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THE OUR KIDS REPORT:
Kaban Montessori School

Grades Nursery/Toddler TO 6 — Mississauga, ON (MAP)

Kaban Montessori School:
THE OUR KIDS REPORT
REPORT CONTENTS:

Pages in this report:

  • Grades
    Nursery/Toddler — 6
  • Gender
    Coed
  • Class Size
    15 — 24 students
  • Tuition
    $15,750 to 16,250/year
  • Language of instruction
    English, French, Spanish
  • Associations
    CCMA
  • Enrolment
    147 day students
  • Curriculum
    Montessori
  • EBROCHURE
    N/A
  • Next open house
    N/A
  • Application Deadline
    N/A

School address

  • 2449 Dunwin Drive, Mississauga, Ontario, L5L 1T1 (MAP)

Our Perspective

How we see Kaban Montessori School


Despite what many might perhaps naturally assume, not all Montessori schools are created equally, even within the class of schools that hue very closely to the core of the model. As Maria Montessori would herself have approved, each school takes on a unique character through the passions and personalities of those that work and learn within it, and Kaban is a good example of that. The name, Kaban, is a Mayan word meaning “earth,” and was chosen to represent the unique cast of the program, one that seeks to highlight stewardship to the environment both within the school and outside in the natural world. It’s a nice touch, and one that brings forward some of the core elements of the method that perhaps get short shrift. Yes, manipulatives are a part of it, though they are tools toward achieving the goal of mastery of the concepts and, in working with peers, a confidence in who we are and how we relate to others. Kaban nicely focuses its efforts very clearly around those concepts, both within its physical space as well as in the delivery of the curriculum. The size of the school is big enough to allow for diversity in programming while also allowing all of the students to feel that they are known and have a role and responsibilities in the life of the school. Instruction is student-centered and individualized, something that is an important draw for the families that enroll within the school. In all of that, and more, there’s a lot to love.

School's Perspective

How Kaban Montessori School sees itself


The school administration answered our questions

Who are you, as a school?

"Kaban Montessori School has been serving our community in Mississauga since 2002. We offer Infant, Toddler, Casa and Elementary programs for children 6 mo - 12 yrs. Our professionally trained teachers practice a holistic, individualized approach that encourages independence, creativity, inner discipline and a love of learning. Our purpose is to guide children so that they may not only thrive in life, but observe, question, challenge and improve the world we live in."

What do you do differently and uniquely well?

"Kaban's children love school and look forward to going there every day. There is a sense of warmth, care, and expertise among all of our teachers. Children's days are filled with fun and learning is enjoyable for them."

Why do families choose you over schools they compare you to?

"In Kaban, families appreciate the welcoming, caring and loving atmosphere created by the staff"

What might families find surprising about your school?

"We aim to promote global peace and environmental awareness through our school.
Families are amazed at the level of understanding their children have of other languages (Spanish & French)."

What aspect of your school is underappreciated?

"We are a true Montessori School with a welcoming and multicultural staff."

What five facts about your school tell your story?

"The Kaban Montessori school is one of the few that offers a holistic Montessori program for infants 6 months of age and up to elementary students 12 years of age."


School Facilities

Photo-tour of facilities


Athletics facilities


Campus


Classrooms


School Videos

Insider Perspectives

How people from the school’s community see Kaban Montessori School


Video reviews of Kaban Montessori School

Parent, Abigail O’Neill (2021)

Watch our parent interview with Abigail O’Neill to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to have a child attend Kaban Montessori School.

Parent, Amanda McCollum (2020)

Watch our parent interview with Amanda McCollum to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to have a child attend Kaban Montessori School.

School leadership

Top-down influence on the school’s direction and tone


Message from school leadership

Blanca Sanchez, Program Director
AMI Montessori Guide from birth to 6 years old

We are proud to have built a tight community among the children, parents, teachers, and our neighbourhood. We believe that when working together as a team, we can accomplish much more. Kaban Teachers maintain close relationships with parents in order to support and aid their child’s development. To enhance children’s sense of community Kaban students are also given the opportunity and encouraged to interact with the natural world beyond the school. We educate children on the importance of respecting not only themselves and others, but also how to care for and respect the balance that exists between humans and the environment.

Evaluate Kaban Montessori School for your child

Answer just to supplement this page with our expert insight into the FIT between Kaban Montessori School and your child (BETA).
1. Select category
1. Select category
  • Sociability
  • Mental focus
  • Physical activity level
  • Academic focus
  • Arts-oriented
  • STEM-oriented
  • Gifted
  • Special needs (general)
  • Learning disabilities
  • Social/emotional issues
  • Learning style
  • Learning preference
  • Anxious
  • ADHD
  • Autistic
  • Dyslexic
2. Select child's dominant trait
How outgoing is your child?

3. See personalized insights
How Extroverted kids fit with Kaban Montessori's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    If you’re considering a small school for your extroverted child, make sure it offers plenty of social opportunities, including the ability to seek out and interact with different peer groups. Since smaller schools have smaller and less diverse student populations than big schools, it can sometimes be more challenging for your child to find a like-minded group of friends—friends with similar interests, values, etc. 

    “It’s important to look at the social makeup of the school,” says Ruth Rumack of Ruth Rumack's Learning Space. "Is there enough variety that your child will have a group that they feel connected with? Because you want to have friends that are like-minded and you want to be in a social situation where you feel honoured and respected. Variety can also be found in extracurriculars, leadership programs, and sports activities, which tend to have kids with a wide range of personalities.”

    Also, make sure a school’s teaching and learning approach is suitable for your social child. “For instance, a school focusing on individual learning instead of group learning may not play into your child’s strengths,” say Ann and Karen Wolff, Toronto-based education consultants at Wolff Educational Services. “You want to make sure the social, emotional, and academic realities of the classroom are a match for your child’s personality.”

  • Montessori school

    If you’re considering a Montessori school for your extroverted child, make sure to look into the amount of unstructured social time it provides. Some Montessori schools don’t have recess, and may limit free time, which is often when kids get their most stimulation. While kids spend plenty of time interacting in a Montessori classroom, a very outgoing child might find the lack of unstructured time less invigorating. Note: The more “orthodox” the Montessori environment, the more it tends to limit recess and unstructured social time.

