Best Maria Montessori Quotes For Parents on Education, Peace, Nature, + More

maria montessori quotes

Wondering how to begin implementing Montessori at home without feeling overwhelmed? I've rounded up the best Dr. Maria Montessori Quotes to help parents quickly understand what Dr. Montessori intended with her work, and to act as a guiding light for following the montessori philosophy at home!

For example, the most famous Maria Montessori quote is “play is the work of the child”. I hope parents keep this in mind as a gentle reminder to never feel guilty or bad about letting your child play all day; especially in the 0-6 years old range! Playing is actually the key to their education, evolution, self esteem, and so much more!

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Who is Maria Montessori?

Dr. Maria Montessori is probably one of the most well-known early childhood educators. She developed the Montessori Method in the early 1900s, which is an educational approach that used her scientific observation and experience from her earlier work with young children. Today, we commonly see parents gravitating towards Montessori education due to its success, and many parents adapting Montessori's method to practice what is commonly known today as “montessori at home.”

Best Maria Montessori Quotes

A few of my favorite Maria Montessori Quotes that guide our montessori parenting: 

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” 

“Do not tell them how to do it. Show them how to do it and do not say a word. If you tell them, they will watch your lips move. If you show them, they will want to do it themselves.”

“The greatest gifts we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” 

“All that we ourselves are has been made by the child, by the child we were in the first two years of our lives.” – great reminder for toddler moms from The Absorbent Mind.

“Development is a series of rebirths.” – for parents to remember during tantrums and regression! sourced from The Absorbent Mind

best maria montessori quotes for parents! Especially this quote for moms of toddlers!

“Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.” – Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook

“I give very few lessons on how to give lessons, lest my suggestions – becoming stereotyped and parodied – should turn into obstacles instead of help. The directress [head of montessori school] is dealing with different personalities; and it therefore becomes more a question of how she should orient herself in what is for her a new world, rather than of any rigid or absolute rules.” – one of the most forgotten lessons I see amongst Montessori enthusiasts today! Maria Montessori Her Life and Work by E.M. Standing (p. 307)

“The teacher… must have a kind of faith that the child will reveal himself through work.” – The Absorbent Mind

“‘Wait while observing.’ That is the motto of the educator.“

“The child must learn by his own individual activity, being given a mental freedom to take what he needs, and not to be questioned in his choice. Our teaching must only answer the mental needs of the child, never dictate them. Just as a small child cannot be still because he is in need of coordinating his movements, so the older child, who may seem troublesome in his curiosity over the why, what and wherefore of everything he sees, is building up his mind by this mental activity, and must be given a wide field of culture on which to feed.” – To Educate the Human Potential

“Praise, help, or even a look, may be enough to interrupt him, or destroy the activity. It seems a strange thing to say, but this can happen even if the child merely becomes aware of being watched. After all, we too sometimes feel unable to go on working if someone comes to see what we are doing. The great principle which brings success to the teacher is this: as soon as concentration has begun, act as if the child does not exist. Naturally, one can see what he is doing with a quick glance, but without his being aware of it.” – The Absorbent Mind

“The first essential for the child’s development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy.” 

best maria montessori quotes for parents practicing montessori at home or choosing a montessori education!

Maria Montessori Quotes (General): 

“The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.” 

“The child has a mind able to absorb knowledge. He has the power to teach himself.” – The Absorbent Mind

“The purpose of life is to obey the hidden command which ensures harmony among all and creates an ever better world. We are not created only to enjoy the world, we are created in order to evolve the cosmos.”

“Education is a work of self-organization by which man adapts himself to the conditions of life.”

“The child’s development follows a path of successive stages of independence, and our knowledge of this must guide us in our behaviour towards him. We have to help the child to act, will and think for himself. This is the art of serving the spirit, an art which can be practised to perfection only when working among children.” – The Absorbent Mind

“The child has a different relation to his environment from ours… the child absorbs it. The things he sees are not just remembered; they form part of his soul.  He incarnates in himself all in the world about him that his eyes see and his ears hear.” – The Absorbent Mind

“There are many who hold, as I do, that the most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age of six. For that is the time when man’s intelligence itself, his greatest implement, is being formed. But not only his intelligence; the full totality of his psychic powers.” – The Absorbent Mind

best maria montessori quotes for parents

“The respect and protection of woman and of maternity should be raised to the position of an inalienable social duty and should become one of the principles of human morality.”

“Everyone in the world ought to do the things for which he is specially adapted. It is the part of wisdom to recognize what each one of us is best fitted for, and it is the part of education to perfect and utilize such predispositions. Because education can direct and aid nature but can never transform her.”

“Early childhood education is the key to the betterment of society.”

“Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.”

Maria Montessori Quotes On Peace: 

“If help and salvation are to come, they can only come from the children, for the children are the makers of men.”

“Education is the best weapon for peace.” – 1937 lecture by Dr. Montessori in Copenhagen

“The child is capable of developing and giving us tangible proof of the possibility of a better humanity. He has shown us the true process of construction of the human being. We have seen children totally change as they acquire a love for things and as their sense of order, discipline, and self-control develops within them…. The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.” – Education and Peace

“Personal health is related to self-control and to the worship of life in all its natural beauty – self-control bringing with it happiness, renewed youth, and long life.”

“If the whole of mankind is to be united into one brotherhood, all obstacles must be removed so that men, all over the surface of the globe, should be as children playing in a garden”

best montessori quotes for parents practicing montessori philosophy at home or wanting to learn more about the montessori method

“Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.”

“An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live.” – Education and Peace

Maria Montessori Quotes On Play: 

“He does it with his hands, by experience, first in play and then through work. The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.” – The Absorbent Mind

“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.”

