Montessori 101 – Recommended Reading

Wondering what Montessori books to read? Here's a list of recommendations if you're brand new to Montessori, a parent of an infant or toddler, teaching Montessori at home, or want to go deeper in  your Montessori education. There’s plenty of books out there on the Montessori method and philosophy, but where do you start? Here’s a short guide to help you find the right book:

Montessori’s Own Writings

There is so much of Montessori’s own writings, it’s hard to know where to start. Her language can be a bit archaic and, on a rare occasion, her ways are out of date (particularly when she talks about the diet of a young child), but I believe reading Montessori’s own writings is essential in your Montessori education.

I’d suggest starting with The Montessori Method. You’ll get the history of the method, background on the first children’s school, how Maria developed her method, her philsophy of the child, and the different areas of the Montessori classroom.

Take it slow. It’s filled with rich goodness.

Books by Maria Montessori:

The Montessori Method

Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook: A Short Guide to Her Ideas & Materials

The Discovery of the Child

The Secret of Childhood

The Absorbent Mind

The Clio Montessori Series:

To Educate the Human Potential

Education & Peace

The Formation of Man

Education for a New World

The Child in the Family

What You Should Know About Your Child

Child, Society, & the World: Unpublished Speeches & Writings

From Childhood to Adolescence: Including Erdkinder & the Function of the University

New to Montessori?

Did you do a Google search on Montessori and were overwhelmed by the amount of information out there? Take a deep breath. Welcome…it’s a wonderful world.

How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way, Tim Seldin

Seldin’s book is quickly becoming a classic introduction to Montessori for parents. It’s filled with awesome photos and is a useful, but simple guide to incorporating Montessori at home.

The Essential Montessori: An Introduction to the Woman, the Writings, the Method, & the Movement, Elizabeth Hainstock

Hainstock provides a wonderfully condensed introduction to the Montessori world, pulling much from Montessori’s own writings. It’s a great jumping board before starting Montessori’s books.

Montessori: A Modern Approach, Paula Polk Lillard

Perhaps you’re familiar with Montessori, but would like a more comprehensive and digestibile book on the Method? Lillard’s book is an overview of pretty much all of Montessori’s work with the author’s own insights and experiences.

Montessori Today: A Comprehensive Approach to Education from Birth to Adulthood, Paula Polk Lillard

Is Montessori still relevant? What about past the preschool/primary years? What does Montessori look like applied across different ages and classrooms? If you’re asking those questions then, Montessori Today is the book for you. (Psst…It’s also our first book for the OMH Book Club this year. Come join us!)

Montessori for Infants & Toddlers?

How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way, Tim Seldin

Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, From Birth to Age Three – Paula Polk Lillard

The Joyful Child: Montessori, Global Wisdom for Birth to Three, Susan Mayclin Stephenson

Are you a parent of a Montessori student?

Montessori: Why It Matters for Your Child’s Success & Happiness, Charlotte Cushman

Montessori Madness! A Parent to Parent Argument for Montessori Education, Trevor Eissler

Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace & Courtesy, Deb Chitwood

Teaching Montessori at Home?

Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Pre-School Years, Elizabeth Hainstock

Teaching Montessori in the Home: The School Years, Elizabeth Hainstock

Teach Me to Do it Myself, Pat Thomas

Basic Montessori: Learning Activities for Under Fives, David Gettman

Looking to Go Deeper?

Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius, Angeline Stoll Lillard

The Secret of Childhood, Maria Montessori

Discovery of the Child, Maria Montessori

Spontaneous Activity in Education, Maria Montessori

The Absorbent Mind, Maria Montessori

Montessori in the Classroom: A Teacher’s Account of How Children Really Learn, Paula Polk Lillard

More About Maria Montessori?

Maria Montessori: Her Life & Work, E.M. Standing


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