Parents who send their children to Montessori school need to develop an understanding of it. Good schools and Montessori teachers will do their best to educate their parents, but parents also need to do their part. The following titles are some of the best ones on the market for parents.
Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook
Your child is coming home, all excited about working with the pink tower and brown prisms. At conference time, you child’s teacher is talking about your child’s use of the sandpaper letters. What are all of these things and for what are they used? Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook [Wilder Publications, 2009, ISBN 978-1604595543] includes photographs of Montessori’s activities found in the classroom, as well as brief descriptions of their purpose. Enough philosophy is discussed to give parents an idea of the materials, though the book does not describe how to present each lesson. It is a great foundation to what your child is doing in the 3-6 (primary) classroom. Take it with you when you visit the classroom, or have your child point out favorite activities within to start a discussion.
A Parent’s Guide to the Montessori Classroom
Use this book by Aline D. Wolf as another concise introduction to Montessori philosophy. Frequently passed out by Montessori schools, a new edition of A Parent’s Guide to the Montessori Classroom [Parent Child Pr., 2009, ISBN 978-0939195404] was recently released, with new color photos. Again, become familiar with the Montessori materials, as well as what your child will be doing throughout her day. Compare the pictures to your observations of the Montessori classroom, and use them to elicit conversation with your child.
Montessori Madness!: A Parent-to-Parent Argument for Montessori Education
Trevor Eissler is a Montessori parent with a strong passion for the Montessori philosophy of education. He has written this book, as a parent, for other parents, to encourage them to take a new look at education. Part of his technique is to answer common parent questions through use of anecdotes, as well as his own research. Parents like to hear from other parents, as well as from the professionals. Montessori Madness! [Sevenoff, LLC, 2009, ISBN 978-0982283301] is one of the latest contributions to the topic.
How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way
This book was written by Montessori Tim Seldin, who is also president of the Montessori Foundation. A longtime Montessorian, Seldin teaches parents how to bring the philosophy home, with concise explanations. He includes photographs of activities that can be done in the home, as well as examples of ways to reorganize the home environment. There is also a section on discipline. Compare ideas in this book to what your child is doing in school. Use How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way [DK Adult, 2006, ISBN 978-0756625054] as a springboard for discussions with your child’s teacher.
Montessori From the Start
While this book is geared toward infants and toddlers in the home environment, it is also a fantastic resource for parents of children in preschool and kindergarten. Parents have a hard time letting go, and allowing their children to develop their independence skills. They have a hard time accepting that children in Montessori schools are allowed to cook and clean, and that they are actually capable of doing so. Montessori From the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three [Schocken, 2003, ISBN 978-0805211122] by the mother-daughter team of Paula Polk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen, shows that children are capable of performing these tasks at an even younger age. They also apply the Montessori philosophy to daily tasks around the house. Implement these activities with your young children at home, to facilitate their learning at school.
Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius
Angeline Stoll Lillard has taken years of psychological and scientific research into the learning styles of children to create a critical analysis of the success of the Montessori philosophy of education. Parents who like to use scientific studies as a basis for decision-making with their children will find their answers in Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius [2008, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195369366].
The Montessori Method
The original book written by Maria Montessori about her method of philosophy is full of history and anecdotes that explain why and how Montessori schools do what they do. It is a little bit dry and long, but full of priceless information. The Montessori Method [CreateSpace, 2008, ISBN 978-1440412332] is a great choice for parents who wish to study the philosophy on a deeper level.
Numerous other titles are on the market about Montessori education. These few books for parents will provide a good foundation for understanding your child’s education, and provide a springboard for conversation.