“The environment must be rich in motives which lend interest to activity and invite the child to conduct his own experiences.”

“Play is the work of the child.”

Maria Montessori Quotes On Practical Life:  

“The education of even a small child… does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life.” 

“To confer the gift of drawing, we must create an eye that sees, a hand that obeys, a soul that feels; and in this task, the whole life must cooperate. In this sense, life itself is the only preparation for drawing. Once we have lived, the inner spark of vision does the rest.”

“If education is protection to life, you will realize that it is necessary that education accompany life during its whole course.”

“He absorbs the life going on about him and becomes one with it, just as these insects become one with the vegetation on which they live. The child’s impressions are so profound that a biological or psycho-chemical change takes place, by which his mind ends by resembling the environment itself. Children become like the things they love.” – The Absorbent Mind

“The children of three years of age in the “Children’s Houses” learn and carry out such work as sweeping, dusting, making things tidy, setting the table for meals, waiting at table, washing the dishes, etc., and at the same time they learn to attend to their own personal needs, to wash themselves, to take showers, to comb their hair, to take a bath, to dress and undress themselves, to hang up their clothes in the wardrobe, or to put them in drawers, to polish their shoes. These exercises are part of the method of education, and do not depend on the social position of the pupils; even in the “Children’s Houses” attended by rich children who are given every kind of assistance at home, and who are accustomed to being surrounded by a crowd of servants, take part in the exercises of practical life. This has a truly educational, not utilitarian purpose. The reaction of the children may be described as a “burst of independence” of all unnecessary assistance that suppresses their activity and prevents them from demonstrating their own capacities. It is just – these “independent” children of ours who learn to write at the age of four and a half years, who learn to read spontaneously, and who amaze everyone by their progress in arithmetic.” – From Childhood to Adolescence

Maria Montessori Quotes On Love + Self Worth: 

“Children become like the things they love.” 

“It is not enough for the teacher to love the child. She must first love and understand the universe. She must prepare herself, and truly work at it.”’

“A child who has become master of his acts through long and repeated exercises, and who has been encouraged by the pleasant and interesting activities in which he has been engaged, is a child filled with health and joy and remarkable for his calmness and discipline.” – The Discovery of the Child

“The satisfaction which they find in their work has given them a grace and ease like that which comes from music.” – The Discovery of the Child

best montessori quotes for parents practicing montessori philosophy at home or wanting to learn more about the montessori method

Maria Montessori Quotes On Gratitude: 

The highest honor and the deepest gratitude you can pay me is to turn your attention from me in the direction of which I am pointing – the child”

“History should not be taught as a collection of dates and places. But rather be approached to arouse gratitude and appreciation. This gratitude should be aroused first to the law and order of the universe and the preparation of the environment into which human beings came.” 

Maria Montessori Quotes On Nature: 

“It is fortunate, I think, that nature is not bounded by human reason and by laboratory work and experimentation, for by the laws of pure reason and by microscopic investigation, it might easily have been proved, long before this, that children could not be born.”

“Everyone in the world ought to do the things for which he is specially adapted. It is the part of wisdom to recognize what each one of us is best fitted for, and it is the part of education to perfect and utilize such predispositions. Because education can direct and aid nature but can never transform her”

Maria Montessori Quotes On Teachers and Education:

“The greatest sign of success for a teacher… is to be able to say, ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist.”

“We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.” – The Absorbent Mind

“Now, what really makes a teacher is love for the human child; for it is love that transforms the social duty of the educator into the higher consciousness of a mission.”

“The secret of good teaching is to regard the child’s intelligence as a fertile field in which seeds may be sown, to grow under the heat of flaming imagination.  Our aim therefore is not merely to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his inmost core.” – To Educate the Human Potential

“The teacher must derive not only the capacity, but the desire, to observe natural phenomena. The teacher must understand and feel her position of observer: the activity must lie in the phenomenon.”

“We recommend for the training of teachers not only a considerable artistic education in general but special attention to the art of reading.”

best montessori quotes for parents practicing montessori philosophy at home or wanting to learn more about the montessori method

“If teaching is to be effective with young children, it must assist them to advance on the way to independence. It must initiate them into those kinds of activities which they can perform themselves and which keep them from being a burden to others because of their inabilities. We must help them to learn how to walk without assistance, to run, to go up and down stairs, to pick up fallen objects, to dress and undress, to wash themselves, to express their needs in a way that is clearly understood, and to attempt to satisfy their desires through their own efforts. All this is part of an education for independence.” – The Discovery of the Child

“We teachers can only help the work going on, as servants wait upon a master.”

“To aid life, leaving it free, however, that is the basic task of the educator.”

“One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child.”

“The task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility and evil with activity.”

“The task of teaching becomes easy, since we do not need to choose what we shall teach, but should place all before him for the satisfaction of his mental appetite. He must have absolute freedom of choice, and then he requires nothing but repeated experiences which will become increasingly marked by interest and serious attention, during his acquisition of some desired knowledge.” – To Educate the Human Potential

“Travel stories teach geography; insect stories lead the child into natural science; and so on. The teacher, in short, can use reading to introduce her pupils to the most varied subjects; and the moment they have been thus started, they can go on to any limit guided by the single passion for reading.”

Final Thoughts:

We love using Montessori at home. Personally, I went to montessori schools during my early childhood education and I can see how it completely shaped my love of learning, curiosity, self esteem, and so much more. Like I said in the video, following the Montessori philosophy at home just makes life easier for us as parents.

Pausing and remembering to “never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed” gives us the opportunity as parents to not micromanage and raise more independent children. My daughter has been able to put on her own shoes independently since about 18 months. It's SO nice to not have to do every little thing for her!