With this recent publication Maren Schmidt gathers upon her full-range of Montessori experience to help parents better understand what, how, and why a Montessori education is the appropriate choice for children of all ages. As a parent, and as an authentically-trained Montessori teacher, as well as a Montessori school founder and administrator, she is able to “see” what it is parents need in order to reach an informed decision about their child’s education.

“Understanding Montessori” is exhaustive in its approach, and is a resource any Montessori school can rely upon for insights and guidance in helping parents, and potential parents, better understand what to expect from their child’s Montessori experience. The book’s thoroughness may be too broad for the casual parent browsing for simple explanations, but for diligent parents striving to know what it is about Montessori philosophy and practice that makes it so special, Schmidt’s book provides clear and comprehensive information.

In fact, the completeness of the book’s content will likely provide the basis for ongoing discussions within Montessori school communities, parent education programs or events, and even book-club type readings as the basis for group discussions with parents, teachers, and administrators.

Additionally, Schmidt sprinkles chapters with quotations and perspectives from Dr. Maria Montessori, a gentle reminder of how timely Montessori’s work continues to be.

“Understanding Montessori – A Guide for Parents” is an essential resource for every Montessori school. Importantly, Montessori teachers and administrators who read the book will better be able to respond to the questions and concerns parents may have.  Parents who read the book will be better able to comprehend and supplement their child’s experiences within their Montessori classrooms, and that will mean everyone benefits from Schmidt’s efforts—informed, supportive, committed parents, with happy children creatively learning in schools meeting the needs of the children, the parents, and the teachers…Schmidt’s book is part of this ‘portrait’ of success.

Jim Fitzpatrick is the founder and Head of School at Santa Barbara Montessori School, an AMI school on the beautiful California coast.