It’s that time of year again, the summer is coming to an end and even though this coming school year will once again look different for so many of us, the underlying themes for kids are still there. New routines, new people, and leaving loved ones.
Over the years I’ve written a few different posts about how to incorporate some helpful tips on making the transition to school easier for children. You can read some of them here and another one here. Below are some new and old favourites on our bookshelves at this time of year to help children know what to expect at school.
Jack Goes to Montessori School will always be my most recommended and favourite book to give to new Montessori students. A gentle telling of the routine in a 3-6 classroom, children will easily recognize the materials and flow of the child led day.
If you haven’t seen the Lola series it’s a must for preschool kids! This entire series has been a favourite in my 3-6 classrooms for years because it is so relatable. This book is perfect for any child starting school not just in a Montessori setting but my Montessori students love it too because it focuses on the rhythmic flow of the day which is so important for young children who can’t tell time. Establishing the rhythm and then going over it with your child will help them know what’s coming next at school and after which activity you will come to get them. This helps them feel much more confident at school and safe in the knowledge that you will be there at the same time every day.
This is another old favourite for us. It has everything I love in a book; engaging illustrations, diverse characters and repetitive text. Perfect for the preschool crowd. I wrote a review of it four years ago and we still love it to this day! You can read that post here.
This one is brand new for us and we already love it! A sequel of sorts to the previous book and just as perfect. Focused on a group of children outdoors playing it touches on topics of disagreements and different feelings. Empathy is one of the most important things we can help bring out in children. This book is perfect for bringing up discussions on feelings, how to work through problems and acknowledging others emotions.
It’s been a lifetime since this first day of school picture was taken of Quentin. He begins Upper Elementary this year and although he’s had many years of returning to school, the principles listed in these back to school posts are still very much used to help him gently and smoothly find his way back into the classroom.
It’s been a quiet few weeks for us here. We, like the vast majority of the world are together, safe at home, watching and waiting to see what will come. But it is also Spring.
Spring for our family has so much to celebrate. The end of the rainy season, our wedding anniversary, and Quentin’s birthday. It’s a time we look forward and make plans and that’s all changed a little bit with this new “normal” around the world.
So, to capture some of the feelings we and our children may be experiencing, I wanted to showcase this beautiful new book sent over from Grey Stone Kids.
It’s a beautiful, simple and easily relatable story of a parent tree, covered in seeds who are small and silent but will one day be big trees of their own.
It touches on the feelings of worry we as parents and caregivers have about the children we love. Will they be okay? Am I protecting them enough, and above all, maybe I could keep them little for just a little bit longer.
It shows us that we can care for them and love them and even fuss needlessly over them, but one day they will grow up and that our confidence in them and their abilities will be one of the defining factors in their own self confidence.
“Stay Little Seed” releases on April 7 just as gardens are warming and trees are waking up here.
This new book has quickly become a favourite. We have paired it with our nature based crafts, baking and slow living days curled up next to the fire under a cosy blanket.
Of course we love Carson Ellis artwork and this new book is no exception. The muted tones are perfect for Winter Solstice.
It tells a simple story of the history of the Winter Solstice, one that is easy for the youngest for readers to understand. It also connects the traditions of the past, with the traditions found in other celebrations like Christmas.
There are so few good Yule books out there for kids and we couldn’t be more please with this one. I’ll post our December bookshelf in its entirety on our Instagram page, later this week.
When I was looking for books to bring to Africa to show the classrooms I would be teaching in my own home, the animals I see everyday and the general landscape, these two gorgeous ones immediately sold me.
A Whale’s World showcases the amazing ocean we find our tiny island home in. The photographs are stunning.
The story follows a local pod of orcas on their journey in search of food. Quentin loved showing the children here in Africa the different aspects of orca life and the many other Pacific Northwest sea animals featured.
The underwater pictures are rich and colourful and the text gives a clear and concise story filled with facts.
