Growing up, I’ve attended different kinds of traditional schools – be it international, private and public. While most of my primary years revolved around private institutions, when it came to my son, I opted for a Montessori school near our home.

A lot of people I’ve talked to have both strong and negative feelings about the Montessori approach. I, myself, am amazed with what my son has vastly learned for the past year under a Montessori curriculum but I still have some area of concerns regarding their philosophy. It’s impossible to like everything to a maximum extent, don’t you think? So to shed light on this matter and to know if Montessori is for your child or not, here’s the outline for this article:

  • What is Montessori?
  • How much is an acceptable tuition fee for a Montessori school in the Philippines?
  • Montessori vs Traditional school Philippines
  • Cons of Montessori
  • List of Montessori Schools in the Philippines and their Tuition Fees
  • Is Montessori for you and what are the other alternatives?

What is Montessori?

  • Montessori education is characterized by self-directed activity, hands-on learning, and collaborative play.
  • It is organized into three age groups: infant/toddler (ages 0 to 3), primary (ages 3 to 6), and elementary (ages 6 to 12).
  • They have a different set of learning materials such as the pink tower, checkerboards and wooden letter set.
  • Focuses on practical life skills such as slicing fruits, pouring liquid, arranging flowers, setting the table, and many more.
  • Unlike traditional schools, children in a Montessori school have the freedom to learn at their own pace and pursue their interests. They are not confined to a rigid classroom structure and are taught skills based on what interests them.

How much is acceptable tuition fee for a Montessori school in the Philippines?

What is considered acceptable is what fits within your budget and is in line with your goals for your child. For some, a tuition of P1M is affordable because it matches their budget and aligns with their criteria for a school that complements the upbringing of their child beyond the home environment.

From my observation, authentic Montessori schools or those called the “high fidelity” ones are really expensive and can range from P70k to P200k annually. So a tuition fee of P70k is already a good deal.

Be wary that there are schools that are a mix of the Montessori approach and traditional schooling approach – thus, they aren’t accredited and aren’t considered high-fidelity but have still adopted the word “montessori”.

In this case, it is the parents’ preference as to opting for an authentic school or one with a mixed approach. My advise is to do thorough research and to constantly ask questions about the curriculum. If the school doesn’t give a direct answer if they are authentic or not, look out for some signs which I have shared below.

Montessori vs Traditional school Philippines

Let’s dive deeper into comparing Montessori and traditional schools across different categories with specific examples to illustrate their contrasting approaches:

1. Philosophy of Education

Montessori: In a Montessori classroom, you might see children freely choosing activities based on their interests and developmental readiness. For instance, a child might select to work with the Binomial Cube to explore mathematical concepts independently.

Traditional: In a traditional classroom, the teacher leads a structured lesson on multiplication tables, using textbooks and worksheets to ensure students cover specific topics according to a predetermined curriculum.

2. Classroom Environment

Montessori: A Montessori classroom may feature mixed-age groups engaged in collaborative learning. Younger children might learn from older peers, fostering a sense of community and mutual support.

Traditional: In a traditional classroom, children of the same age are grouped together. Desks are arranged in rows facing the teacher’s desk and whiteboard, promoting a structured learning environment focused on teacher-led instruction.

3. Curriculum and Learning Approach

Montessori: Montessori language learning involves tactile activities like tracing sandpaper letters to explore phonics, allowing children to develop literacy skills through multisensory experiences.

Montessori also has their own materials and way of teaching the alphabet and phonics which is why my son was able to learn to read fast.

Traditional: A traditional school’s language arts curriculum might involve reading textbooks and completing comprehension exercises to reinforce reading comprehension skills.

4. Teacher Role

Montessori: A Montessori teacher observes children’s interests and readiness, then introduces new materials and activities based on individual needs. For instance, if a child shows interest in insects, the teacher may offer related reading materials and exploratory activities.