    What Kaban Montessori says: Children have the ability to become anything they wish, but they need an environment that gives them the opportunity and respect to do so.
  • Language immersion school

    If you’re considering a language immersion school for your extroverted child, make sure it offers a wide range of social opportunities, including the ability to interact with kids outside of class. Since most of your child’s learning won’t be in their mother tongue, they may find it challenging at times to negotiate the complexities of social interaction in the classroom. This makes it especially important to ensure the school offers extensive extracurriculars—such as volunteering, sports teams, and arts programs—which will help your child satisfy their need to interact and make friends.

How Introverted kids fit with Kaban Montessori's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools often have small classrooms and tight-knit communities, which can make it easier for your introverted child to come out of their shell, make friends, and feel like they belong. Since they’re less socially overwhelming, your child should find it easier to navigate their social environment. And since they’re conducive to group work, small classes often have plenty of interaction, which can help your child develop critical interpersonal skills. 

    Of course, small schools normally have a less diverse student population than big schools, which can sometimes make it more challenging to find a group of like-minded peers—peers with similar personalities, interests, values, etc. This makes it especially important to ask a school about its extracurricular programs, which can help your introverted child establish an intimate social circle.

  • Montessori school

    At a Montessori school, your introverted child will often work independently on their own tasks, e.g., during two-hour-plus uninterrupted work periods, which can boost their focus and concentration. They’ll also often work in small groups with kids of different ages, where they’ll learn from and mentor their peers, which can help them come out of their shell, be more assertive, and learn critical social skills. Ask how much, if any, unstructured social time is provided, since this varies between Montessori schools.

  • Language immersion school

    If you’re considering a language immersion school for your introverted child, make sure it offers plenty of social opportunities, including the ability to interact with different peer groups outside of class. Since most of your child’s learning won’t be in their mother tongue, they may find it challenging at times to negotiate the complexities of social interaction in the classroom. This makes it especially important to ensure the school offers extensive extracurriculars—such as student council, volunteering, and team sports—which can enable your child to connect with peers, make new friends outside of class, overcome their shyness, and develop critical social skills.

Select a trait in Step 2 to receive child-customized insights about this school. Create a child profile to save your child trait selection.
2. Select child's dominant trait
How mentally focused is your child?

3. See personalized insights
How Mentally focused kids fit with Kaban Montessori's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classes often provide more individualized learning and one-and-one support, which can bolster your child’s concentration. The structure and intimacy of smaller classes can help your focused child engage more fully with their studies. Since they’re conducive to group work, small classes also often have plenty of interaction, which can help your child develop critical interpersonal skills.

    Just keep in mind the law of diminishing returns regarding class size. While a class of 12 or 15 students can boost engagement, a class of 4 or 5 can reduce it, since there are too few voices and perspectives to generate much meaningful interaction and discussion.

    Finally, “Small schools often have a family-like feeling, because the class sizes are so small,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “They form a sense of community across the grades. You get these cross-grade friendships, relationships, and mentoring if it gives certain kids leadership opportunities, something they would rarely have in a larger school.”

  • Montessori school

    At a Montessori school, your focused child will often work independently on their own tasks, e.g., during two-hour-plus uninterrupted work periods, which can further enhance their concentration. Since many of these schools don’t have recess, this will also give your child more time to focus on their work, pursue their interests, and absorb knowledge. An additional benefit: in a Montessori classroom, your child will often work in small groups with kids of different ages, where they’ll learn from and mentor their peers, which can help them become more assertive, develop important social skills, and if they’re on the shy side, come out of their shell.

  • Language immersion school

    The demanding curriculum of language immersion schools, which requires students to learn all or most of their subjects in a second language, is a nice fit for many focused kids, especially those who enjoy the challenge of high-level learning and who are language-oriented. Many focused kids also value the opportunity to work in a structured learning environment with other motivated and studious kids, who may share a passion for learning.

    That said, “Mentally focused children who are curious and unconventional learners may prefer more scope for independent learning than language immersion schools sometimes allow,” says Dona Matthews, education consultant and co-author (with Joanne Foster) of Beyond Intelligence. “For these kids, the best schools are often those that are flexible enough to give them the time and energy to pursue their interests both in and out of school. The added challenges provided by second-language learning can sometimes interfere with this goal and hinder a child’s academic development.”

    Finally, since learning in a second language makes it difficult to negotiate social interaction in class, make sure your child has plenty of time to interact with their peers outside of class—something all kids need.

How Distractible kids fit with Kaban Montessori's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classrooms often provide more personalized attention and one-and-one support, which often helps distractible kids engage with their studies and sustain their focus. Since they’re conducive to group work, they tend to be more interactive, which your child may find invigorating.

    Just keep in mind the law of diminishing returns regarding class size. While a class of 12 or 15 students can boost engagement, a class of 4 or 5 can reduce it, since there are too few voices and perspectives to generate much meaningful interaction and discussion.

    The intimacy of smaller schools and classes can also help your child connect with the student community. “Small schools often have a family-like feeling, because the class sizes are so small,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “They form a sense of community across the grades, with cross-grade friendships, relationships, and often, leadership opportunities.”

  • Montessori school

    At a Montessori school, your child will often work independently on their own tasks, e.g., during two-hour-plus uninterrupted work periods, which can benefit kids who get distracted by too much stimulation. Also, independent study time can boost a child’s ability to concentrate and sustain their concentration, as professor of psychology and renowned Montessori researcher Angeline Lilard points out in Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius.

    That said, since some kids with shorter attention spans will find it more challenging to work independently for long periods of time, carefully weigh the pros and cons of this learning environment for your child.

    Finally, if you’re considering a Montessori school for your distractible child, make sure to look into the amount of unstructured social time it provides. Some Montessori schools don’t have recess, and may limit free time, which is often when kids get their most stimulation and which gives them a chance to renew their energy. This is especially important if your child is social, energetic, and enjoys physical activities.

