training is a full year of graduate work for each of the main three age-levels: 0-3, 3-6, and 6-12. There’s a wide range of teacher preparation, though.

Some teachers take intensive, year-long graduate courses. For instance, this is standard for AMI Montessori teachers.


“When it comes to choosing a Montessori school, you’ll want to look at its classroom policies. You’ll also want to consider its culture, philosophy, learning environment, and developmental aims, among other things.”


Sandra Girilato, director of training at Montessori Quality Assurance (MQA), sets the record straight. As she points out, MQA ensures that AMI-trained teachers are well prepared. “All AMI-trained teachers in Canada must take a full-time, 9-month training course which employs strict criteria of evaluation sanctioned by MQA.”

Of course, some teachers have less rigorous training. In fact, some have simply read some of Maria Montessori’s books and applied some of her ideas in a school setting.

Due to the variance in teacher training, the quality of Montessori teachers and schools also varies widely. It’s important, then, to inquire about the expertise of teachers. This can help you decide whether a school is the right fit for your child.

Teaching: it's elementary

Elementary school teachers, in addition to regular training, should have a solid foundation in many different subjects. The goal isn’t for them to be experts in everything, but to be guides. As Paula Polk Lillard writes (Montessori Today, 1996), they should be “... a Renaissance person: knowledgeable enough to get, and keep, children interested in a given subject to help direct them to find the answers to their questions independently.”



Is a public Montessori school right for your child? Maybe, but there aren’t many in Canada.

There are a few such schools in Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta. They usually start in kindergarten or grade 1 and continue until at least grade 6. They also must be licensed by the Ministry of Education and meet provincial requirements. This means that they normally have two-year, instead of three-year, age groupings. It also means they tend to have smaller classes and more direct instruction than private Montessori schools.

Almost all Montessori schools in Canada are private. Unlike public schools, private schools don’t need to meet provincial curricular standards. They usually do meet them, though, and often surpass them.

Most private Montessori schools in Canada are accredited through the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA), headed by Katherine Poyntz. The CCMA requires that these schools meet very strict criteria, related to curriculum and teaching. Here’s how the CCMA describes their accreditation role on their website:

“The Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA) is an authority and voice for Montessori Administrators in Canada. Accredited member schools and applicant schools are accountable to CCMA for ensuring that qualifying programmes meet the standards and criteria established by the Council. CCMA recognizes teacher training institutes that meet the standards of the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and/or the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE).”


Montessori Schools
The Montessori teaching approach can be effective for students of many different ages. Its teaching approach is frequently used in preschool and elementary school. It’s also sometimes used in middle and high school.


If you can’t afford a private Montessori school (and there’s no public one in your area), teaching Montessori at home might be an option for you.

Affordable Montessori materials can be bought or made. And many Montessori activities and lessons are adaptable.

For more on this, see Elizabeth G. Hainstock’s Teaching Montessori in the Home: The School Years (1997). You can also attend local workshops to learn how to adapt the method to your child’s needs.

There is no cut-and-dry method for teaching Montessori in the home. But the American Montessori Society (AMS) suggests a few basic principles.

Create an ordered environment: Have a place for everything, on a child-friendly scale. Children should know where to find what they need, and where to put it when they’re done. This allows for better focus and fewer distractions.

Teach real-life skills: Take the time to teach your child to wash tables, organize shelves, prepare meals, and assist younger children. Tasks should be age appropriate.

Young children, for example, can peel vegetables, fold their clothes, match their socks, and care for pets. Older children can sort the mail and take out the recycling. And, adolescents can make dinner, read to their younger siblings, help with computer and home repair, and manage their own bank account.

Promote concentration: You can help develop your child’s concentration by observing what interests them. Set your child up with the means to explore their interests, and let them work without interruption.

While your child’s work should be free from distraction, it doesn’t have to be away from the family. Some children prefer working at the kitchen table or reading in a corner of the living room to working alone. Observe your child’s response to various environments, ask questions, and make changes as needed.

Nurture inner motivation: Children are most willing to apply themselves when they enjoy and see value in their work. Don’t use external rewards as motivation. And, praise should be given for effort only—not outcomes.



Many parents believe that a Montessori education is the greatest gift you can give your child.

Montessori schools, as we’ve seen, are child-centred. They provide a unique learning environment tailored to children with different interests and abilities. And, this can begin as early as preschool or kindergarten.

