Maria Montessori is an Italian educator and physician best known for her pioneering study of the education of children. Her method of teaching kids thrives to this day in Montessori schools throughout the world and of course is the foundation for Montessori homeschooling. Whether your family is a Montessori family or not, her thoughts on childhood education are timeless, holding immense value even today.
As a parent, some of her quotes are particularly important to remind ourselves to help us focus on the goals of education and how we shape our children’s lives. Here are some of our all-time favorite Maria Montessori quotes for parents.
Maria Montessori quotes on how children learn
Maria Montessori was so passionate about educating children that she made it her life’s work. She believed that children have the drive and ability to learn on their own; you simply observe and enjoy the ride (and do some curating of materials).
“Early childhood education is the key to the betterment of society.”
“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”
“The child who concentrates is immensely happy.”
“To assist a child we must provide him with an environment which will enable him to develop freely.”
“The child is not an empty being who owes whatever he knows to us who have filled him up with it. No, the child is the builder of man. There is no man existing who has not been formed by the child he once was.”
“These words reveal a child’s inner needs: ‘help me do it alone’.”
“If an educational act is to be efficacious, it will be only that one which tends to help toward the complete unfolding of life. To be thus helpful it is necessary rigorously to avoid the arrest of spontaneous movements and the imposition of arbitrary tasks.”
Maria Montessori quotes on raising thoughtful children
Maria Montessori believed that parents and teachers are the best models for our children’s ideal behavior. If we demonstrate grace, courtesy, curiosity, and self-control, they will have it as well. It can be difficult to maintain your composure at all times, but if you need help focusing or being courteous, consider these Montessori quotes.
“Our care of the child should be governed, not by the desire to make him learn things, but by the endeavor always to keep burning within him that light which is called intelligence.”
“The basic error is to suppose that a person’s will must necessarily be broken before it can obey.”
“Teach by teaching, not correcting.”
“Respect all reasonable forms of activity in which the child engages and try to understand them.”
“..it is well to cultivate a friendly feeling towards error, to treat it as a companion inseparable from our lives, as something having a purpose, which it truly has.”
“The child builds his inmost self out of the deeply held impressions he receives.”
Maria Montessori quotes on practical life
One core belief of the Montessori Method is the emphasis on practical life activities - cleaning up after oneself, hygiene, preparing food. These things are both fun to a child and immensely valuable in creating a sense of independence. Maria Montessori believed that for a child to thrive, they need to be able to do simple tasks for themselves, starting as early as possible, something that is contrary with many and can therefore be difficult for parents to process.
“The exercises of practical life are formative activities, a work of adaptation to the environment.”
“Real world experiential learning prepares your child remarkably well for any environment.”
“The environment itself will teach the child, if every error he makes is manifest to him, without the intervention of a parent or teacher, who should remain a quiet observer of all things that happen.”
“Education is a work of self-organization by which man adapts himself to the conditions of life.”
"The child has to acquire physical independence by being self-sufficient; he must become of independent will by using in freedom his own power of choice; he must become capable of independent thought by working alone without interruption. The child’s development follows a path of successive stages of independence."
What are your favorite Maria Montessori quotes? Let us know in the comments below!