  • Language immersion school

    If you’re considering a language immersion school for your distractible child, ensure they offer plenty of individualized learning and one-on-one support. Since these schools require students to learn all or most of their subjects in a second language, they can sometimes be taxing for kids who are distractible. This is especially true if they struggle with languages in particular or academics in general.

    That said, if your child enjoys learning languages and is academically-oriented, a language immersion program can help bolster their ability to focus and sustain their concentration. Talk to school directors, education consultants, and others in the know to help gauge whether your child is likely to be a good fit.

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2. Select child's dominant trait
How physically active is your child?

3. See personalized insights
How Very physically active kids fit with Kaban Montessori's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    If you’re considering a small school for your physically active child, ensure it offers plenty of unstructured social time, such as outdoor recess, during which they can let loose. Since some small schools have fewer supplementals, you should also ask about after-school activities like sports and dance, which can give your child more opportunities to channel their energy in useful ways. Since different kids enjoy different physical activities, ask school staff what’s available, what your child is eligible for, and how they can get involved.

  • Montessori school

    If you’re considering a Montessori school for your active, energetic child, make sure to look into the amount of unstructured social time provided. Some Montessori schools don’t have recess, and may limit free play, which is when young kids tend to be most physically active. While Montessori environments give kids plenty of time to interact inside the classroom, a very active child might find a lack of unstructured time challenging to cope with. Note: The more “orthodox” the Montessori environment, the more it tends to limit recess and unstructured playtime.

  • Language immersion school

    If you’re considering a language immersion school for your active, energetic child, make sure to look into the amount of unstructured social time provided. The challenging curriculum of these schools—which requires students to learn all or most of their subjects in a second language—makes it especially important for your child to have time throughout the school day to get outside, stretch their legs, and let loose. Make sure you also find out what activities are offered after school, such as sports and dance, which can provide physical outlets for your active child.

How Less physically active kids fit with Kaban Montessori's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    If your child is looking to get more physically active, make sure a small school offers plenty of opportunities to do this. This makes it especially important to ask about a school’s extracurriculars—such as team sports—which can improve your child's physical fitness and enable them to broaden their horizons.

    Smaller schools often have small and intimate classrooms, where your less active child can work independently and in small groups, allowing them to focus on academics in a peaceful, structured, and supportive environment. With tight-knit, less intimidating communities, small schools can also help your child come out of their shell.

  • Montessori school

    At a Montessori school, your less active child will often work independently on their own tasks, e.g., in two-hour-plus uninterrupted work periods, during which they can pursue quieter learning activities. Since many of these schools don’t have recess, this will also give your child more time to focus on their work, pursue their interests, and absorb knowledge. Another benefit for your child: they’ll sometimes work in small groups with kids of different ages, where they’ll learn from and mentor their peers, which can help them become more assertive and confident, learn critical social skills, and come out of their shell.

    If your child is looking to get more physically active, just make sure a school offers plenty of opportunities to do this.

  • Language immersion school

    The demanding curriculum of language immersion schools, which requires students to learn all or most of their subjects in a second language, is a nice fit for many less-active kids who enjoy the challenge of high-level learning. They’ll be able to focus on their studies in a structured learning environment with studious and motivated peers, who may share a passion for learning.

    Since learning in a second language makes it difficult to negotiate social interaction in class, make sure your child has ample time to interact outside of class, which all kids need. Also, if they're looking to get more physically active, look into how much unstructured social time and what kinds of after-school activities a school offers (e.g., individual and team sports).

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2. Select child's dominant trait
How focused is your child on school and academic achievement?

3. See personalized insights
How Intensively academically-focused kids fit with Kaban Montessori's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    If you’re considering a small school for your academically-focused child, ensure it offers enough enrichment and acceleration opportunities to challenge them. Make sure it also has plenty of academic diversity in the classroom, where your child can work with, be challenged by, and even measure themself against other academically-focused kids.

    Of course, “Smaller schools give kids opportunities to be the ‘big fish in a small pond,’ where their successes and abilities are truly highlighted,” says Una Malcolm, Director of Bright Light Learners. “Some kids enjoy this, and this can be a valuable opportunity to develop their confidence and self-esteem.”

  • Montessori school

    Montessori schools offer highly individualized learning, allowing your child to move through the curriculum at their own pace and focus on tasks of interest (with some teacher guidance), which can strengthen their love of learning. Also, during two-hour-plus uninterrupted work periods, your academically-focused child will have the opportunity to work independently on their own tasks, which can bolster their focus and concentration. And, since many Montessori schools don’t have recess, this will give your child more time to key in on their work, pursue their interests, and absorb knowledge. 

    That said, keep in mind that most Montessori schools don't assign grades at the primary level. If your child is fixated on academic achievement and measuring themselves against their peers, they'll likely find this practice challenging.

  • Language immersion school

    The demanding curriculum of language immersion schools, which requires students to learn all or most of their subjects in a second language, provides the right kind of challenge for many academically-focused kids, especially those who enjoy languages and may have a talent for them. Many of these kids also value the opportunity to work in a structured learning environment with motivated and studious peers, who may share a passion for academics in general and languages in particular.

    That said, “Academically-focused children who are curious and unconventional learners may prefer more scope for independent learning than language immersion schools sometimes allow,” says Dona Matthews, education consultant and co-author (with Joanne Foster) of Beyond Intelligence. “For these kids, the best schools are often those that are flexible enough to give them the time and energy to pursue their interests both in and out of school. The added challenges provided by second-language learning can sometimes interfere with this goal and hinder a child’s academic development.”

    Finally, since learning in a second language makes it difficult to negotiate social interaction in class, ensure your child has plenty of time to interact with other kids outside of class—something every child needs.

How Less academically-focused kids fit with Kaban Montessori's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classrooms often provide more personalized attention and one-and-one support, which often helps less academically-focused kids engage with their work more fully. Since they’re conducive to group work, these classes tend to be more interactive and stimulating.

    Just make sure a school provides your child with plenty of opportunities to pursue their passions outside of class—something not all small schools offer. “Research shows that when students have something to look forward to after school, they’re often more motivated and focused during the day,” says Janyce Lastman, Director of The Tutor Group. “This can really help them renew their energy and recharge their batteries.”