A Bear’s Life showcases our same beautiful part of the world but from the perspective of the forest.
The same rich beautiful pictures and engaging text take the reader on a journey through the temperate rainforest and along the beaches that border it.
The section of the Spirit Bear was particularly fascinating to the students.
These books have been a beautiful link between the classroom here in Nigeria and our home. They are perfect for children 3yrs+ who love animals or geography. For older students, they offer endless possibilities for extended self directed research projects.
It’s pages are done in the same simple style that showcase a number of powerful ways children can make their voice heard.
We love that it is easy to read and can be shared with the youngest preschooler although this is an excellent book for opening dialogue with elementary students.
This is a book that can be used both at home and in schools or communities with young children to empower those who may have trouble expressing themselves or don’t feel they belong or fit in. We especially need to show these children that they are loved, their voices matter but most importantly that they can make a difference.
We have been waiting for this book for what seems like forever!
If you have never explored this series you ought to. Based on an amazing and diverse group of powerful, world changing women the latest book in the series showcases the woman who’s teachings we have built our own lives around.
The pictures are done in the same style as the rest of the series and the text is perfect to share with children 3 years and up.
It follows Maria’s life timeline and although we wish it showcased more, we think it’s perfect for the age group it was intended for.
Perhaps the best part of the book is this time line in the back with more facts for the adult or older child reader. This timeline pairs perfectly with this set from Diamond Montessori!
Often we recognize bullying as loud, in your face, and clearly mean. But this isn’t always the case. Far too often relational aggression is at play with the consequences being just as harmful for the target.
This book is perfect for reading at home or with students in the classroom. The watercolour illustrations compliment the story without taking over. The text is clear, easy to understand and empathize with for children beginning at 6 years of age.
It focuses on the emotions felt by the target and the importance of a child listening to their body. It also touches on the importance of a target seeking help from a trusted caregiver and the important role the caregiver plays in ending the bullying.
Books like this are perhaps difficult for an adult to read to a child, but children will often enjoy listening to them and love forming discussion groups about the topics portrayed in the pages. These are often the easiest way to reach out to children on both sides of bullying. The conversations that can be built on after reading these kinds of books hold within them a value that will last a lifetime.
Listed in the end pages of this book are some excellent American organizations, global websites, and recommended readings for adults and children that all focus on relational aggression.
During this upcoming week of Anti-Bullying we will continue to showcase books and activities that focus on empathy, acceptance and friendship.
If you have a particular favourite resource please share it in the comments. We would love to feature it here or on our social media.
February in Canada holds Valentine’s Day, Family Day and also Anti-Bullying Day. So many opportunities to continue conversations with children about empathy and continue our work in Peace Education.
We’ve written about some of these titles before but today we wanted to focus on one we discovered by chance at our local library.
This book was a delightful surprise. It is absolutely perfect for the 3-6 year old crowd.
It’s simple text hides big conversation starters.
We love the diversity within its pages and its powerful message.
It’s the perfect sharing book for a group of children in a classroom or just simply with our own children at home. It explains that we are who we are, it’s ok to be who you are and that the feelings we feel are also what other people feel. This is an important first step in fostering empathy with young children.
What books are you sharing with children in this month of love and kindness?
When this book was featured to be released I knew we simply had to have it. So much so that when I found it wasn’t going to released here for a while I ordered it from overseas.
We are big Shirley Hughes fans and I can remember being read her books as a child. This one didn’t disappoint.
The end pages say it all. Her beautiful realistic artwork and simple yet rich text grab the reader right away. This book has the perfect mix of interesting ideas to make, as well as some lovely stories and poems.
We used to make these simple paper lanterns when I was very young.
As with all Shirley Hughes books they have a distinct British feel with simplicity at the heart of the text. This book can easily be lovingly tucked away each year, ready to bring out the next year to awaiting little ones.
We hope you are enjoying a peaceful and restful weekend.