Montessori: Why It Matters for Your Child's Success & Happiness




An insightful and accessible book explaining the fundamentals of Montessori and answering the most frequently asked questions about it.


Montessori: Why It Matters for Your Child’s Success and Happiness is written by AMI trained Montessori educator Charlotte Cushman. Charlotte has over 25 years of experience working in Montessori classrooms, including operating her own school. The cumulative sum of this experience is an incredible bounty of knowledge relating to what Montessori children encounter and what Montessori parents wonder! Montessori: Why It Matters carefully articulates those encounters and answers those questions.


Montessori: Why It Matters consists of the following chapters;

  • The Montessori Method
    An overview of the fundamental principles and philosophies of Montessori.
  • The Four Main Areas of the Pre-Elementary Classroom
    An exploration of the 3-6 curriculum areas of Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics and Language.
  • A Few Montessori Lessons
    A brief discussion of the three period lesson, the nomenclature materials, learning to read and engaging in the ‘Silence Game’.
  • Child Development
    An exploration of concepts sch as sensitive periods, the development of concentration, the importance of repetition and the acquisition of independence.
  • The Learning Process
    An examination of how learning takes place in a Montessori context, particularly relating to incorporating movement and tactile experiences, allowing for the right timing and encouraging creativity.
  • Interference in the Learning Process
    An honest look at some of the common mistakes made by adults, or obstacles encountered by children, that can disrupt the learning process such as ‘helicopter parenting’.
  • Self-esteem
    A discussion of authentic self-esteem and how this is supported naturally by the Montessori method.
  • Discipline
    An exploration of how discipline fits within the Montessori principles of freedom and self-correction.
  • Social Development
    A look at the way that social development is supported, without sacrificing the ‘self’, in a Montessori classroom community.
  • Parental Concerns
    Honest answers to common questions raised by parents, sch as “My child says he has done everything in the classroom…” and “My child says he does ‘nothing’ at school”.
  • How Long Should My Child Stay In Montessori
    A discussion about the benefits of prolonging a child’s time in a Montessori environment.
  • Beyond School
    A look at Montessori experiences in the real world.


The information provided in this book is ideal for parents who are looking for a starting point to comprehend the Montessori method. It provides insight into the principles and philosophy but also gives practical information about the classroom experiences. The words in the book are supported by colour photographs illustrating the accompanying information.


Many of the ‘frequently asked questions’ answered in this book are strikingly universal. From my own Montessori classroom, on the other side of the world, I have heard the exact same questions that the author has encountered. This book is, therefore, an incredibly useful resource for schools and centres as it releases the educators from having to ‘reinvent the wheel’ by writing their own answers to the questions. Parents can, instead, be directed to Charlotte’s book where their own Montessori learning journey can begin (or can be extended).


Please note: Montessori education is currently implemented in more than 22,000* schools around the world. It has been in existence for more than a century since its origins in Rome in 1907. It is inevitable that, with so many cultural contexts across time and space, there will be some slight variations in how Montessori is interpreted and implemented. There are a few moments in this book that deviate from my own personal understanding and application of Montessori. For instance, a section of this book contemplates the use of ‘time outs’ in a Montessori context. This concept, and certainly this phrasing, is not something that fits with my personal understanding of Montessori and so it is not something that occurs in my classroom. Yet I respect that many Montessori educators could frame it within the principles of protecting the collective interest of the classroom community. I do not discredit the author’s perspective on this issue but nor do I endorse it. I ask all readers of this book, and of other Montessori texts (including those by Maria herself!), to use their own experience, judgement and expertise rather than taking any written word as definitive gospel!


*According to the Montessori Australia Foundation