“We see it as an individualized approach to education from toddlers to high school,” says Katherine Poyntz, executive director of the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA). “It’s sort of a buzzword in education now, but this is an approach that encourages curiosity and leads children to ask questions and think for themselves, and that’s central to Montessori.”

The child-centred approach, introduced by Maria Montessori, is highly effective. Like the Waldorf and Reggio Emilia approach, it tends to produce students who are mature and well rounded. These students tend to have advanced intellectual, social, and practical skills. It also often produces students who are curious, have a love of learning, and are great critical thinkers and problem-solvers.

It should be no surprise, then, that graduates of Montessori schools have gone on to great things. Many have become world leaders in the arts, culture, business, technology, media, and other sectors. These graduates include:

  • Larry Page and Sergey Brin (co-founders of Google)
  • Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon.com)
  • Yo-Yo Ma (professional cellist)
  • Conrad Chow (professional violinist)
  • Helen Keller (author, educator, activist)
  • Anne Frank (author, diarist from World War II)
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez (author, Nobel Prize winner)
  • Katharine Graham (former owner of the Washington Post)
  • Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis (former first lady)
  • Sean Combs (singer)
  • Taylor Swift (singer)
  • Prince William and Prince Harry (British royalty)
  • T. Berry Brazelton (pediatrician and author)
  • Julia Child (chef and author)
  • Elizabeth Berridge (actress)
  • George Clooney (actor)
  • Helen Hunt (actress)
  • Kami Cotler (actress)
  • Melissa and Sarah Gilbert (actresses)

What’s more, Montessori education has become more popular over the years. Since the middle of the 20th century, the number of schools has steadily increased worldwide. For example, Our Kids now profiles the growing number of schools in Poland (szkoly Montessori, as well as przedszkola Montessori) in our look at Montessori schools in Poland. A rough estimate is that there are 20,000 schools in the world, 4,500 in the United States, and 500 in Canada. While some of these schools are Montessori in name only, the vast majority are firmly committed to the Montessori philosophy and implementing it in the classroom.

Montessori Schools
Montessori schools, similar to Waldorf and Reggio Emilia schools, aim to educate the whole child. In addition to academics, they focus a lot on practical skills, moral education, and social development.


 
 
