TOP FIVE Recommended Homeschool and Montessori Books for Parents and Teachers
Teach Me to do it Myself: Montessori activities for you and your child by Maja Pitamic
The Introduction includes: a Preface; "Who was Montessori"; "How to use this book"; and "Frequently asked questions" (seven in all).
There are five chapters with activities you can do at home or in a classroom setting: "Life skills, Developing the senses, Language development, Numeracy skills," and "Science skills."
Each activity has a picture, a numbered list of directions, a list of "You will need," and "Other activities to try." Most activities include a "Tip box," a "Word activity" (language), and a "Safety Point."
In the back of the book are worksheets to use (copy) for making several of the activities shown in the book.
The "Life skills" chapter includes: activities for personal hygiene, dressing, polishing, pouring, spooning, tonging, open close, threading, weaving, sewing cards, and cutting.
The "Developing the senses" chapter includes: activities for exploring textures and objects and learning about shape, size, height, length, color, sound, smell, and taste.
The "Language development" chapter includes: guidelines to help you select books for your child and guidelines for reading to your child; activities for word play, phonics and learning the letters of the alphabet, word building (Moveable Alphabet), and picture cards (Reading Tablets); making phrases, sentences, a diary, a book, a family tree, and a picture poem.
The "Numeracy skills" chapter includes: sorting, counting and learning numbers one to ten, number sequencing, simple addition and subtraction, introducing money, and number songs.
The "Science skills" chapter includes: leaf collecting, flower puzzle, planting, understanding volume, float and sink, the weather, geography including globe and map and land forms, mixing colors, and baking.
Worksheets (in the back of the book) for several of the activities shown in the book:
Learning height and length (similar to the Number Rods). Make color copies, enlarge them, cut them out.
Two-dimensional shapes: geometric shapes, in black outline, of circles, squares, and triangles from largest to smallest. Make a copy and cut out shapes or make two copies for matching shapes.
Identifying letters: alphabet letters in black and white lower case shown on the line. Make copies and cut out. You can also color them in using red and blue markers or colored pencils for the Moveable Alphabet. You can also enlarge them when you make a copy for making the Sandpaper Letters.
Word building: black and white cards with pictures and three-letter short vowel phonetic words (six cards for each vowel for a total of 30 cards). Copy and cut them out for a Reading Tablets activity, or your own language creation. You can also color the pictures in (recommended).
Constructing phrases: a list of articles, adjectives, verbs, and prepositions.
Make a flower puzzle: black and white drawing of a flower, and its parts in labels.
I give this book five stars out of five. It is well organized, full of information, and easy to understand with nice photos and drawings. The activities are those found in Montessori classrooms and can be duplicated at home. I think it is ideal for ages 2 1/2 to 5.
Amazon.com purchase link: Teach Me to do it Myself: Montessori activities for you and your child
What Your First Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of a Good First Grade Education (Most popular!) by E. D. Hirsch (Editor)
Book Description: "What will your child be expected to learn in the first grade? How can you help him or her at home? How can teachers foster active, successful learning in the classroom? This book answers these all-important questions and more, offering the specific shared knowledge that hundreds of parents and teachers across the nation have agreed upon for American first graders." (Amazon.com editorial review.) "You just can't beat this book. Not only does it tell you what your child should be learning, it's right there for you. This isn't just a list of topics - it has the actual stories, biographies, math games, etc. right there for you. One of my favorite parts is the literature section. It has the basic stories, poems, fables, and sayings every well-rounded child should now. And the science and history sections have great introductions/overviews of topice - great for unit studies." (Amazon.com customer spotlight review.)
How to Raise an Amazing Child The Montessori Way by Tim Seldin
Published in 2006, it is one of the newer Montessori books on the market. This is a lovely book, with fantastic pictures and very well designed. (I would buy it just for the photos!) It is an easy read, and only 186 pages. It is also Montessori at home friendly.
It covers much of what you want to know about Montessori education with a simple, in-a-nut-shell style, including: "what is Montessori?"; "the sensitive periods for learning"; Montessori schools (about); Montessori from birth and "your growing baby"; "making your home child-friendly"; a Montessori style nursery; Montessori around the home; "discovery through the senses"; home-made Montessori activities to do and make at home; "keeping the peace" (how to handle negative behavior); Montessori outdoors; and more!
This is not a book for Montessori homeschoolers, who want to create a Montessori classroom or unschool environment at home
It is, however, for families who are looking for an alternative and who may be interested in a Montessori lifestyle for the home.
Amazon.com purchase link (2nd edition):
How to Raise an Amazing Child The Montessori Way
Help Your Preschooler Build a Better Brain by John Bowman
"These activities help young children develop powerful brain architecture, a positive, confident self-image, and early reading, writing, math, and science skills - a great preparation for success in school. Most activities use common items parents may already have or which can be easily and inexpensively obtained."
"Making the world-renowned Montessori method available to all, this book will be welcomed by parents who wish to give their children a solid foundation in a set of basic skills that will benefit them for a lifetime. 80 color illustrations."--Amazon.com editorial review
"The development of languge begins long before birth and continues to unfold intensely until he age of six. A sound beginning at this age will help for the rest of one's life. This book, by a leading Montessori practitioner, shows how to support language development, and to teach reading and writing the Montessori approach. It is useful for home and school."--Child of the World, 2002-2003 edition, a Michael Olaf company.