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Thursday, 5 November 2020

Read all about it!

 My top Montessori books and why you NEED to read them!

There are so many incredible books out there, so I thought I would do a roundup of my favourites. All of these are great reads and really helped me along my Montessori journey. I know, like every other parent out there, our spare time is limited and therefore a huge list of books is simply unrealistic. We just don't have time to read them! 

So, I thought I would share with you my top three. I feel that these contain most of the information you would need to begin using Montessori principles and hopefully it is a manageable amount that everyone can find the time to read, even if it takes a few months! 

Please note: I have no affiliation with any of these books or authors. They are simply books I have read and enjoyed. This is my own opinion. 

1 - The Montessori Toddler by Simone Davies. 

You can find this book here. (Click for the UK link or the USA link). Please note cover art may differ from that shown depending on edition and country.

This was the first Montessori book I ever read and it was truly eye opening. There were so many 'Yes!' moments along the way and I couldn't believe that everyone wasn't doing this. It just made so much sense! 

What I loved about this book was that it began with an introduction into the mind of the toddler. This was truly eye opening for me. When I read it, Arlo was just beginning to reach that toddler stage and so I was seeing some of the things she mentioned on a daily basis. One example, was the concept of throwing food onto the floor from a high chair. This was something Arlo did every meal time and I have to admit, I was beginning to reach a level of frustration with it. Not because of the mess, but because I knew it was his way of trying to communicate or develop something, but I had no clue what that was. Simone lead me on a journey of discovery which let me see how toddlers view the world. In doing so, I could understand that it wasn't about the food. It was about the satisfying reaction when it hit the floor, the texture in his fingers, the safety of knowing the same thing will happen time and time again. 

This book also gives a rundown of the history of Montessori, along with every scenario you are likely to encounter in daily life and how best to deal with them from 'tantrums' to potty training. It truly was the best book I have read and this list wouldn't be complete without it.

Bottom Line - If you are looking to explore the ideology and principles behind Montessori as well as some hints and tips to organise your day, this is the one for you. 

2 - How To Raise An Amazing Child the Montessori Way- Tim Seldin

 You can find this book here. (Click for the UK link or the USA link). Please note cover art may differ from that shown depending on edition and country.

This book was such a pleasure to read. I really appreciated its 'straight talking' approach. It cut through the nonsense and didn't tiptoe around the issue. For example, the chapter on managing tantrums begins by quite simply stating that during tantrums both child and adult can lose control. The child is struggling with emotions, the adult is struggling with perhaps embarrassment if you're in a public place or frustration at not having the answer. Ultimately, however, one of you has to be the adult and deal with the situation. I just loved this! I loved that this book gave clear, simple and easy to follow advice that I could begin to implement right away. 

Another plus is the bright and engaging photos which shows children participating in many different Montessori activities and self care actions. I found them to be really helpful in knowing exactly what my own set up should look like. 

It also includes a list of suggested activities for children of different ages from birth right the way up to 4 years. An invaluable tool. 

I really enjoyed this one and I hope you do too! 

Bottom Line - Simone's book shares a lot of the philosophy and ideology behind the Montessori approach, but if you are looking for a straight forward 'instruction manual' on how to Montessori, this one is definitely the one for you. 

3 - The Montessori Method by Maria Montessori. 

You can find this book here. (Click for the UK link or the USA link). Please note cover art may differ from that shown depending on edition and country.

No list would be complete without this addition from the lady herself! This book was written by Maria Montessori, the founder of Montessori principles, way back in 1912. I am going to be honest and say this is not a book for the faint of heart. It is quite technical in places and unlikely to give you a breath of relief if you have a spare five minutes to sit with a coffee during naptime, however it explains everything in such depth it would be remiss of me not to include it here. 

Maria Montessori lays out the reasoning behind the principles in a factual and evidence based way. Although it does use some technical language, everything is explained well and it is easy to follow. In reality, we will pick and choose the pieces of information that is relevant to us here. Some chapters in fact you may want to skip entirely, but I do recommend you stick with it as there are useful tidbits on every page. 

I really enjoyed how this book divides each chapter into manageable chunks, meaning I can quickly sneak a page or two in when I have a second without having to commit to hundreds of pages. Furthermore, the inclusion of scientific studies and exactly where the information in the Montessori method came from are invaluable. 

Bottom Line - If you are looking to hear about Montessori from the creator herself and have the time to process the more complex information, this is definitely an interesting and purposeful read. 

So, that's it! My three all time favourite Montessori must reads. If you have read and enjoyed any other books, drop me a comment in the comments box below. 

Don't forget, you can also find us via our Facebook group and on our Instagram account. 


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Benedykt and Sylvester

Benedykt and Sylvester is a small British business run by Brittany, a Montessori Mum to Benedykt, 4, Sylvester, 2 and baby Otylia.  After be...