Here is a list of all required Montessori reading for the various AMI training centers around North America.
Of these books, you will see that many are required reading for both primary and elementary; some are just for elementary. Of the elementary required books, the one I find the absolute most practical for us homeschooling moms is The Advanced Montessori Method Volume 2: The Montessori Elementary Material.
Yes, I tout those theory albums to no end - because even with all the reading out there, every single AMI Montessori trainee must still compile a theory album for each level. Why? Because the theory album is so crucial.
But it is not the only piece of the puzzle. Coupled with the theory album is reading the words of Maria Montessori herself.
While a full set of albums with complete album pages (presentations) is still a necessity, this book helps to put those presentations in a "practical light". The Advanced Montessori Method Volume 2 provides a *fantastic* transition from primary to elementary, outlining an almost seamless transition from the use of the AMI primary albums into the use of the AMI elementary albums.
It outlines the main materials used in the following areas:
- Language: The main thrust of the lower and upper elementary
materials is described here. Word Study, Parts of Speech, Sentence
Analysis, Word Classification.
- Reading: Mechanical process; Analysis. It even includes a
section on "reading aloud" - how the child is given a set of booklets
(the text for some of the booklets is included!) to read to himself, and
only when he is ready, he reads aloud with gusto and confidence.
If a child has been in the primary Montessori with AMI albums, these
booklets are actually quite appropriate for kindergarten as well as the
1st grade. The subject of the first book is "Children's House", thus
- Mathematics and Geometry: the transitional materials from primary into lower elementary; as well as some upper elementary. It is important to note that the area of mathematics was fleshed out much more after the original publication of this book, when Mario joined his mother in this work. Thus mathematics is one area I say, "Focus on the transition from primary into elementary with this book; then you will be much more confident to apply the album pages from the full elementary mathematics and geometry albums."
- Drawing: Art is an important part of human life and of education.
It is a direct fundamental need of humans - under the title of
"veritas." It has a fantastic, to-the-point chapter on getting the
basics of artwork covered.
- Music and Metrics: These two chapters help the "untrained
Montessorian" and even the trained ones (!) to really understand the
basic foundation of the music area.
Almost the best aspect of this book is the inclusions of materials - contents of booklets, contents of the grammar boxes (via a translator, so modified for English usage), and more.
If I could only choose ONE book to go along with a full set of elementary albums (including theory!), THIS book would be IT!
And the best part!? If you are willing to read it on a screen, you can get the original publication for FREE.
(The Clio version of this books appears to have been drastically modified - I could be wrong, so someone please let me know if they have the new Clio version and can compare to this free online version to see if they are the same - I would SO appreciate it!)
I personally own the 1973 Schocken version - a complete re-print of the Google archived version, minus the first photo and a list of included photos. All other photos are included.
Now, The Advanced Montessori Method is also very good; it reads more as the theory, background, philosophy... where Volume 2 is the more practical materials-application.