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Family Support Materials

If you’re new to Montessori, you probably have questions galore.

Why are children grouped in multi-age classes? Why are they allowed to walk around the classroom so much? How can students keep up if they’re not all learning the same thing at the same time?

Yes, Montessori schools may be different from schools with which you are already familiar. The uninterrupted work time, the emphasis on learning through experience and exploration—these are among the unique hallmarks of a Montessori education, an approach that inspires children to become self-motivated, lifelong learners. 

The AMS Web site offers a primer to the world of Montessori education.  For further information, we’re pleased to suggest these additional sources.


For lively, easy-to-understand overviews of Montessori education and related topics, we recommend the following articles:

Bishop, Geoffrey. “Learning through Nature: A Real-Life Testimonial.” From Montessori Life, Fall 2013.

Black, Beth. "The First Time." From Montessori Life, Spring 2011.

Herman, Jana Morgan. “Montessori Parent: Proactive Planning: One Parent’s Approach.” From Montessori Life, Winter 2013 – 14.

Jensen, Staci. “Montessori Parent: Bringing Montessori Home.” From Montessori Life, Fall 2013.

Kordas, Mary Ellen. “Montessori from My Perspective.” February 2014.

Korngold, K.T. “Montessori Parent: Creating Emotional Safety around Tantrums and Crying.” From Montessori Life, Summer 2014.

McTamaney, Catherine. “On the Topic of Toileting.” This article first appeared in M: The Magazine for Montessori Families, March/April 2006.

Patton, Melody. “Montessori Parent: Separation: The Beginning of Letting Go.” From Montessori Life, Fall 2014.

Peters, Dane. “Montessori Transitions: Into, Within and Beyond.” This article first appeared in the 2011 Edition of The Parents League Review. Included here by permission of The Parents League Review.

Shortridge, P. Donohue. “Montessori Parent: Your Smartphone or Your Life.” From Montessori Life, Spring 2014.

Shortridge, P. Donohue. “The Montessori Family’s Role.”*

Shortridge, P. Donohue. “Discipline as Guidance.”*

Shortridge, P. Donohue. “Spring Cleaning as Brain Food.”*

* P. Donohue Shortridge, Montessori consultant and family coach, generously shared these articles with us. For more of her articles for Montessori parents, visit Donohue’s website.


Even a casual Web search for books about Montessori will yield many hundreds of titles. Here’s our short list of works that speak directly to parents, along with recommended books about childrearing that reflect the Montessori approach. 

Britton, Lesley. Montessori Play and Learn: A Parents Guide to Purposeful Play from Two to Six.

Deak, JoAnn. Girls Will Be Girls: Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters.

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

Galinksy, Ellen. Ask the Children: The Breakthrough Study That Reveals How to Succeed at Work and Parenting.
Galinsky, Ellen, and David, Judy. Ask the Children: What America’s Children Really Think About Working Parents.
Galinksy, Ellen. Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs.
Galinksy, Ellen. The Six Stages of Parenthood.

Hainstock, Elizabeth G. The Essential Montessori: An Introduction to the Woman, the Writings, the Method, and the Movement.
Hainstock, Elizabeth G. Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Pre-school Years.
Hainstock, Elizabeth G. Teaching Montessori in the Home: The School Years.

Lillard, Paula Polk. Montessori: A Modern Approach.
Lillard, Paula Polk. Montessori in the Classroom: A Teacher's Account of How Children Really Learn.
Lillard, Paula Polk. Montessori Today: A Comprehensive Approach to Education from Birth to Adulthood

McFarland, Jim, and McFarland, Sonnie. Montessori Parenting: Unveiling the Authentic Self.

Nelsen, Jane. Positive Discipline books

Pitamic, Maja, and McCarthy, Claire. Child's Play: Montessori Games and Activities for Your Baby and Toddler.

Schmidt, Maren, with Schmidt, Dana. Understanding Montessori: A Guide for Parents.

Thompson, Michael, and Barker, Teresa. It’s a Boy! Your Son’s Development from Birth to Age 18.
Thompson, Michael, and Kindlon, Dan. Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys.

Wolf, Aline. A Parents’ Guide to the Montessori Classroom.
Wolf, Aline. Montessori Insights for Parents of Young Children.
Wolf, Aline. World of the Child: A Fable for Parents.


These magazines, published by AMS and other leading Montessori organizations, offer a wealth of insight and information about Montessori education.

  • Montessori International, published quarterly by the Montessori St. Nicholas Charity, features articles about child development and activity ideas for school and home. 
  • Montessori Lifethe American Montessori Society’s award-winning quarterly publication,  is available through membership with AMS. Subscriptions without membership are also available; visit Shop AMS.
  • Tomorrow’s Child, published 5 times a year by The Montessori Foundation, explores the questions parents ask most often about the Montessori approach, at school and at home.


To understand Montessori, there’s nothing like seeing it in action. The following titles can all be found on the American Montessori Society's Vimeo channel:

“Living Montessori: The Parent Perspective”

“Living Montessori: Stephen Curry & Family” 

“Living Montessori: Inside the Classroom” 

These videos are excerpts from DVDs produced by Eric Johnson of Educational Video Publishing; several of the DVDs were created in partnership with AMS. Our thanks to Eric for sharing these links with us.

“Following Your Child: A Montessori Philosophy of Parenting”

“Preparation for Life:  Montessori Infant-Toddler Communities"

“Montessori for the Early Childhood Years”

“Imagine a School: Montessori for Elementary Age Children”

“Montessori Middle School for the 21st Century”

“Educating for Peace: The Essence of Montessori”

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