    Also, keep in mind the law of diminishing returns regarding class size. While a class of 12 or 15 students can boost engagement, a class of 4 or 5 can reduce it, since there are too few voices and perspectives to generate much meaningful interaction and discussion.

  • Montessori school

    Montessori schools offer highly individualized learning, allowing your child to work at their own pace and choose tasks of interest, with teacher guidance. This can help motivate and inspire them, and cultivate a love of learning.

    That said, since some less academically-focused kids may find it difficult to work independently for two or more consecutive hours each day, during Montessori schools’ uninterrupted work periods, carefully weigh the pros and cons of this learning environment for your child.

    Finally, if you’re considering a Montessori school for a child with less interest in academics, make sure to look into the amount of unstructured social time it provides. Some Montessori schools don’t have recess, and may limit free time, which is often when kids get their most stimulation. This is especially important if your child is social, energetic, and enjoys physical activities.

  • Language immersion school

    If you’re considering a language immersion school for your less academically-focused child, ensure it offers plenty of individualized learning and one-on-one support. Since they require students to learn all or most of their subjects in a second language, these schools can sometimes be burdensome for kids who are less interested in academics. This is especially true if they struggle with language learning.

    That said, if your child enjoys and excels at language learning, a language immersion school can help improve their academic focus and inspire a love of learning. Talk to school directors, education consultants, and others in the know to help gauge whether your child is likely to be a good fit.

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2. Select if applicable
Is your child passionate about the arts?

3. See personalized insights
How Arts-oriented kids fit with Kaban Montessori's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Small schools often have smaller classes with plenty of individualized learning and support, which can give your arts-oriented child the freedom to pursue their creative passions with close supervision and guidance. A smaller student community often means more group work and collaboration, which can enhance learning and enliven the creative process. Smaller schools, especially arts-focused ones, are also more likely to integrate the arts into the general curriculum, something many, though not all, artsy kids enjoy.

    Small schools tend to have fewer arts programs, classes, and extracurriculars than bigger schools. Ask what’s available, focusing specifically on your child’s areas of interest and need. For instance, if they’re keen to work on their sculpting skills, find out whether a class is offered during or after school, and whether your child is eligible for it.

  • Montessori school

    If you’re considering a Montessori school for your arts-oriented child, make sure to look into its policies regarding the arts and creativity. The Montessori approach is not known for encouraging certain kinds of creative pursuits: for instance, many Montessori schools don’t include fiction in the curriculum or offer dedicated art classes (though they do encourage creativity in other ways). If your child is highly interested in the arts and various forms of creative expression, they may find these particular schools less engaging than schools with more of an arts focus.

  • Language immersion school

    “Many arts-oriented children are curious and unconventional learners, and prefer more scope for creativity than language immersion schools sometimes allow,” says Dona Matthews, education consultant and co-author (with Joanne Foster) of Beyond Intelligence. “For these kids, the best schools are often those that are flexible enough to give them the time and energy to pursue their artistic interests both in and out of school. The added challenges provided by second-language learning can sometimes interfere with this goal and hinder a child’s creative and artistic development.”

    That said, arts-oriented students who enjoy and are good at the language arts often welcome the cognitive challenge and stimulation of learning in a different language, as this allows them to exercise their “language muscles.” If they’re hard workers who enjoy academics, a language immersion school can be an especially good fit.

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2. Select if applicable
Is your child passionate about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)?

3. See personalized insights
How STEM-oriented kids fit with Kaban Montessori's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Small schools tend to have fewer STEM programs, classes, and extracurriculars than bigger schools. Ask what’s available, focusing specifically on your child’s areas of interest and need. For instance, if they’re keen to work on their computer programming skills, find out whether a coding class is offered during or after school, and whether your child is eligible for it. Also, ask how they teach problem-solving, instill creativity and innovation, and use technology.

    Of course, since small schools often have smaller classes with plenty of individualized learning and support, they can give your child the freedom to pursue their interest in STEM with close supervision. A smaller student community often means more group work and collaboration, which can enhance learning and stimulate intellectual and creative insights. Smaller schools are also more likely to integrate STEM learning into the general curriculum, something many STEM-oriented kids enjoy.

    Just keep in mind the law of diminishing returns regarding class size. While a class of 12 or 15 students can boost engagement, a class of 4 or 5 can reduce it, since there are too few voices and perspectives to generate much meaningful interaction and discussion.

  • Montessori school

    Montessori schools’ child-centred, self-directed focus gives kids the flexibility to pursue their interests and dive deeply into STEM subjects. Their interdisciplinary and experiential approach to STEM learning will also appeal to many kids. That said, “Ensure any prospective school doesn’t allow students to focus on these subjects to the detriment of others—e.g., focusing on science or math disproportionately, while leaving other academic areas by the wayside,” says Una Malcolm, Director of Bright Light Learners. 

  • Language immersion school

    Some students may find it challenging to learn STEM subjects in a second language, as immersion schools usually require. Using an unfamiliar language can interfere with their comprehension and progress in STEM studies, which can be frustrating.

    Another concern: “Consider curious and independent learners,” says Dona Matthews, education consultant and author of Beyond Intelligence. “They often prefer more scope for exploring their interest in STEM than language immersion schools sometimes allow. For these kids, the best schools are often those that are flexible enough to give them sufficient time to pursue their passions both in school and out. The added challenge of second-language learning can sometimes interfere with this goal and hinder a child’s intellectual and creative development.”

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2. Select if applicable
Does your child have gifted learning abilities?

3. See personalized insights
How Gifted kids fit with Kaban Montessori's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Small schools are sometimes more flexible in meeting gifted learning needs. Make sure a school is willing and able to provide the right learning environment to directly address your child’s learning needs, whether it’s through a segregated gifted class, a part-time withdrawal class, or in-class adaptations such as acceleration or enrichment opportunities.

    If your child enjoys learning and competing with other high-ability learners, confirm this opportunity is available. Also, find out whether a school has extracurricular programs your child will find challenging and stimulating.