Primary curriculum
Secondary curriculum
Curriculum pace
Academic culture
Average class size
Language immersion
Special needs support
Tech integration
Bond Academy
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Homestay school (12 students)
  • Day school (338 students)
  • $13,500 to $16,800
  • Liberal ArtsStandard-enrichedRigorous15 to 18Full-time Dedicated ClassMedium integration
    TMS
  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
  • PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (870 students)
  • $19,100 to $32,700
  • MontessoriInternational BaccalaureateStudent-pacedRigorousNo support
    Clanmore Montessori School
  • Oakville, Ontario
  • NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (185 students)
  • $8,250 to $17,500
  • MontessoriStudent-pacedSupportiveNo supportLight integration
    Trafalgar Ridge Montessori School
  • Oakville, Ontario
  • PS to 3 (Coed)
  • Day school (84 students)
  • $13,195 to $14,195
  • MontessoriStandard-enrichedSupportive8 to 18No supportMedium integration
    Westmont Montessori School
  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (300 students)
  • $9,565 to $32,000
  • MontessoriStudent-pacedSupportiveWithdrawal AssistanceMedium integration
    Ashwood Glen
  • Burlington, Ontario
  • PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (260 students)
  • $9,900 to $18,900
  • ProgressiveInternational BaccalaureateStandard-enrichedSupportive10 to 16Indirect SupportMedium integration
    Westside Montessori School
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (155 students)
  • $18,700 to $20,700
  • MontessoriStudent-pacedSupportive10 to 24No support
    Peel Montessori School
  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (150 students)
  • $7,500 to $15,000
  • ProgressiveMontessoriStudent-pacedSupportiveNo support
    Central Montessori Schools
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • NS to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school (600 students)
  • Day school (225 students)
  • Day school (250 students)
  • $12,500 to $20,000
  • MontessoriStandard-enrichedSupportiveNo support
    Century Private School
  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
  • PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school
  • $16,550 to $27,000
  • MontessoriInternational BaccalaureateStudent-pacedRigorous10 to 20No supportLight integration
    Humberside Montessori School
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (250 students)
  • $12,500 to $19,900
  • MontessoriStudent-pacedSupportiveFull-time Dedicated ClassLight integration
    Enquiring Minds Montessori
  • Scarborough, Ontario
  • NS to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school (150 students)
  • $11,158 to $17,500
  • MontessoriStudent-pacedRigorous10 to 24No supportMedium integration
    Somerset Academy
  • Markham, Ontario
  • JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school
  • $14,300 to $14,300
  • TraditionalStandard-enrichedSupportive13 to 18No support
    Avalon Children's Montessori School
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (90 students)
  • $7,200 to $22,275
  • MontessoriStudent-pacedSupportiveNo supportMedium integration
    Head Start Montessori School
  • North York, Ontario
  • NS to 3 (Coed)
  • Day school (20 students)
  • Day school (64 students)
  • $14,500 to $18,500
  • MontessoriStudent-pacedSupportiveNo support
    La Maison Montessori House
  • Newmarket, Ontario
  • PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (120 students)
  • MontessoriNo support
    Yip’s Music & Montessori School
  • Unionville, Ontario
  • NS to SK (Coed)
  • Day school
  • $9,480 to $15,840
  • Student-pacedSupportive5 to 13No support
    Wishing Well Schools
  • Markham, Ontario
  • NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (147 students)
  • Day school (148 students)
  • $17,500 to $17,700
  • ProgressiveAcceleratedRigorous15 to 20No supportMedium integration
    La Villa Montessori School
  • Oakville, Ontario
  • NS to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school (90 students)
  • $8,100 to $15,608
  • MontessoriStudent-pacedSupportiveResource Assistance
    Bannockburn
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • NS to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school (200 students)
  • $17,975 to $27,300
  • MontessoriAcceleratedSupportive15 to 24Resource AssistanceLight integration
    Curlew Montessori School
  • North York / Scarborough, Ontario
  • NS to SK (Coed)
  • Day school (24 students)
  • $8,500 to $13,500
  • MontessoriStudent-pacedSupportive20 to 24No supportLight integration
    Rotherglen School - Mississauga
  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (400 students)
  • ProgressiveMontessoriStandard-enrichedSupportive18No supportLight integration
    ABC Montessori
  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • NS to 5 (Coed)
  • Day school (50 students)
  • Day school (100 students)
  • $5,140 to $10,850
  • TraditionalMontessoriStandard-enrichedRigorousNo supportLight integration
    Leonardo Da Vinci Academy of Arts & Sciences
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (60 students)
  • $10,500 to $18,300
  • TraditionalMontessoriStandard-enrichedRigorousNo support
    Trinity Montessori School
  • Markham, Ontario
  • NS to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school (120 students)
  • $11,000 to $13,000
  • TraditionalMontessoriAcceleratedRigorousNo supportLight integration
    Kaban Montessori School
  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • NS to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school (147 students)
  • $1,720 to $1,770
  • MontessoriStudent-pacedSupportive15 to 24No support
    OMS Montessori
  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • NS to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school (300 students)
  • $12,864 to $21,384
  • MontessoriStudent-pacedSupportive16 to 25Withdrawal AssistanceLight integration
    Rotherglen School - Oakville
  • Oakville, Ontario
  • K to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (700 students)
  • $15,500 to $21,200
  • ProgressiveMontessoriStandard-enrichedSupportive18No support
    Durham Elementary, Durham Academy and G.B.M.S.
  • Oshawa, Ontario
  • NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Homestay school
  • Day school
  • Day school
  • $1,020 to $11,500
  • ProgressiveMontessoriStandard-enrichedRigorous8 to 16Indirect SupportMedium integration
    Sunrise Montessori School
  • Markham, Ontario
  • NS to 3 (Coed)
  • Day school (200 students)
  • $11,500 to $19,800
