Books for Adults

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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!

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6 Comments on “Books for Adults

  1. Posotive Discipline by Jane Nelson. It’s not exactly Montessori but I learned about it in my assistant teacher training. There are several more specific editions as well. I’m currently reading birth to three. It helps remind me of how I need to behave to help my daughter best.

  2. I admire and appreciate your much needed work, and I thank you for it! Parents might like lovely little book is “At Home With Montessori” by Patricia Oriti. Parents at Austin Montessori School find this book a great help. Donna Bryant Goertz, school founder and director emrita, author of “Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful.”

  3. I admire and appreciate your much needed work, and I thank you for it! A lovely little book parents might also find informative and inspiring is “At Home With Montessori” by Patricia Oriti. Parents at Austin Montessori School find this book a great help. Donna Bryant Goertz, school founder and director emerita, author of “Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful.”

    • Dear Donna, thank you so much for these recommendations! I wasn’t aware of “At Home with Montessori”, it sounds like a lovely gem! I have your book on my “most wanted” list and hope to get it soon!

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