    Finally, “Smaller schools give kids opportunities to be the ‘big fish in a small pond,’ where their successes and abilities are truly highlighted,” says Una Malcolm, Director of Bright Light Learners. “Some kids enjoy this, and this can be a valuable opportunity to develop their confidence and self-esteem.”

  • Montessori school

    Montessori schools vary greatly. Some allow gifted students to accelerate their studies. Since students are given leeway to determine the focus and pace of their learning, gifted learners may choose to move quickly through their academic activities and into areas they find challenging and engaging.

    Other Montessori schools, however, are reluctant to move kids too quickly through the curriculum or to move them to a higher age-level class. These particular schools may be a poor fit for some students—especially those who test higher than the 98th or 99th percentile in terms of their learning abilities. “Because Montessori schools are not all alike, it’s important to avoid making assumptions about them. It’s prudent to check out whether the educational environment will provide a suitable learner-learning match for your child, and to keep monitoring that if you choose to enrol your child in this form of schooling,” says Joanne Foster, gifted education expert and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids.

  • Language immersion school

    Gifted students often welcome the extra challenge provided by language immersion schools, where they’ll learn all or most of their subjects in a second language. However, these schools aren’t an ideal fit for all gifted learners. “Consider, for example, a child whose strengths are her reasoning skills and conceptual mastery and who thrives on high-level discourse,” say Dona Matthews and Joanne Foster, gifted education experts and authors of Being Smart about Gifted Education. “In a French immersion program, it will take years before her knowledge of the French language is sufficiently developed to keep pace with her ideas and concept formation… This can make her school experience frustrating and boring, rather than stimulating and challenging, especially for the first few years of this kind of program.”

    Or, “Consider curious and independent learners,” says Matthews. “They often prefer more scope for exploring their own interests than language immersion schools sometimes allow. For these kids, the best schools are often those that are flexible enough to give them enough time to pursue their passions both in school and out. The added challenge of second-language learning can sometimes interfere with this goal and hinder a child’s intellectual and creative development.”

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2. Select if applicable
Does your child have special needs?

3. See personalized insights
How Special needs (general) kids fit with Kaban Montessori's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classes normally provide lots of individualized teaching and learning and one-on-one support, giving them the flexibility to accommodate students with a wide range of special needs. Some also provide learning environments that directly address special learning needs, such as segregated classes, part-time withdrawal classes, and integrated classes.

    However, “Keep in mind that some small schools only provide support for one special need,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “Ask which special need(s) a school supports, how it supports it, and whether it has teaching staff with the right training and expertise to provide this support.”

    Finally, since small schools tend to have fewer resources, ensure they have whatever’s needed to foster your child’s academic, social, and emotional development, such as guidance departments, academic and social counsellors, educational assistants, and assistive technologies.

  • Montessori school

    Students with special needs can benefit from Montessori schools’ unique emphasis on individualized learning. Since students are given the freedom to determine the focus and pace of their studies, with teacher guidance, the curriculum will be tailored to their abilities, interests, strengths, and weaknesses. This can allow a child to work on a specific area of need, such as organization or impulse control.

    That said, not all Montessori schools provide the right environment to meet the learning needs of kids with exceptionalities. “Some don’t provide the explicit, teacher-directed instruction that some research indicates is beneficial for students who learn differently,” says Una Malcolm, Director of Bright Light Learners. “Students with weak executive functioning or other learning exceptionalities, for instance, may not have the independent work skills necessary to thrive in some Montessori environments.”

    Of course, since different Montessori schools have different approaches, speak to school directors and staff to gauge whether your child is likely to be a good fit.

  • Language immersion school

    Some special needs, such as learning disabilities involving language, can make it extremely difficult to learn all or some of one’s subjects in a second language, which can impede the acquisition of literacy skills. “For example, a child with dyslexia in a French immersion program would struggle to read in both English and French without adequate intervention,” says Una Malcolm, Director of Bright Light Learners. Unfortunately, few language immersion schools have on-site specialists to support kids with language-based and other kinds of learning disabilities that can interfere with the literacy skills needed to thrive in this program.

    That said, students with special needs who enjoy and are good at the language arts often welcome the cognitive challenge and stimulation of learning in a different language, as this allows them to exercise their “language muscles.” If they’re hard workers who enjoy academics (and they don’t have a language-based learning disability), a language immersion school can be a nice fit.

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How Learning disabilities kids fit with Kaban Montessori's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classes normally provide lots of personalized learning and one-on-one teaching. This gives them the flexibility to support students with a wide range of learning disabilities (LDs), and to actively monitor their progress and development. Some also provide learning environments that directly support LDs, such as segregated classes, part-time withdrawal classes, and integrated classes. 

    However, “Keep in mind that some small schools only provide support for one type of learning disability,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “For instance, they may only support dyslexia or language-based learning disabilities." Ask which learning disability (or disabilities) a school supports, how exactly it supports it.” Finally, make sure a smaller school has out-of-class resources to support your child’s development. For instance, if they struggle with decoding language, ensure they have a reading intervention specialist on staff. 

  • Montessori school

    Many kids with learning disabilities (LDs) will find the calm and quiet learning environment of most Montessori classrooms peaceful. They can also benefit from Montessori’s special focus on individualized learning: since students can help choose their tasks, with teacher guidance, their work should be tailored to their abilities and interests. 

    That said, not all Montessori schools offer the right environment for kids with LDs. “Some don’t provide the explicit, teacher-directed instruction that some research indicates is beneficial for students who learn differently,” says Una Malcolm, Director of Bright Light Learners. “Students with weak executive functioning or other learning exceptionalities, for instance, may not have the independent work skills necessary to thrive in some Montessori environments. Also, progress monitoring and assessment tend to be qualitative and observation-based, which can be challenging for parents who prefer to track their child’s progress through more measurable data.” 

    Of course, since Montessori schools vary in their approach, speak to school directors and staff to determine whether your child is a good fit.

