Montessori schools come in many different varieties, including public schools, private schools, charter schools, and franchised schools. Some are religious, while others are not, and the age ranges of classes can also vary. All these different options can create confusion for parents that are trying to determine the right Montessori school for their child.
Most Montessori schools are privately owned and operated and are not franchises. However, there are several “chains” of franchised Montessori schools. Most Montessori schools are not religious, although there are several privately owned under religious affiliation.
If you’re interested in Montessori school, read on. We’ll address frequently asked questions about Montessori institutions, so you have all the information you need.
Are Montessori School Franchises?
While franchising is more common among “chain” businesses (i.e., restaurants, retail, hotels, etc.), a few Montessori schools have adopted this same business model. Franchisees pay franchisors a fee plus regular royalties to use their brand and materials to open and run their own Montessori school.
Although most Montessori schools do not have a franchising option, you’ll be surprised to find there are quite a few notable Montessori franchises:
- Montessori Kids University: This school’s franchise program provides all franchisees the resources, tools, and advice needed to make your school successful. It is low-cost, making starting your own school affordable as well as rewarding. Montessori Kids University offers owners a curriculum for Montessori-based classes and childcare programs.
- Montessori League Academy: With a low cost and lots of support, Montessori League Academy’s franchising program is great for those new to franchising or owning a school, regardless if you’re accustomed to home-based curriculum or not. Montessori League Academy also offers assistance in finding a local school building if you need help doing so.
- Joyous Montessori: Offering training programs and the opportunity to shadow current franchise owners, Joyous Montessori has everything you need to get started. They offer close communication with their partners and allow each franchised school to help one another along the way.
- Children’s Magnet: With 25 years of successful schools, Children’s Magnet franchises are an excellent option to get you started in a new career. They offer a wide variety of hands-on learning techniques to include in your curriculum, including a successful STEM-inspired program. As part of their goal to help add locations across the globe, Children’s Magnet is invested in helping you not only get set up but getting your school funded.
So while most Montessori schools in the U.S. are NOT franchises, there are several reputable Montessori franchises throughout the country.
Are Montessori Schools Religious?
Privately-owned Montessori schools can be religious if owners choose to teach that way. However, this may not be the case with some Montessori franchises.
For the most part, whether your school will—or can—be religious will depend on the owner or franchisor. Generally speaking, religion is not an inherent part of Montessori-style education; therefore, schools choose to follow a similar guideline as public schools and their religious policies: no faith or belief is viewed as “wrong,” but it is also not a part of the curriculum or class discussions.
However, you will still find a few Montessori schools that base their curriculum on religious beliefs or are run under religious affiliation.
Do Montessori Schools Celebrate Holidays?
Many Montessori schools do recognize holidays, but how they schedule time off from school around these days of the year or celebrate in the classroom may depend on the franchisor or owner.
Do Montessori Schools Have Sports?
Some (but not many) Montessori schools do offer sports for their students. The Montessori way encourages real-life experiences for students, and sports can provide children with a chance to develop key skills such as coordination, teamwork, and social skills. It also helps them get the exercise they need to stay healthy.
However, it’s worth noting that some advocates of Montessori education believe that sports encourage competition, which goes against Maria Montessori’s idea of the ideal learning environment for students. Therefore, not every school you encounter will have sports as an extracurricular activity.
Do Montessori School Require Vaccinations?
This all depends on the guidelines provided by each state. All Montessori schools must follow the CDC state requirements for vaccines. However, some states offer exemptions for certain circumstances, such as health issues, religious beliefs, philosophical opinions, and more that may apply to your school.
Do Montessori Schools Use Common Core Curriculum?
For the most part, Montessori schools focus their teachings along the same lines as public schools’ national and state curriculum. Most of them follow common core learning and adhere to standardized testing as well; the only difference is the method in which topics are taught.
If you are a private Montessori school, you do not necessarily have to follow state guidelines. Nevertheless, most still do because this can best prepare any student who may transfer schools in the future.
Additionally, those who teach the Montessori way mostly believe that public schools’ common core is a great foundation for teaching students important concepts. However, by adding the Montessori element, these teachings go beyond memorization and require kids to develop and apply problem-solving and other hands-on skills that can be transferred to the real world.
As you can see, there is no “one” kind of Montessori school. They come in all different varieties, including public, private, religious, non-religious, and offer varying age ranges and extracurricular activities.
To find out what Montessori school is best for your child, inquire about your local Montessori institutions for more information.
To learn about how Montessori schools are accredited and licensed, click here.