I am always very excited when a friend or acquaintance approaches me asking about Montessori. This can also be an intimidating situation, though– how to explain Montessori in a way that is both concise and thorough? I want to give them a stack of books to read, as there are many wonderful resources written both by Maria Montessori and by other authors since her time… but sometimes I’ll hesitate the recommend those right off the bat, especially if the inquirer is a parent of a young child and has little free time. I’m afraid of overwhelming them with too much information all at once, or giving them a dense book that they start reading but then set aside and forget about.
So usually my first recommendation is How To Raise An Amazing Child the Montessori Way by Tim Seldin. This book manages to provide a solid introduction to the Montessori philosophy while still being a light (aka non-intimidating) read. The author explains a few of the key aspects of Montessori, its advantages, how Montessori classrooms work, and suggestions for building a Montessori-like environment in your home with your own children, starting from infancy. The text is accompanied by beautiful pictures to help illustrate the concepts. I feel that this is a pretty great way for someone to get a feel for what Montessori is all about.
This book also serves as a great resource for parents, for quick reviews of Montessori philosophy and how to use Montessori at home. I confess, I tend to keep it near my bedside table to look through for a few moments at night as a reminder of how to incorporate Montessori into daily life with a toddler. Thus, not only is this a great book for newcomers wanting to learn about Montessori, it can also be quite useful even for more experienced Montessorians wanting to use these same ideals at home with our children.