  • Language immersion school

    Some learning disabilities (LDs), such as those involving language, can make it extremely challenging to learn all or some of one’s subjects in a second language, as immersion programs require. “For example, a child with dyslexia in a French immersion program would struggle to read in both English and French without adequate intervention,” says Una Malcolm, Director of Bright Light Learners. “It’s thus important for parents to be aware of early signs of phonological decoding issues—or processing or reasoning issues, for that matter—since most language immersion schools do not offer intervention or support in these areas, and unfortunately this can lead to literacy difficulties in both languages.”

    That said, students with LDs who are language-oriented often enjoy the stimulation of learning in a different language, as this allows them to exercise their “language muscles.” If they work hard and enjoy academics (and they don’t have a language-based LD), a language immersion school can be a nice fit.

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Does your child have a social, emotional, or behavioural issue?

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How Social/emotional issues kids fit with Kaban Montessori's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classes normally provide lots of individualized learning and one-on-one support, giving them the flexibility to accommodate students with a range of social issues. Some also offer learning environments that directly address these kinds of special needs, such as segregated classes, part-time withdrawal classes, and breakout support groups. 

    “Students with behaviour/emotional/social issues often thrive in smaller school settings,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “These students often feel a sense of comfort and ease in knowing that all of the staff know them and understand their challenges. They can be supported in a trusting environment and have to navigate fewer social relationships, both with their peers and adults.”

    However, keep in mind that some small schools only provide support for one or two social or emotional issues, such as clinical anxiety or depression. Ask which issues a school supports, how it supports them, and whether it has teaching staff with specialized training to provide this support. Finally, since small schools tend to have fewer resources, make sure they have whatever your child needs, such as an on-site psychologist to help them with their impulse control, if this is an issue.

  • Montessori school

    Many kids with social issues will find the calm and quiet learning environment of the typical Montessori classroom soothing. “The degree of self-direction and individualization in a Montessori school can be ideal for a child experiencing mental health issues,” says Una Malcolm, Director of Bright Light Learners. “Its close-knit, supportive environment is sometimes empowering and reassuring for an anxious child, for example, who may feel more comfortable taking risks.” 

    That said, not all Montessori schools provide the right environment to meet the needs of kids with social issues or disorders. Some kids may need more supervision and one-on-one support than some Montessori schools are able to provide. “Students with severe behavioral issues, for instance, may not have the independent work skills necessary to thrive in some Montessori environments,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. Of course, since different Montessori schools have different teaching approaches and classroom environments, speak to school directors and staff to gauge whether your child is likely to be a good fit.

  • Language immersion school

    Some social issues can make it extremely difficult to stay on track in a language immersion program. For example, a child with severe anxiety may struggle to stay focused enough to keep pace with his or her peers in a French immersion program. If the school doesn't offer intervention or support for this disorder, which many immersion schools won’t, this can lead to ongoing academic (e.g., literacy) problems, and potentially compound the emotional issue.

    That said, kids with social issues who enjoy and are good at the language arts often enjoy the cognitive challenge of learning in a different language. If they’re hard workers who are strong academically (and they don’t have a severe social or emotional disorder), a language immersion school can be a nice fit.

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How Conventional learner kids fit with Kaban Montessori's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Some small schools, especially alternative ones, have smaller classes with a student-centred curriculum and an individualized approach to learning. While this benefits many kids, conventional learners often prefer a more traditional environment, with pre-planned units, teachers who deliver whole-class lectures, and lots of structure.

    That said, many schools with smaller classes, especially those which offer individualized learning, have the flexibility to accommodate a wide range of learning styles. For instance, if your child prefers direct instruction, textbook-based learning, and graded work—as many conventional learners do—a small school may be able to offer these things.

  • Montessori school

    Montessori schools’ decentralized, individualized learning environment often works well for unconventional learners. Many conventional learners, however, tend to prefer more whole-class lectures, teacher-led instruction, textbook learning, and graded work than Montessori schools tend to provide. 

    That said, since not all Montessori schools are alike, inquire about the learning environment and approach a school provides. For instance, ask if it offers whole-class lectures (and how often), direct instruction, and textbook learning.

  • Language immersion school

    Most language immersion schools cater to conventional learners, offering plenty of structure, teacher-led instruction, and clear criteria for assessment. They also enable your child to work with peers who are often motivated and studious–an environment conventional learners can thrive in. 

    That said, for conventional learners who are less academically-focused, a language immersion program—which requires students to learn all or most subjects in a second language—can be taxing. This is especially true if languages aren’t a strength for your child.

How Unconventional learner kids fit with Kaban Montessori's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Small schools tend to have smaller classes with plenty of individualized learning and independent and small group work. This can enable your unconventional learner to pursue their interests in an engaging and sometimes collaborative environment. It’s also often easier for smaller schools to set up classes of special interest for certain students—such as art history or microbiology—allowing them to pursue unique learning paths.

    Small schools normally have fewer extracurriculars for kids to explore passions and develop skills outside of class. Ask what’s available, focusing specifically on your child’s areas of interest.

  • Montessori school

    Montessori schools offer highly individualized learning, allowing your child to move through the curriculum at their own pace and and focus on areas of interest (with teacher guidance), which most unconventional learners love. Also, during two-hour-plus uninterrupted work periods, your child will have the opportunity to work independently on their own tasks, which can enhance their engagement and cultivate a love of learning. Another benefit: in a Montessori classroom, your child will sometimes work in small groups with kids of different ages, enabling them to learn from and mentor peers. 

    That said, if your unconventional learner is arts-oriented, make sure to look into a school’s policies regarding the arts and creativity. The Montessori approach is not known for encouraging certain kinds of creative pursuits: for instance, many Montessori schools don’t include fiction in the curriculum or offer dedicated art classes (though they do encourage creativity in other ways). Some artsy kids may find these particular schools less engaging than more arts-focused schools.

  • Language immersion school

    “Many unconventional learners prefer more scope for independent learning than language immersion schools sometimes allow,” says Dona Matthews, education consultant and co-author of Beyond Intelligence. “For these kids, the best schools are often those that are flexible enough to give them the time and energy to pursue their own interests both in and out of school. The added challenges provided by second-language learning can sometimes interfere with this goal and hinder a child’s academic development.”

