“Reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible.”
– Barack Obama
It’s February: Black History Month and the month of Love <3! We love our Montessori family books and, while I don’t get around to sharing as frequently as I have in the past, I wanted to make sure we didn’t miss the opportunity to celebrate our love of reading.
In Februaries past, we’ve shared our book selections, our Valentine’s Day crafts and baking, and our love for Montessori education. This year my hands are pretty much always full so I don’t think we’ll get around to sharing our Valentine’s Day fun in the kitchen. However, we hope to be back at the end of the month for our annual tribute to Montessori Education Week featuring some of what we’ve been up to so far this year. Fingers crossed I have some extra time to upload it. In the meantime, we hope you’ll enjoy checking out what we’re getting into bookwise this month.
We’re going to start with our Montessori family books and then work our way through our picks for our four kids (4,3,1, & infant) before wrapping up with my husband and myself. Our kids are screen-free (we dabbled in screen time for our 2 oldest in the fall to ease the transition/distract from some hospital time, but afterwards we decided it’s just not for us), which means they can easily go through more books than this in a month, but these are the most popular ones and also what we’re using to accompany our daily Montessori homeschool works.
Montessori Family Books
We’re studying Africa this month and we’ve really been focusing on building up our Montessori Homeschool Library this year so we’ve added some cool selections to our shelves. Our local public library appears to be getting more traffic this year so this guarantees we have the resources we need when we need them. We’ve been mainly purchasing really nice quality books that lend themselves to more than one location or subject area and will be useful for several age groups, so you may notice that as you peruse our lists. There’s also some favorites that we’ve had for several years.
Africa and Geography
These Montessori family books all have beautiful illustrations and our kids love looking at them, whether we’re reading them together or they’re exploring independently. The Story Orchestra: Four Seasons in One Day is included mostly because it’s our kids’ favorite selection from our seasonal studies and it continues to get a lot of face time with them. Of the books shown above, Dieter Braun’s Wild Animals of the South and Mountains of the World are by far the most popular picks in our home right now. Our oldest two can’t get enough of the illustrations. I love that we have access to these for all our continent studies.
- Natural World: A Visual Compendium of Wonders from Nature – Very cool book of charts
- The Story Orchestra: Four Seasons in One Day – Musical book that excites all ages
- Life Cycles: Everything From Start to Finish – Space, Earth, Plants & Fungi, Animals
- Cabinet of Curiosities – Learn how to collect, classify, and/or celebrate nature
- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind – Beautiful picture book sharing the heroic true story of a young Malawian inventor
- Wild Animals of the South – Captivating illustrations, very attractive right off the shelf and every page is something new and exciting
- Mountains of the World – All-around awesome book that weaves in various aspects of mountain life with facts about our world’s mountains
- Under the Canopy: Trees Around the World – Great addition to Geography and nature studies
- A Life Like Mine: How Children Live Around the World – Great selection for Geography & Cultural Studies
If you’re interested in what we use for our continent studies, you can check that out in our Antarctica Unit Study post. It’s very similar for each continent, except we have not incorporated the printables we shared in that post for every continent we study now that our oldest son is using more of the same materials as his sister.
These are our favorite atlases and are useful for all our Geography and Cultural studies. We like to sit around them on the floor and really enjoy the illustrations. These are all great conversation starters.
We’re starting to incorporate History and timelines more now that our oldest is almost 5 and has a better grasp on those concepts. This is another great extra large book to gather around on the floor.
I decided not to share an update on our Math works last year like I had initially planned, mostly because it was right around the beginning of the pandemic and there was a lot of uncertainty and anxiety among families at that time, coupled with some distribution delays and shortages of materials. We decided it was all-around better to hold off for a bit and just let people breathe.
These are actually several math living books we use to reinforce our Montessori works. We plan to share our Math update with you this year, which includes mostly authentic Montessori materials and some printable extensions. I will provide links to those authors where applicable. If your kids are working with geometric solids, the geometry cabinet, skip counting, the decimal system, addition in the thousands, fractions, time, or maps, directions, & coordinates, AND they like to laugh, I would recommend any or all of these living books.
FYI, there’s a quick ghost reference in the Viking’s Map book but it’s not a scary one and definitely not the main focus of the adventure story, so depending on how you and your little ones feel about that. Moving on.
- Sir Cumference and All the King’s Tens
- Bedtime Math
- Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone
- Sir Cumference and the Viking’s Map
- Mummy Math: An Adventure in Geometry
- Sir Cumference and the Fraction Faire
Waseca Biome’s Readers for 4 y.o.
These Continent Readers from Waseca Biomes are amazing. They’re absolutely gorgeous and we love that they help tie our subjects together in an interdisciplinary approach. My personal favorite are the Parts of the Biome Readers because our daughter comes back to them over and over as her interest is reignited through outdoor play. For example, The Rotting Log in the Soil, Air, & Water Set is a big hit right now as our little ones explore in nature. These reader sets are a bit pricey, but worth it in my opinion. These Montessori family books have a lot to offer and are some of our favorites.
Get a $15 coupon towards your first Waseca Biomes purchase here.
The Good and the Beautiful
The Good and the Beautiful is a Charlotte Mason-inspired homeschool curriculum company that boasts elements of God, nature, and high character in their materials, but they’re known for being approachable to secular families as well. Our daughter enjoys their readers, second only to Waseca Biome’s Readers. The illustrations are beautiful and this Beginner Books Box D set is what she’s been reading lately. I don’t believe there are any religious references in this particular set, if that’s a deciding factor for your family. We like that they’re very particular about the kinds of content they include in their readers.
3 y.o.’s Current Favorites
- On the Construction Site: Shine-A-Light Series
- Design Line: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
- Hello World! Construction Site
- Usborne Illustrated Alphabet
- Look Inside Construction Sites
Toddler & Baby Books
All of our kids enjoy these books. They never get old and as our kids get older they read to the younger ones. We only have one flap book for young toddlers here because they inevitably get ripped up at some point. Not usually in an excited mass destruction kind of way, but more of a ‘Oh, I see what they want me to do here. They’ve started it for me and I just need to finish the process’ kind of way. 🙂
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear
- Hello, World! Weather
- How Many Are There?
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- Where is Baby’s Belly Button?
- Global Babies
- Touch and Feel I Love You
- Goodnight Moon
- Baby Animals
Being a carnivore is certainly not a Montessori requirement, but it helps if you’re sitting at our dinner table. Steve Rinella is well-liked author in our home. He’s a talented writer, conservationist, and outdoorsman with a distinct Michigan accent and lot of really great stories to share. Barbarian Days is a 2016 Pulitzer Prize winning autobiography of William Finnegan and his adventures in surfing. It also happens to have been on Obama’s 2016 Summer Reading List.
- The Meateater Guide to Wilderness Skills and Survival
- The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game
- Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life
Mom’s Current Read
I actually read this last year after a homeschooling course and before we welcomed our infant, but it was many moons and some anesthesia ago, so I’m revisiting it now. This book comes highly recommended by many for folks who have a child entering the second plane of development, which we do. Our oldest turns 5 in a few weeks and is giving us all the indicators that she’ll be ready for this in the fall. We’re so excited for this new season of her life. She’s the inspiration behind what we’ve built together as a family and I feel truly honored to be her mom.
What Montessori family books are you enjoying right now?
More Montessori Reading
More Montessori Geography
- Montessori Handwork: Hanging Felt Geo Heart
- Montessori Continent Studies: Antarctica
- Montessori Geography: From the Universe to Mother Earth’s Land, Air, and Water