With information literally at the tip of our fingertips, soon-to-be and new parents can get overwhelmed by the “shoulds” and “should-nots” when it comes to parenting. Before giving birth, I perused all the materials that I can get that from friends and family. I was armed and ready! Until my daughter came and I realized that every baby is unique and what worked for my niece was not necessarily true for my daughter. There are books, however, that kept me sane during those early days and books that I regularly go back to now that my daughter is in preschool. Here are some of them.
1. Bright Start: Understand and Stimulate your Child’s Development from Birth to 5 Years by Dr. Richard C. Woolfson
Mariel gave me this book when I was a new mom navigating through this scary and exciting world of motherhood and it is definitely my go-to book until now. It gives parents a peak into what is happening to our children at certain stages and ages. It also gives practical suggestions on stimulating various aspects of development in our children. The book also addresses issues such as discipline, sleep, potty training, and separation anxiety. I love how it presents everything that is not intimidating and overwhelming to parents.
2. Child’s Play: Montessori Games and Activities for Your Baby and Toddler
I got this book before I labeled and realized that we were actually homeschooling the Energizer Bunny. Having grown up in a Montessori environment, I was attracted to everything Montessori. This book has tons of ideas and activities, arranged by age, that you can do with your 1-3 year old child. Activities are simple enough for parents (yes, very minimal preparation for busy moms and dads!) yet still fun and engaging for the little ones. We particularly enjoyed the parachute activity, guessing sounds games, nature scavenger hunt, and the painting activities.
3. Honey for a Child’s Heart: The Imaginative Use of Books in Family Life by Gladys Hunt
This book I read again and again whenever I need encouragement and inspiration. It talks about the importance of reading to our children and introducing only beautiful literature to our little ones from a parent’s point of view. The author shares family reading traditions that I hope I can impart to my daughter as well. It also gives a list of books that she personally recommends for children of various ages.
4. Montessori at Home! by John Bowman
Because Montessori schools are so expensive, I always had the impression that Montessori materials are pricey too. Imagine my delight when I chanced upon this ebook! It starts out with an introduction to the Montessori approach to teaching and learning. This definitely gave perspective to our attempts to incorporate Montessori activities into our daily homeschool routine.
I regularly refer to the ebook whenever I do yearly and weekly lesson plans. It has an extensive and exhaustive list of activities that you can actually do at home categorized by subject – Math, Science, Language, Arts and Music, Sensorial and Practical Life. The key to a successful Montessori activity is the prepared environment and the author gives suggestions in setting up Montessori “corners” in your home. The activities are best suited 3-6 years old.
5. Lighting Their Fires by Rafe Esquith
I just finished reading this book, a gem that I discovered in one of the big sales of a local bookstore. It was selling for P50 so I grabbed it without checking out the reviews. Am I glad I did!
The story within the book actually happens during a baseball game, and while I am not a fan of baseball, I found myself nodding my head in agreement or wanting to highlight parenting and teaching ideas found in this book.
From time management, to selflessness, and even self-control in screen and media time, the point that Esquith seems to get across is this: children do not become inspired adults without proper guidance and modeling. I like how the author gives readers “things to put in their backpacks” as practical suggestions in instilling values that will build their character and essentially lead them to become “extraordinary.”
While the children mentioned in the book and some recommendations are for older children, this book inspired me to identify teaching moments when it came to character training and building. This book I will definitely read again!
What parenting books helped you the most, dear readers? Would love to know!
Read All About It is Sanne’s bi-weekly column. Read her welcome post here.