The 10 Best Montessori & Child Development Books in 2023
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.
The Montessori environment is mirrored and enhanced by what we do with the children at home so teaching in the home is just as important.
Independence, responsibility, purpose, and accountability are characteristics that drive learning. These characteristics are developed and exercised predominantly in the home.
In this article we have listed books for parents to help you and your kids understand the Montessori learning approach.
1.The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori
There can not be a list of Montessori parenting books without this one by Dr. Maria Montessori herself.
The Absorbent Mind is the cornerstone to the Montessori method of teaching and can only be described as a masterpiece in early childhood education writing. This book lays the foundation for Dr. Montessori's approach to educating the young child.
She claims that the very capable infant absorbs their environment in a natural progression that results in the astonishing achievements of movement, language and assimilation into whatever social setting the child has been born into with no direct teaching required.
This book show cases the child until age six. Children are constantly mirroring and emulating the adults in their life. Children are driven by curiosity and their experiences and emotions shape them into whole people.
2. The Secret of Childhood by Maria Montessori
The book has been described as Dr. Montessori’s examination of a child’s personality with the meticulousness of a scientist and the warmth of an educator. This book is a great way to understand your little one’s thoughts or worries as well as their motives.
As adults we must play a subdued role giving the child freedom to choose their own materials to work with, and learn from what interests them.
The Montessori method teaches free choice of work and materials, with the concentration high and the need for punishment and reward not necessary. Your child can become steady, confident and happy when we recognize our children are people with minds of their own.
3. Montessori, The Science Behind the Genius by Angeline Stoll Lillard
Many parents question whether Montessori is still relevant and does it pass the test of modern-day developmental psychology being that it was developed over 100 years ago
Dr. Angeline Stoll Lillard believes that Montessori’s practices stand up to modern-day psychology and its explanations. Dr. Lillard is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. In this book, Dr. Lillard examines 8 of Maria Montessori’s philosophies about the child’s learning.
In this book Lillard explains how contemporary neuroscience and research support each of these 8 principles as well as all the activities done in a Montessori environment, why they are done, and how they help your child.
She also examines the Montessori method and if it is too rigid or is there more free-flowing purpose behind its structure. This book is a perfect way to understand and demystify Montessori.
4. Montessori from the Start by Paula Polk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen
Jessen and Lillard explain in this book how hands on learning relates to infants. Based on Maria Montessori’s instructions for infant education, Lillard provides a comprehensive outline for the first three years of a child’s life.
This book defines how parents can get their infants moving towards self-development and self-realization. It covers everything from furniture and room layout, to clothing and toys.
The book also has examples of how we can encourage independence and accomplishment with purpose. Parents are encouraged to look at the child’s purpose and the bigger picture when it comes to what they do and how they view the world.
5. How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way by Tim Seldin
This book by Tim Seldin is one of the top best-selling Montessori books for parents. This guide empowers parents with helping their children build independence, self-assurance, and creativity through Montessori methods.
Seldin familiarizes traditional Montessori classroom methods to help you bring them into the home. He also provides examples of preschool activities, games, and agendas for learning and development.
The updated version includes additional updates in neuroscience and child development, as well as advice on screen time and digital devices.
6. Tough Times, Strong Children – Lessons the Past for Your Child’s Future by Dan Kindlon, Ph.D.
This book talks about the challenges that children and their families face in different countries. It also explains how parents can prepare them to be resilient yet emotionally aware entities who are not hard on themselves when things don’t go as planned.
Dr. Kindlon gives great examples from the past as far as families surviving the Great Depression, concentration camps, violence, and many more examples.
While the stories and situations may be different, the one commonality is the support offered by parents with the need to display courage, empathy, and grace under fire.
A strong belief system really matters. Dr. Kindlon also explains the psychology behind why some children can deal with problems better than others.
7. How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen by Joanna Faber & Julie King
A huge part of the Montessori teaching method, all over the world, is training the teachers how to speak and interact with the children in their classroom. Every teacher conveys their own way of engaging with children, but this book offers some helpful tips.
Faber and King wrote this as a guide to how to talk to little kids so that they will listen. The skills presented in this book solidly based on research.
8. Last Child in the Woods – Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder By Richard Louv
Louv gave rise to the much-used phrase, ‘nature deficit disorder.’ In this book he explains how nature is therapeutic and humans are designed to spend time outdoors.
He talks about the danger lurking in the child who prefers gaming or instant gratification indoors to playing and discovering the outdoors. The book talks about the parent’s role in shifting away from.
He stresses the importance of free and outdoor play and how it gives children an evolutionary advantage, as well as a ‘hunter-gatherer’ instinct that strengthens other skills.
This book is an amazing insight into a child’s relationship with the natural world. Louv writes “Nature calmed me, focused me, and yet excited my senses.”
9. My Heart I Give to Children by Vasily Sukhomlinsky
My Heart I Give to Children is a bestselling educational classic that has sold millions of copies in 30 languages.
This book discusses the author’s pioneering work with thirty-one students in rural Ukraine during an experimental preschool year and the following four years of their primary education.
Sukhomlinksy’s school became world-famous for his ground breaking approach which was to look at schooling as more than just reading, writing, and arithmetic. He focused on a child’s complete development and their connection to the natural world.
This book helps parents understand how children’s brains function and develop, how to help children develop empathy for others, their connection with nature, nurturing an intrinsic love for learning, how to support children struggling to acquire skills in literacy and numeracy, how to cultivate your child’s soul when there are negative influences around.
10. The Montessori Toddler by Simone Davies
One of the absolute best Montessori books for parents, The Montessori Toddler combines traditional elements of Montessori education with modern parenting struggles and child development.
Davies helps parents turn their home into a Montessori home and change the way they see their toddler.
She provides ways to be more aware and observant towards your toddler and curb difficult stages, like the terrible twos and potty training, into brilliant transition stages. She teaches parents the curiosity, respect, and admiration needed to actually enjoy every stage of your toddler’s life.
These books are Montessori classics covering everything from how to incorporate Montessori in your home, to Montessori theory, and real-world tips on raising a child. These things are what the Montessori method is all about along with empowering children to pursue their natural inquisitiveness in their own way. Children are encouraged to foster self-reliance, respect, and confidence, which provides a strong foundation for learning throughout your child’s life.