Maria Montessori was influenced by many of her contemporaries in the fields of philosophy, science and medicine. She used her knowledge of the scientific method and her experience as a doctor to inform her studies in child development and education. She believed that the educational philosophy she developed belonged to the world and while she was encouraged to patent her name or brand, she refused to do so. At the turn of the 20th century, the Montessori movement grew because of its dedication to the betterment of the human condition- our children.

Montessori principles are based on the needs of the child at each stage of their development. Her philosophy is not about what is convenient for the parents, but what is necessary for the child. It is like looking at childhood as an investment with the returns coming in the distant future.

You may be a Montessori parent at this very moment and not know it! To clarify, there are basic principles that you live by which are shared in the Montessori philosophy. Creating an environment and having school policies which put the child first makes this possible; this is the mandate of Maple Leaf Montessori.


Accreditation: Know you’re getting "true" Montessori

The need for accreditation grew to set schools apart. How could parents know they had found a ‘true’ Montessori school, not just in name but also in philosophy? An accredited school guarantees that each class is fully equipped to Montessori’s specifications, has three age groupings (ages 3-6 years), five day a week programs and MACTE accredited teachers. It is not enough to have educated, experienced staff if they are not given the tools to do the best job they have been trained to do. A Montessori classroom is costly to set up. However, parents who are sincere about wanting their child to get the full Montessori experience should expect nothing less than the best.

Consistency: Children function most successfully with routines

Maria Montessori advocated the necessity for routine. Children need to wake up to a ‘sameness’ every day. They are calmer, more focused, more secure and therefore more empowered when each day has a routine that they can internalize. This viewpoint is common among educators and child psychologists alike. Over the last several years, the results of many independent research studies have verified this. An accredited Montessori school, which has vowed to respect and continue Maria Montessori’s work, only offers five day a week programs.


Multi-age groupings: Respecting the diversity amongst children

Our Montessori classrooms have the following age groups within them: 3 to 6 year olds, 6 to 9 year olds and 9 to 12 year olds. This allows teachers the flexibility of grouping children for lessons based on their capabilities—not their age. Children do not have to skip a grade if they are an early reader nor be held back if they experience challenges when there are multi-age groupings within the same class. The Montessori environment has been created specifically to allow students the opportunity to stay with their peers while being academically stimulated in the subjects they are exceptional in. It is a gift socially and academically.

Highly qualified teachers

Accredited Montessori schools only hire their teaching staff from accredited training centres. The organization that accredits Montessori training centres is called Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education. Parents should ask at which training centres a school’s teachers have studied to verify whether it has been MACTE approved. It is also easy to find out whether a school has had some sort of accreditation done. The following organizations have lists on their website or that can be requested: Canadian Council of Montessori AdministratorsAMI International.