Are you interested in how you can help promote curiosity, independence, and self-motivation in your child? Do you want your child to actually love to learn?
We know that so many children these days are losing this innate love of learning. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Read these five books to help you understand how to encourage a true love of learning for children of any age.
#1 The Montessori Toddler: A Parent’s Guide to Raising a Curious and Responsible Human Being
This book is great for anyone who is not familiar with the Montessori teaching approach and for people who have or work with younger children.
It has tons of practical advice and ideas that are all based on the Montessori idea that teachers and parents are meant to be guides that follow the child’s lead. This book talks about trusting the child and fostering a sense of wonder and curiosity. The Montessori method seeks to develop a life long learn who is self-motivated and inquisitive.
#2 Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life
In this book Peter Gray writes about the decline in free play and emphasis on structured education and activities directly contributes to the rise in stress-related mental disorders and depression in young people.
I recently published a more in depth book review here if you want to read that instead of the full text. I would, however, still encourage reading the book because it is incredible and will change your views on how children really learn.
#3 Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children
In this book the author, who is a pediatric occupational therapist, discusses how children benefits from having unstructured play outside. She explains how children are experiencing a record amount of cognitive difficulties, such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), emotion regulation and sensory processing issues, and aggressiveness–all of which are impacting their ability and motivation to learn.
#4 Unschooling Rules: 55 Ways to Unlearn What We Know About Schools and Rediscover Education
Written by a global education thought leader this book will help you to understand how traditional schooling is going against what we know about how children learn and the best way to build on their natural curiosity.
He touches on ideas such as:
- Learn to be; learn to do; learn to know.
- Tests don’t work. Get over it. Move on.
- What a person learns in a classroom is how to be a person in a classroom.
- Animals are better than books about animals.
- Internships, apprenticeships, and interesting jobs beat term papers, textbooks, and tests.
- The only sustainable answer to the global education challenge is a diversity of approaches.
#5 The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined
If you are really interested in the future of education then this is the book for you. This book was life changing for me as an educator (along with Laura Sandefer’s book Courage to Grow). Our public education system is struggling in more ways than one, and this book discusses how we can capitalize on students innate drive to learn (that are discussed more deeply in some books listed above) and deliver a world class education to anyone, anywhere all while following the child.
Guarding our Children’s Mental Health
The Ever Growing Importance of Outdoor Play
Toy for Toddlers: Encouraging Active Play
7 Essential Playroom Spaces (and why you need them)
The Power of Play
What I’ve Learned about Early Childhood Education
100 Things to do Outside with Your Kids
30 Ideas to Get Your Kids to Play Outside