  • MontessoriAcceleratedSupportive10 to 24Indirect SupportMedium integration
    Kanata Montessori
  • Kanata, Ontario
  • NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (500 students)
  • $16,750 to $18,500
  • MontessoriStandard-enrichedRigorous12 to 15Resource AssistanceHeavy integration
    North Star Montessori Elementary School
  • North Vancouver, British Columbia
  • PS to 7 (Coed)
  • Day school (110 students)
  • $8,550 to $16,785
  • MontessoriStudent-pacedSupportiveNo support
    The Children's House Montessori School
  • Port Perry, Ontario
  • NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (125 students)
  • $9,500 to $11,500
  • MontessoriStudent-pacedNo support
    École Montessori
  • Pickering, Ontario
  • NS to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school (75 students)
  • $8,400 to $17,000
  • MontessoriStandard-enrichedRigorous5 to 18No supportLight integration
    Meadow Green Academy
  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (125 students)
  • $15,990 to $15,990
  • TraditionalMontessoriAcceleratedRigorous10 to 12No supportMedium integration
    Alive Montessori & Private School
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • PS to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school (45 students)
  • $10,000 to $16,500
  • MontessoriWaldorfAcceleratedRigorous10 to 16No supportLight integration
    Fredericton Montessori Academy
  • Fredericton, New Brunswick
  • PS to 10 (Coed)
  • Day school (115 students)
  • $9,500 to $14,500
  • MontessoriAcceleratedRigorousIndirect SupportLight integration
    Richmond Hill Montessori Private School
  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
  • PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (600 students)
  • $25,000 to $26,800
  • TraditionalMontessoriAcceleratedRigorous16 to 20No supportMedium integration
    Aurora Montessori School
  • Aurora, Ontario
  • NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (400 students)
  • $19,400 to $22,150
  • MontessoriStudent-pacedSupportive15 to 24Partial IntegrationMedium integration
    Unionville College
  • Unionville, Ontario
  • PS to 10 (Coed)
  • Day school (1000 students)
  • $10,650 to $19,400
  • TraditionalMontessoriAcceleratedRigorous18 to 24Partial IntegrationHeavy integration
    Academy of Thought and Industry Toronto
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 7 to 9 (Coed)
  • Day school (12 students)
  • $18,000 to $18,000
  • MontessoriStudent-pacedRigorous10 to 12No supportHeavy integration
    Montessori Learning Centre of Pickering
  • Pickering, Ontario
  • NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (200 students)
  • $12 to $14,000
  • MontessoriStudent-pacedSupportiveNo support
    Wheatley School
  • St. Catharines, Ontario
  • NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (180 students)
  • MontessoriInternational BaccalaureateStudent-pacedSupportive15 to 18Indirect Support
    Hatch House Montessori School
  • Whitby, Ontario
  • NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school
  • $12,250 to $15,750
  • MontessoriStudent-pacedSupportiveNo supportLight integration
    Guiding Light Academy
  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (100 students)
  • $10,000 to $10,000
  • TraditionalMontessoriAcceleratedRigorous5 to 16No supportHeavy integration
    Braemar House School
  • Brantford, Ontario
  • PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (123 students)
  • $15,328 to $15,328
  • TraditionalMontessoriStandard-enrichedSupportiveNo supportHeavy integration
    Montessori House of Children
  • Brantford, Ontario
  • NS to SK (Coed)
  • Day school (41 students)
  • MontessoriStandard-enriched8No support
    Hillfield Strathallan College
  • Hamilton, Ontario
  • NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (1285 students)
  • Homestay school (30 students)
  • $19,349 to $32,052
  • TraditionalMontessoriStandard-enrichedRigorous16 to 20No supportHeavy integration
    Dearcroft Montessori School
  • Oakville, Ontario
  • NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (170 students)
  • $8,500 to $20,500
  • MontessoriStudent-pacedSupportive10 to 20No supportLight integration
    The Clover School
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • NS to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school (400 students)
  • $25,160 to $25,160
  • MontessoriStudent-pacedSupportiveIndirect SupportLight integration
    Shepherd Montessori Private Catholic School
  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • NS to SK (Coed)
  • Day school (24 students)
  • $7,070 to $11,960
  • Standard-enriched10 to 15No support
    Bishop Hamilton Montessori School
  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (200 students)
  • $6,183 to $18,375
  • MontessoriStudent-pacedSupportiveNo supportLight integration
    Trillium School
  • Markham, Ontario
  • NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (320 students)
  • Boarding school (30 students)
  • Day school (50 students)
  • $11,500 to $37,500
  • TraditionalMontessoriAcceleratedRigorousNo supportMedium integration
    Prince Edward Montessori School
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • NS to SK (Coed)
  • Day school (100 students)
  • AcceleratedSupportive10 to 16No support
    Guidepost Montessori
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (100 students)
  • MontessoriStudent-pacedSupportive1 to 10No supportLight integration
    Town Centre Private Schools
  • Markham, Ontario
  • NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (1000 students)
  • $7,400 to $17,250
  • TraditionalInternational BaccalaureateStandard-enrichedSupportive15 to 24No support
    Free Spirit Montessori Downtown
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • PS to K (Coed)
  • Day school (16 students)
  • $11,600 to $15,700
  • Student-pacedSupportive8 to 16Resource Assistance
    Northstar Montessori Private School
  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (300 students)
  • $10,500 to $16,350
  • MontessoriStudent-pacedSupportiveNo supportHeavy integration
    Cornerstone Montessori Prep School
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (120 students)
  • $15,800 to $18,960
  • Liberal ArtsMontessoriAcceleratedRigorous10 to 15No support
    The Element High School
  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (100 students)
  • $18,810 to $21,905
  • ProgressiveMontessoriStudent-pacedSupportiveIndirect SupportHeavy integration
    Western Heights Montessori Academy
  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • NS to SK (Coed)
  • Day school (100 students)
  • No support