    That said, unconventional learners who enjoy and are good at languages often welcome the extra challenge of learning in a different language. If they’re hard workers who enjoy academics, a language immersion school can sometimes be a good fit.

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How Independent learner kids fit with Kaban Montessori's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Small schools often have smaller classes with plenty of individualized learning, which can give independent learners the freedom to pursue their interests and explore their passions. It’s also often easier for smaller schools to set up classes of special interest, such as evolutionary biology or musical theory.

    Small schools tend to have fewer extracurriculars and supplemental learning options than bigger schools. Ask what’s available, focusing specifically on your child’s areas of interest. For instance, if they’re eager to work on their painting skills, find out whether an after school or lunch program is offered and whether your child is eligible for it.

  • Montessori school

    Montessori schools offer highly individualized learning, allowing your child to move through the curriculum at their own pace and focus on areas of interest (with teacher guidance), which independent learners love. Also, during two-hour-plus uninterrupted work periods, they’ll work independently on their own tasks, which can boost their engagement and foster a love of learning. One more benefit: in a Montessori classroom, your child will sometimes work in small groups with kids of different ages, where they can learn from and teach their peers. This can help them become more confident, develop critical social skills, and, if they’re on the shy side, come out of their shell. 

    That said, “Ensure any prospective school doesn’t allow students to focus on specific subjects to the detriment of others—focusing on geography, say, disproportionately, while leaving other academic areas by the wayside,” says Una Malcolm, director of Bright Light Learners.

  • Language immersion school

    “Independent learners prefer more scope for working on their own than language immersion schools sometimes allow,” says Dona Matthews, education consultant and co-author (with Joanne Foster) of Beyond Intelligence. “For these kids, the best schools are often those that are flexible enough to give them the time and energy to pursue their interests both in and out of school. The added challenges provided by second-language learning can sometimes interfere with this goal and hinder a child’s academic development.”

    That said, independent learners who enjoy and are good at the language arts often welcome the challenge of learning in a different language. If they’re hard workers who enjoy academics, a language immersion school can sometimes be a good fit. “It can also sometimes lead to interesting and gratifying learning experiences where kids get to use and practice an acquired language in different contexts,” says Foster.

How Collaborative learner kids fit with Kaban Montessori's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Small schools with smaller classes offer more opportunities for the kind of group work collaborative learners enjoy. Whether it’s discussion groups, project work, or peer-to-peer teaching, they tend to offer plenty of group activities in an inclusive environment.

    Also, “Small schools often have a family-like feeling, because the class sizes are so small,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “They form a sense of community across the grades. You get these cross-grade friendships, relationships, and mentoring if it gives certain kids leadership opportunities, something they would rarely have in a larger school.”

  • Montessori school

    Montessori schools have a child-focused educational approach with lots of individualized learning. For some schools, this includes uninterrupted independent work periods of up to three hours a day, which can be daunting for some collaborative learners.

    That said, most Montessori schools, from preschool to the secondary level, provide kids with plenty of opportunities to work in small groups on specific tasks and projects. Classrooms are also normally divided into three-year age groups, which will enable your child to both learn from and mentor their peers, something collaborative learners tend to love.

  • Language immersion school

    The demanding curriculum of language immersion schools, which requires students to learn all or most of their subjects in a second language, can sometimes be restrictive for collaborative learners. Some of these schools don’t provide enough time for the types of group learning activities collaborative learners crave. Also, learning and speaking in a foreign tongue can make it difficult for your child to communicate and interact with their classmates, which can be frustrating.

    That said, collaborative learners who enjoy and are good at the language arts often welcome the challenge of learning in a different language. If they’re hard workers and enjoy conversing, networking, and practicing the language they’re studying with others, then a language immersion school can be a good fit.

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How Anxious kids fit with Kaban Montessori's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Many small schools have smaller classes with lots of one-on-one support and close supervision to support kids with anxiety (and other emotional issues). 

    “Students with anxiety often thrive in smaller school settings,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “These students often feel a sense of comfort and ease in knowing that all of the staff know them and understand their challenges. They can be supported in a trusting environment, and they won’t have to navigate as many social relationships with kids and adults.”

    However, some small schools don’t support kids with certain anxiety disorders, especially severe ones. Ask what kinds of anxiety issues a school supports and how it delivers this support. Finally, make sure your child has access to resources they may need in class or out, such as on-site counselling.

  • Montessori school

    Many kids with anxiety will find the calm and quiet learning space of the typical Montessori classroom soothing. “Its close-knit, supportive environment can be empowering and reassuring for anxious kids,” says Una Malcolm, director of Bright Light Learners. “Montessori schools’ focus on self-direction and individualized learning can also enable them to feel more comfortable taking academic risks.” 

    However, some anxious kids may need more supervision, structure, and one-on-one support than some Montessori schools provide. Students with severe generalized anxiety, for instance, may not have the emotional resources needed to thrive in some Montessori environments, at least without extra support. Of course, since different Montessori schools have different approaches and environments, speak to school directors and staff to gauge whether your child is likely to be a good fit.

  • Language immersion school

    Anxiety can make it challenging to stay on track in a language immersion program. For instance, a child with severe generalized anxiety may lack the emotional resources and focus to keep pace with their peers in an immersion program. If a school doesn't offer intervention or support for this disorder, which most immersion schools won’t, this can lead to ongoing academic (e.g., literacy) problems and potentially exacerbate your child’s anxiety.

    That said, kids with less severe anxiety who enjoy and are good at languages often welcome the cognitive challenge of learning in a different language. If they’re hard workers who are strong academically, a language immersion school can be a nice fit.

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How ADHD kids fit with Kaban Montessori's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classes normally provide lots of individualized learning, structure, and one-on-one support, which students with ADHD tend to require. Some also offer learning environments (and special education staff) that directly support ADHD, such as segregated classes, part-time withdrawal classes, and breakout groups. 

    “Students with ADHD often thrive in smaller school settings,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “These students may feel a sense of comfort and ease in knowing that all of the staff know them and understand their challenges. They can be supported in a trusting environment, and they won’t have to navigate as many social relationships with their peers and adults.”