Traditional: In a traditional classroom, the teacher delivers lessons, provides explanations, and assigns tasks based on a predetermined schedule and curriculum outline.

5. Assessment and Evaluation

Montessori: There is no “awards system”. If you’re a parent who seeks medals and recognitions for your child then Montessori may not be for you.

Assessment in Montessori involves continuous observation of a child’s progress and mastery of skills through interactions with materials and peers. Progress reports may focus on developmental milestones and individual growth.

Traditional: In a traditional setting, students are assessed using standardized tests and graded assignments to measure academic performance against specific benchmarks and criteria.

6. Social and Emotional Development

Montessori: Montessori promotes social skills through collaborative activities like preparing snack together or working on group projects, fostering cooperation and empathy among children.

Traditional: Traditional schools emphasize social development through structured activities like team sports, group discussions, and following classroom rules.

Cons of Montessori

I am not the type of person who sings praises of what I like without pointing out its downsides. To make a sound judgement, one must not only look at the pros but should also dig deeper on the cons as well.

  • As mentioned earlier, one of the most appealing aspects of the Montessori approach is its child-led nature. If a child shows a strong interest in something, they are encouraged to focus on that rather than being compelled to engage in activities they find uninteresting and may struggle with. However, this approach could have negative consequences like mentioned in an article by SheKnows.

For instance, one 2-1/2-year-old student in the class could write her name effortlessly, whereas an almost-7-year-old peer in the same class couldn’t write his name at all. Despite his name being just three letters long, his lack of interest in writing meant, according to Montessori philosophy, that he was not required to do it. The teachers refrained from urging him or saying, “You’re 7 years old; you should know how to write your name.”

  • Another consequence would be the idea that a child will be able to feel successful without anyone telling him, “Great job!” Personally, for both kids and adults, I think positive reinforcement is essential for promoting desired behaviors and fostering a supportive and encouraging environment.
  • Another thing worth noting is that the Montessori philosophy emphasizes using authentic materials. Instead of plastic cups, children use real glass cups – something my son and I abide by at home. The idea is that by using real items, children learn that they shouldn’t just drop anything they want and that they should know the consequences of their actions and develop responsibility.

Initially, this approach made sense to me as my son is now trained to hold cutlery and utensils carefully. However, when I considered giving him a sharp knife at the age of 3, I became hesitant. Of course, the Montessori philosophy implores using real knives instead of plastic butter knives. What initially seemed like advanced and progressive methods in Montessori education started to feel unsafe to me.

  • Lastly, one of the biggest issues I’ve heard is that there aren’t a plethora of Montessori high schools and colleges in the Philippines, just a few. Kids may have a tough time adapting to a “regular” school later on, especially after being used to the more flexible Montessori setup.

If you have answers to these concerns, you may share your 2 cents in the comments section below and enlighten us with what you know.

Montessori vs Traditional school Philippines : Which is better?

I don’t think one is better that the other. While the Montessori approach emphasizes child-led learning, hands-on exploration, and holistic development, the traditional schooling that focuses on structured instruction and academic achievement has undoubtedly produced a widespread of successful people.

So the choice between these educational approaches depends on the needs, learning style, and values of your child and family.

List of Montessori Schools in the Philippines and Tuition Fee Costs

When exploring Montessori, it’s natural to draw comparisons with traditional or conventional educational models but that doesn’t mean that we think of ourselves as superior.

Celebrating Montessori’s merits doesn’t imply criticizing other methods. It simply involves sharing the positive aspects of an educational approach that has proven effective for many children and hopefully for my kid as well.

Montessori Schools in the Philippines Tuition Fees

Below is a list of Montessori schools in the Philippines along with their corresponding school fees. Please note that certain fee information may be from prior years due to the current figures not being publicly accessible.

*Do note these are a mix of authentic and mix approached schools.

