Essential Elementary Reading

Whether you are a home-schooler, new teacher or new to elementary Montessori these are the essential books to read to start your journey as a prepared adult.








1. The Advanced Montessori Method Volume 1 (Maria Montessori)

Also known as Spontaneous Activity in Education, this book is the hallmark of Dr Montessori's early analysis of the Montessori method as it applies to the 6 - 12 year old child. It focuses on the psychological and developmental aspects of the elementary child.

Available through Project Gutenberg.

2. The Advanced Montessori Method Volume 2 (Maria Montessori) 

Also known as The Montessori Elementary Material, this book deals with the more practical side of elementary learning and outlines the materials for grammar, reading, geometry, mathematics, drawing, music and metrics. This is an important resources as we often come across conflicting instructions or articles, here we can find some clarity and a reminder that it is the principles that should guide us.

Available through Project Gutenberg.

3. To Educate the Human Potential (Maria Montessori)

The first few chapters discuss the child on the second plane of development, followed by several chapters outlining the cosmic plan to be "presented to the child as a thrilling tale of the earth which we live in". This is cosmic education in a nutshell.


4. From Childhood to Adolescence (Maria Montessori) 

Montessori outlines the characteristics of the child on the second plane of development and some of the topics to be covered. Some of the science may be a little out of date, yet the  ideas presented are what is important. In Appendix B Montessori outlines study and work plans for the elementary child.

5. Psychogeometry (Maria Montessori) 

Translated into English for the first time in 2011 this volume gives a deep insight into not only how geometry unfolds in the elementary years but also the education of the elementary child in general. After reading this book I reworked my Geometry album and amended many parts of my other albums as well.

6. Children of the Universe: Cosmic Education in the Montessori Elementary Classroom (Michael and D'Neil Duffy)

This elementary must have has recently been revised and updated. The book provides a clear outline of the cosmic curriculum and its important to the child on the second plane of development in a modern and accessible context. It also includes an excellent set of appendices complete with a scope and sequence and suggested resources.

7. The Deep Well of Time (Michael Dorer)

Recently released by master story teller and acclaimed Montessorian Michael Dorer. This comprehensive guide provides insights on howto become an accomplished story teller and also includes stories, illustrations and diagrams aligned with the cosmic curriculum.


Whether we are new to Montessori or seasoned veterans, we are all constantly reflecting upon and renewing our practice and approach. We are always reading and re-reading as part of this practice. As we gain experience and insights we find new aspects within these texts to guide us on our journey.

What other books are essential to your ongoing reflection and development?


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