     
    Tuition (day school)Students receiving financial aidGrade eligibility for financial aidAvg. aid package size (annual)
    TMS
  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
  • PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (870 students)
  • $19,100 to $32,700
  • $26,750 to $32,700Preschool - 12
    Westmont Montessori School
  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (300 students)
  • $9,565 to $32,000
  • $10,600 to $32,0001%Preschool - 12$5,000
    Somerset Academy
  • Markham, Ontario
  • JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school
  • $14,300 to $14,300
  • $14,3005%1 - 8
    Avalon Children's Montessori School
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (90 students)
  • $7,200 to $22,275
  • $14,725 to $22,2755%1 - 8$10,000
    Yip’s Music & Montessori School
  • Unionville, Ontario
  • NS to SK (Coed)
  • Day school
  • $9,480 to $15,840
  • $15,420 to $15,840
    Bannockburn
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • NS to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school (200 students)
  • $17,975 to $27,300
  • $27,300
    Leonardo Da Vinci Academy of Arts & Sciences
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (60 students)
  • $10,500 to $18,300
  • $18,30015%1 - 8$5,000
    OMS Montessori
  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • NS to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school (300 students)
  • $12,864 to $21,384
  • $14,664 to $21,38410%Nursery/Toddler - 6$2,500
    North Star Montessori Elementary School
  • North Vancouver, British Columbia
  • PS to 7 (Coed)
  • Day school (110 students)
  • $8,550 to $16,785
  • $15,840 to $16,785K - 7
    Meadow Green Academy
  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (125 students)
  • $15,990 to $15,990
  • $15,990
    Aurora Montessori School
  • Aurora, Ontario
  • NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (400 students)
  • $19,400 to $22,150
  • $19,400 to $22,1507%Preschool - 8$1,000
    Academy of Thought and Industry Toronto
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 7 to 9 (Coed)
  • Day school (12 students)
  • $18,000 to $18,000
  • $18,0007 - 8
    Hillfield Strathallan College
  • Hamilton, Ontario
  • NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (1285 students)
  • Homestay school (30 students)
  • $19,349 to $32,052
  • $19,349 to $32,05210%JK - 12$4,500
    Bishop Hamilton Montessori School
  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (200 students)
  • $6,183 to $18,375
  • $6,183 to $18,375Nursery/Toddler - 8
    Guidepost Montessori
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (100 students)
  • Nursery/Toddler - 8
    The Element High School
  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (100 students)
  • $18,810 to $21,905
  • $18,810 to $21,905


    To discuss Montessori education, visit the Our Kids discussion forum.


    • Montessori Science
      This website is run by renowned professor of psychology and Montessori researcher Angeline Lillard. It gives readers access to much of her own work on Montessori education, as well as the work of other researchers. Most of this work focuses on the science behind the Montessori method.
    • The Montessori Observer
      Run by professor of media arts and sciences and director of the Montessori Wildflower School. This website curates recent Montessori articles, books, websites, blogs, news, videos, and other valuable resources.
    • Montessori Guide
      Run by several Montessori advocates. Also provides a useful collection of Montessori resources, such as websites, media coverage, books, as well as school locators.
    • Montessori Services
      Provides a comprehensive list of Montessori resources that can be used in class or at home. This includes classroom materials, practical life activities, games, and toys. It also provides information about Montessori organizations and conferences.


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