Appleseed MontessoriBGC, TaguigPrice starts at P29,900 for toddler classesSource
The Abba’s OrchardMuntinlupaAnnual fees are approximately P150,000Source
The Abba’s OrchardMckinley Hill, Ft BonifacioAnnual fee sarts at Php140,000 Source
The Philippine Montessori Center27 Queensville cor. Joeylane St., White Plains Subdivision, Quezon City
P180,000 per kid, +tuition depositSource (join the group first)
Casa Montessori Internationale43 McKinley Road, Forbes Park South, MakatiP530,000 as of the year 2017Source
Casa de Vida MontessoriCainta, RizalP92,000Source (join the group first)
Children’s Paradise Montessori SchoolMandaue (Cebu)P51,100Source
Discovery House Montessori of Quezon cityNorth Fairview, Quezon cityAround P47,000+Source (join the group first)
DML Montessori SchoolQuezon CityP69,700 for a 2-year old, as of 2018Source
Family Montessori Preschool of LoyolaLoyola Heights, Quezon City /
San Roque, Marikina
P110,000Source (join the group first)
I.D.E.A.S. MontessoriCapitol Hills, Quezon CityP130,000+ as of 2019Source
Integrated Montessori CenterTaguigP70,500 – P94,600 as of 2020Source 1
Source 2 (join the group first)
Las Pinas Montessori SchoolLas PinasP48,000+Source
Josemaria MontessoriLas PiñasP65,000 as of 2019Source
Learning Garden Montessori SchoolBF Homes, ParañaqueP81,500 to P84,000 as of 2020; adjusted to conduct blended learning Source
Maria Montessori Foundation (Ayala Alabang)AlabangP178,730 as of 2015Source
Maria Montessori Children’s SchoolMerville Park, ParanaqueP160,000Source (join the group first)
Montessori De Manila (MDM)BF HomesP76,000 as of 2022Source (join the group first)
OB MontessoriSan JuanP110,000 to P160,000Source1
Source 2 (join the group first)
Prime MontessoriLagro, Quezon city Around P55,000 or moreSource (join the group first)
Redfield MontessoriGreenwoods Executive Village , Pasig, PhilippinesEstimate of P10,000 per monthSource (join the group first)
Richfield Montessori School of ManilaAlegria St, Sampaloc, ManilaP36,000 to P70,000Source
Saint Paul’s MontessoriConcepcion Uno, MarikinaP35,000 as of 2019Source
Smallville Montessori53 Horizon Street, North Rim View Park Concepcion Dos, MarikinaP93,000 to P96,000Source
St. Dominic Montessori de ManilaTondo, `ManilaP38,000 as of 2015Source

Is Montessori for you?

Tuition fees of Montessori Schools in the Philippines may be exorbitantly high but many have said that the high prices are worth it. Consequently, a handful of people have shared their unpleasant experiences making them stick to traditional schools.

So how do you know if the Montessori method is for you? One way to assess is by reading forums in Reddit. Don’t just go for the positive comments but read through people’s first-hand experiences and horror stories as well.

Additionally, not all Montessori schools adhere strictly to Maria Montessori’s principles, so finding a school that authentically practices the Montessori method is crucial. Ultimately, the key is to prioritize what best suits your child and family’s values and educational goals, whether it’s through a Montessori setting or another educational approach (perhaps John Dewey or Reggio Emilia) that resonates with your family’s needs.

Related Articles:

List of Montessori Schools in the Philippines and Tuition Fee Costs

By Ameena Rey-Franc

Recognized as one of the Top Finance Blogs in the PH. Ameena Rey-Franc (founder of TTP) is a former Banker and BS Accountancy graduate turned Blogger, Keynote Speaker, and entrepreneur. Currently an RFP delegate, she is also the Author of a book about Financial Resilience and has held seminars for reputable companies like GrabFoodPH, Pru Life UK, VISA, JPMorgan Chase& Co., Paypal, Fundline, Moneymax, and many more. The Thrifty Pinay's mission is to empower women to LEARN, EARN, and be FINANCIALLY-INDEPENDENT no matter what life stage they are in.

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