"Remember that a supportive environment is sometimes distinguished more by what objects are left out, than by which are included." - Susan Stephenson, The Joyful Child: Montessori, Global Wisdom for Birth to Three.
I really like this quote as when we are preparing our home environments it's easy to think we need more, more materials, more things. When really we only need a few well thought, well-considered materials. It's about being developmentally appropriate and leaving out everything else. It's also easy to take on societal norms without considering the true worth or benefit of a toy or materials. There are times where we can make our environments better suited to the child by removing materials rather than adding more.
“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed." - Maria Montessori.
I know this is a really popular quote so I'd like to explain why I feel this one is relevant right now. Otis (5yrs) often asks for help on tasks that I know that he can do. He strongly resists doing them himself. I sometimes think that I shouldn't help him, he can do it. But he doesn't want to do it because he feels like he won't succeed. Pouring milk - he is always worried about spilling and tying his shoe laces - he doesn't always tie them tight enough and they often come undone quickly, are two examples. So taking this quote in, I need to make Otis believe in himself, give him the skills to clean up the spill (and not worry about it) or tie his shoe laces tighter. It's not that he can't do the task it's that he doesn't believe that he can succeed.
"The best instruction is that which uses the least words sufficient for the task." - Maria Montessori, The Discovery of the Child.
Maria Montessori goes on to say "The fewer the words, the more perfect will be the lesson. Special care should be taken in preparing the lesson to counting and picking out the words to be used". This quote is in reference to a teacher presenting a lesson but I feel it's also a good advice for the home when we might overwhelm or even confuse a child simply by using too many words or by not carefully selecting the words we use!