While I love and treasure Dr. Montessori’s words, I find that most of her books are a bit overwhelming for many parents who are learning the basics of the approach. Luckily, Montessori parents and educators have written great books that clearly explain how and why Montessori works. Start with a couple of these books and then by all means dive into one of Dr. Montessori’s texts.
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By Parents, For Parents (Montessori-Specific Books)
The Montessori Toddler by Simone Davies
Simone is a Montessori parent and educator, whose work focuses on those crucial first few years of a child’s life. Her stunning book makes Montessori accessible for all parents.
Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful by Donna Bryant Goertz
One of the most important books about the Montessori elementary years. Donna’s book explores the transformation of 12 children who enter a Montessori elementary classroom and shows how positive change can be brought about with the right environment, community and guidance.
Montessori From the Start: The Child at Home from Birth to Age Three by Paula Polk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen
This is another mother-daughter team that tackles the important early years of childhood development. The book can seem a bit overwhelming at times, especially to a parent of a newborn looking for simple information, but it does a good job of explaining the child’s developmental stages and needs.
Montessori Madness: A Parent-to-Parent Argument for Montessori Education by Trevor Eissler
Trevor is a Montessori parent and writes in a friendly and approachable manner about the main aspects of Montessori and how they help children reach their potential. It includes information on the Elementary years.
Understanding Montessori: A Guide for Parents by Maren and Dana Schmidt
Maren and Dana are a mother-daughter team of Montessori teachers whose goal is to help parents understand Montessori and learn what to look for in a quality school.
How to Raise an Amazing Child, the Montessori Way by Tim Seldin
Tim is the president of the Montessori Foundation, a non-profit organization that fosters awareness of the Montessori approach. The book has beautiful pictures and focuses on home-based activities for children ages 0-6.
What the Research Says
Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius by Dr. Angeline Lillard
Dr. Lillard explains each principle of the Montessori approach and outlines current research studies that corroborate the effectiveness of the Method. This book is not touchy-feely; it was written by an academic and reads like a textbook. I absolutely LOVE it and feel it offers fascinating insights and confirmation of Dr. Montessori’s vision and genius.
Parenting Books that Align with the Montessori Approach
Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen
Say What You See (for parents and teachers) by Sandra Blackard
How to Talk so Kids Will Listen… by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlich
Siblings Without Rivalry by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlich
The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey
How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims
The Self-Driven Child by Willian Stixrud
Dr. Montessori’s Books
Maria Montessori’s books can be purchased through the NAMTA website.
The Absorbent Mind
This is Dr. Montessori’s chef d’ouvre, a powerful tome that synthesizes a lifetime of discoveries. I’ve read it probably seven times, but I could read it seven hundred more and still find new layers of wisdom and insight. This book is like the finest of chocolate truffles, best enjoyed by taking one little bite at a time and savoring its complexity.
The Child In the Family
This is a great book that discusses the parents’ role in the child’s development, and the impact of our parenting decisions. It’s easier to assimilate than The Absorbent Mind, yet it’s also written in the beautiful and inspiring prose that all of Dr. Montessori’s books share.
From Childhood to Adolescence
A short but information-packed book that discusses Dr. Montessori’s philosophy for elementary and beyond.
Do you have a favorite Montessori book? Share it in the comments!