Which Montessori Book to Read First
Whether you’re just getting started with Montessori or you’re still in the process of deciding whether this educational philosophy is right for your child, you’ll find there is no shortage of information available to you.
After all, the Montessori method has been around for more than a century, and thousands of books, guides, and scholarly articles have been written about this popular teaching approach.
As you’re doing your research on the topic, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with the sheer amount of information available. You may find yourself asking which Montessori book to read first.
While there’s no one right answer to this question, there are a few stand-out titles worth considering as you start your journey into the depths of Montessori research and pedagogy.
Keep in mind that the first book you read on the subject should be one that meets you where you are in terms of your knowledge level and goals for Montessori. This article is intended to help you find the ideal first book to read depending on your circumstances and prior knowledge about the Montessori philosophy.
If You’re Brand New to Montessori…
No list of Montessori book recommendations would be complete without on entry on the book written by founder Maria Montessori herself. The Italian educator published the initial manuscript in 1949, and it has since been used to inform the practices of hundreds of Montessori schools as well as homeschool routines across the globe.
Appropriately, The Absorbent Mind focuses on the first six years of childhood—the period during which Montessori believed the most rapid and important learning takes place.
If You Want More Information on the Montessori Method…
Montessori: A Modern Approach by Paula Polk Lillard
Maybe you’ve done a bit of research on Montessori already, but you still want more information. Perhaps you’re on the fence about whether or not to implement the approach or you’re just not sure you grasp all of the concepts.
If this describes you, then the book you’re looking for is Montessori: A Modern Approach by Paula Polk Lillard. Despite the contemporary-sounding title, the book was first published in 1975. No worries, though—it is still highly applicable for today’s Montessori parent/teacher.
If You’re a New Parent…
Many Montessori books are focused on grade-school children, but this one emphasizes Montessori strategies that can be applied from birth. It also addresses the prenatal period, so it’s a good book to read while pregnant!
Although it was published in 1991, today’s parents continue to find it relevant even as they raise young children in a modern society. The book is short, but the author does a good job of avoiding fluff and making every word and sentence count.
If You’re Looking for Practical Montessori Advice…
Since it’s written by the President of the Montessori Foundation, you know this book is going to be a good one. How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way: A Parent’s Guide to Building Creativity, Confidence, and Independence offers proven strategies based on original Montessori educational methods along with parenting advice and encouragement.
In addition, the book contains relevant and up-to-date information on parenting approaches in modern times. A lot of Montessori books are hard to read and chock full of theory; this one is an easier, more straight-forward read with advice and strategies you can apply straight away.
If You’re Searching for Montessori Activities…
If you already have a pretty solid understanding of the Montessori pedagogy but still need ideas for how to implement these concepts at home, then this is the book you need.
Basic Montessori: Learning Activities for Under-Fives will get you started with some great activities for your child as you both transition to the Montessori approach.
The author is very good about providing practical lessons, including those you can do with minimal materials.
He even offers some tutorials on how to make your own Montessori toys, so this is also a good choice if you’re doing Montessori on a budget.
If You’re Interested in the Montessori Research…
The Montessori method sounds so appealing, but does it really work? Is the pedagogy actually backed by science?
If these are the questions on your mind, then you need to read Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius. In this book, author Angeline Stoll Lillard explains the research backing the century-old Montessori methodology. Lillard takes a systematic approach, breaking down the Montessori philosophy into nine distinct insights and then explaining the science behind each.
If you like the ideas behind the Montessori curriculum but want solid proof that the method is legitimate, this book will give you the reassurance you need to embrace Montessori whole-heartedly.
There are scores of good Montessori books out there. With no guidance, you could waste the bulk of a perfectly good afternoon bogged down in hundreds of titles that address some aspect of the ideology.
There are books for parents of infants and those for moms and dads of older children. Some texts provide resources for homeschoolers while others present advice for selecting a Montessori preschool.
And that’s not all.
There are Montessori authors who dive into the research while others are more practical, speaking from their own experience.
More distinctions exist as well. For example, some of these books are considered primary sources (i.e., those written by Maria Montessori herself) while others are authored by experts who have spent their careers researching and practicing the Montessori method.
The list we provide here is just the tip of the iceberg and is no way intended to provide an exhaustive list of the many amazing resources available to Montessori parents and teachers. Instead, it was compiled with the hope of pointing Montessori newbies to the books with the greatest potential for simplifying the pedagogy and providing practical strategies to jumpstart Montessori at home.
What are your favorite Montessori titles so far?
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