Montessori Parenting Books
In a school setting, Montessori guides carefully curate a peaceful environment with attractive, accessible materials suited to the children’s needs. Parents who implement Montessori at home do the same in their homes. Just as important as the prepared environment, however, is the prepared adult. Similar to how a Montessori guide or parent prepares a room and materials to best guide the children in their care, parents can prepare themselves to do the same. One ideal way to do so is to educate yourself through Montessori at home books on parenting and child development.
To help you do this, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite Montessori at home books. While some of these Montessori at home books are directly about the Montessori method or written by Maria Montessori herself, others are more general parenting books whose messages align with Montessori principles. These books won’t advise punitive discipline or external rewards and punishments. Rather, they focus on helping parents foster a mutual relationship of love and respect with their children.
5 Montessori at Home Books to Add to Your Reading List
“The Montessori Toddler: A Parent’s Guide to Raising a Curious and Responsible Human Being,” Simone Davies
A best-seller with more than 200,000 copies in print, “The Montessori Toddler” is a Montessori at home guide for parents of children ages 1-3. “Toddlers are misunderstood humans,” as the book’s first sentence declares. Davies uses Montessori principles to help parents understand and respectfully respond to toddlers’ challenging behaviors. Davies, an AMI Montessori teacher, also gives detailed guidance on setting up Montessori spaces in the home, creating Montessori activities, and incorporating Montessori into daily routines.
Following the success of “The Montessori Toddler,” “The Montessori Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Nurturing Your Baby with Love, Respect, and Understanding” was published in spring 2021. It guides parents on how to apply Montessori principles from conception and pregnancy through the first year of life.
“Maria Montessori Speaks to Parents: A Collection of Articles,” Maria Montessori
Books written by Maria Montessori contain a wealth of information and insights in Montessori’s own words. “Maria Montessori Speaks to Parents” is a compilation of 11 lectures that Montessori gave to introduce parents to her vision. Montessori challenges traditional views of children and highlights the importance of their work. She also seeks to help parents understand the inner life and mind of children. “This young life that we are trying to mould needs no forcing and squeezing, no correcting or faultfinding to develop its intelligence and character,” Montessori writes. “Nature looks after children in the same way as she sees that the tadpole grows into a frog when the time is ready.” Montessori’s writings may be less accessible than books written for a modern audience, but they are well worth the effort it takes to read them.
“No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame,” Janet Lansbury
Janet Lansbury is arguably the most well-known modern proponent of RIE, or “Resources for Infant Educarers.” RIE is a parenting style that compliments Montessori because of its emphasis on respect and trust of the child. “No Bad Kids” details respectful approaches to boundary-pushing, tantrums, and punishment and helps parents become the calm, confident leaders their children need. Lansbury believes that children need and even crave limits despite their often strong reactions toward them. She gives parents practical advice on respectfully setting limits and accepting their children’s feelings. Many of the principles outlined in her book are also covered in her podcast “Unruffled.”
“The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind,” Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
Neuropsychiatrist Dan Siegel and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson have sold more than 1 million copies of this New York Times best-selling book. It’s unique among parenting books as it outlines how to parent with neuroscience in mind. “The Whole-Brain Child” gives parents several science-backed strategies to help children process their emotions, build relationship skills, and overcome hardships. Siegel and Bryson have written several other parenting books compatible with Montessori principles. Such titles include “The Yes Brain,” “No-Drama Discipline,” and “The Power of Showing Up.”
“How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk,” Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
This time-tested classic “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk” has helped parents develop more meaningful relationships with their children for more than 40 years. Faber and Mazlish teach parents how to become better listeners and set and enforce loving limits. The book outlines effective alternatives to traditional discipline and lists tips to encourage cooperation. These strategies are simple and accessible, and the book’s many comics and questions make it an easy and engaging read. “Siblings Without Rivalry” by the same authors applies many of these principles to help parents nurture sibling relationships. Parents can also check out “How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen” by Joanna Faber and Julie King. This take on the book is geared toward children ages 2-7.
One Last Tip for Reading Montessori at Home Books
This list is in no way exhaustive, but we hope it helps you progress along with your Montessori at home journey. As you read these books, keep in mind that no parent is perfect. You don’t need to flawlessly execute every strategy in every book to have an excellent relationship with your children. These strategies aren’t a checklist of things you must do to be a good parent. Instead, think of them as additional tools to store in your parenting toolbox.
What is your favorite Montessori at home book? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to check out our own book on fun activities for active kids: Movement And Motion, by Montessori by Mom.