How do you discover a new topic? Are you visual or more hands-on? I need to research and read all I can on a topic. Join me as I move through my very own Montessori reading list in an effort to really digest and enjoy this method of learning.
Back when C1 (my 19 yo) was young, I had chosen a small Montessori school for her to attend in the case that I wasn’t able to homeschool. With C2, we’re really in love with the natural and engaging Montessori Method. Since we are digging in deeper than I did in the past, I need to get my research on.
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What is Montessori Education?
Back in 1907, an Italian physician and educator realized that education of our children could be different – more gentle and natural – so after careful study, and observation, she opened the first Montessori School, The Children’s House, in Rome.
We’re talking about an educational method that has withstood the test of time for 100 years. Pretty cool
Montessori Education is child-led. It’s different than unschooling, a homeschooling approach that focuses on allowing the child to choose their learning activities within their world based on interest, yet it is similar. Children are presented with age-appropriate activities to strengthen skills through play and “work” projects like pouring and counting, discovery of the world through the senses, and other natural hands-on techniques. Each activity is individualized and built using natural materials as often as possible.
It’s interest-led within a set environment. It engages them intentionally and individually.
Dictionary.com defines the Montessori Method as “ is self
It’s More Than Education
For us, and many people, the Montessori Method is more than just a way to educate our kids. It’s a lifestyle. As I write this post, my youngest is only 5 months old, and we are already using some techniques. No, I’m not expecting her to perform tasks and learn through lessons. But we are giving her a choice of engaging activities that will introduce or strengthen skills and interests primarily through her senses. Boil that down: We use a lot of sensory activities and pay attention to the materials she uses.
Some things that we’ve done is make sure that her play area is as clutter-free as possible in our small space. While we don’t ban electronic toys from our home, we do limit them. She has toys of various materials and textures available at all times. We also prefer toys that will one day teach important concepts such as imagination and object permanence as well as activities that will engage her sense of smell, hearing, sight, taste, and touch.
Where will we go from here? I’m still trying to figure out what the Montessori Method will look like in our family long-term. As I always do when I need to learn, I’m researching through reading!
My Reading List
Here’s what I’ll be reading. I chose them based on a few points:
- Did it specifically mention babies and toddlers?
- Does it have a rigid presentation or is it fluid and able to be adapted to any family’s ideas?
- Is it available at my library?
That’s it! Simple, easy, and they all meet these requirements. I’m not one for being boxed in, so I didn’t want anything rigid. I am also on a tight budget so I needed them to be available at my local library so that I could read them, evaluate if they are worth purchasing, and test out a wider number of books then I’d be able if I were paying for each of them from the start.
What would you add as a book requirement? Tell me in the comments below.
The following links are affiliate links. If you purchase any of these books via these links, I’ll receive a few pennies per sale as an affiliate. This won’t affect your price but might buy me a cup of coffee to enjoy as I write – and fuel me because I’m old. Like, really old. Like 42 with an infant old. I really need the coffee.
As I read these books, I’ll post reviews that will also be linked here: Book Reviews.
- The Joyful Child: Montessori, Global Wisdom for Birth to Three by Susan Mayclin Stephenson
- Montessori Today: A Comprehensive Approach to Education from Birth to Adulthood by Paula Polk Lillard
- The Case for Make Believe: Saving Play in a Commercialized World by Susan Linn
- Child’s Play: Montessori Games for Your Baby and Toddler by Maja Pitamic (reviewed)
- How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way by Tim Seldin
- Let’s Play and Learn Together: Fill Your Baby’s Day with Creative Activities That are Fun and Enhance Development by Roni Cohen Leiderman, Ph.D. and Wendy S. Masi, Ph.D.
- Loose Parts 2: Inspiring Play with Infants and Toddlers by Lisa Daly and Miriam Beloglovesky
Want to keep up with what I’m reading? Join me on Goodreads. Send me a friend request, and we’ll connect. Check out my Goodreads profile here.
Do you use Google Books? It’s a great resource to use for both free ebooks and previews of books for purchase on all types of subjects. Check it out for books related to Montessori Education like this: The Montessori Method by Maria Montessori (free)
Still uncertain? Another great intro to this method, or lifestyle, is available via a short video by the American Montessori Society. Check it out here: Introduction to Montessori Method
© 2017, Stephanie Pitcher Fishman. All rights reserved.