    However, keep in mind that some small schools don’t have the resources to accommodate kids with ADHD, especially if it’s severe. Ask what kind of support is available, both in class and out, and how it will be delivered. For instance, “do you have an in-house psychologist to work with my child on their focus and organization?”

  • Montessori school

    Many kids with ADHD will find the calm and quiet learning environment of the typical Montessori classroom soothing. Its close-knit, supportive setting can be empowering and reassuring for kids with ADHD. The self-directed learning approach may also work well for kids with ADHD, who may be able to hyperfocus on tasks they find engaging and challenging,” says Stacey Jacobs, director of Clear Path Educational Consulting. 

    However, “The self-directed nature of a Montessori classroom can sometimes allow students with ADHD to fly under the radar,” says Una Malcolm, director of Bright Light Learners. “A child with weak executive functioning skills may not have the independent work skills necessary to be successful in a Montessori environment. Additionally, parents should ask about assessment and progress monitoring. In some Montessori schools, the focus on qualitative observation for assessment can make it challenging for parents to judge how their child is doing and to monitor their progress.”

  • Language immersion school

    Students with ADHD sometimes find it challenging to stay on track in a language immersion program. For example, students with severe inattention issues may struggle to learn all or most of their subjects in a second language. If a school doesn't offer targeted intervention or support for this issue, which most immersion schools won’t, this can lead to ongoing academic (e.g., literacy) problems, and potentially exacerbate some of your child’s challenges.

    That said, kids with milder ADHD who enjoy and are good at the language arts often enjoy the cognitive challenge of learning in a different language. If they’re hard workers who are strong academically, a language immersion school can be a nice fit.

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2. Select if applicable
Is your child autistic?

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How Autistic kids fit with Kaban Montessori's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classes normally provide lots of individualized learning, structure, and one-on-one support, which students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often need. Some also offer learning environments (and special education staff) that directly support autism, such as dedicated classes, part-time withdrawal classes, and classes with breakout groups. 

    “Students with autism tend to do well in smaller school settings,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “These students may feel a sense of comfort and ease in knowing that all of the staff know them and understand their challenges. They can be supported in a trusting environment, and they won’t have to navigate as many social relationships with their peers and adults.”

    However, keep in mind that some small schools won’t be able to accommodate kids with autism, especially if a child is on the higher end of the spectrum. Ask what kind of support is available, both in class and out, and how it will be delivered. For instance, “do you have an in-house psychologist to work with my child on their communication and interaction skills?”

  • Montessori school

    Many kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will find the calm and quiet learning environment of the typical Montessori classroom soothing. “Its close-knit, supportive setting can be empowering and reassuring for kids with ASD,” says Una Malcolm, director of Bright Light Learners. “‘Montessori schools’ focus on self-direction and individualized learning may also enable them to feel more comfortable taking academic risks.” 

    That said, not all Montessori schools provide the right environment for kids with ASD. Some will require more supervision, structure, and one-on-one support than some Montessori schools provide. For instance, kids with poor executive functioning skills may struggle to function independently in some Montessori environments. Of course, since different Montessori schools have different teaching approaches and resource support, speak to school directors and staff to gauge whether your child is likely to be a good fit.

  • Language immersion school

    Autism can sometimes make it difficult to learn all or most of one’s subjects in a second language, as language immersion programs require. For instance, autistic children with poor executive functioning skills may struggle to keep up with their peers in this setting. If a school doesn't offer targeted intervention or support for this issue, which most immersion schools won’t, this can lead to ongoing academic (e.g., literacy) problems and potentially compound some of your child’s challenges.

    That said, kids with mild autism who enjoy and are good at the language arts may welcome the cognitive challenge of learning in a different language. If they’re strong academically and have strong enough executive functioning skills, a language immersion school can be a nice fit.

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Is your child dyslexic?

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How Dyslexic kids fit with Kaban Montessori's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classes normally provide lots of personalized learning and one-on-one guidance. This gives them the flexibility to support students with a range of learning disabilities (LDs), including dyslexia, and to actively monitor their progress and development. Some also provide learning environments that directly support dyslexia, such as segregated classes and part-time withdrawal classes. 

    “Keep in mind, though, that not all small schools provide support for kids with dyslexia,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “For instance, a school may only support kids with LDs involving math or numbers (like dysgraphia).” 

    Ask whether a school supports dyslexia, and if it does, how it delivers this support. Finally, make sure a smaller school has out-of-class resources that meet your child’s needs. Since your child struggles with decoding language, they may need regular visits with an on-site reading intervention specialist.

  • Montessori school

    Many kids with dyslexia (and other LDs) will find the calm and quiet learning environment of most Montessori classrooms peaceful. They can also benefit from Montessori’s special focus on individualized learning: since kids often choose their tasks, with teacher guidance, their work can be tailored to their abilities and interests. 

    That said, not all Montessori schools offer the right environment for kids with dyslexia. “Some don’t provide the explicit, teacher-directed instruction that some research indicates is beneficial for students with dyslexia,” says Una Malcolm, director of Bright Light Learners. “For instance, some students may need more help with phonic decoding than some Montessori environments are able to provide.” 

    Of course, since Montessori schools vary in their teaching approach, support systems, and resources, speak to school directors and staff to determine whether your child is a good fit.

  • Language immersion school

    Dyslexia can make it extremely challenging to learn all or most of one’s subjects in a second language, as language immersion programs require. For instance, “A child with dyslexia in a French immersion program would struggle to read in both English and French without adequate intervention,” says Una Malcolm, director of Bright Light Learners. “It’s thus important for parents to recognize early signs of phonological decoding issues—or processing or reasoning issues, for that matter—since most language immersion schools do not offer intervention or support in these areas, and unfortunately this can lead to literacy difficulties in both languages.”

    If you’re considering a language immersion school for a child with dyslexia, make sure it offers the intensive support your child requires. For instance, since your child will likely need to work closely with a reading intervention specialist on their phonic decoding, ensure one is on staff.

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THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Kaban Montessori School

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