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Teaching Montessori in the Home: Pre-School Years: The Pre-School Years Paperback – September 1, 1997
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“Highly recommended.”—Library Journal
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I gave this 4 stars because I found some of the exercises to be outdated but I’d still buy it even if I knew that....
The introduction to the book provides a short overview of the method and its success, but if you are looking for an in depth coverage of the Montessori method, look elsewhere. I purchased this along with "Montessori in the Classroom," "The Essential Montessori," and "The Montessori Method." Instead of looking at this book as the "be all, end all" book, I saw it more as a piece of the foundation that I was trying to create.
Many of the materials mentioned in the book are no longer available, but a quick internet search can usually turn up what you are looking for. Some of the activities seemed like common sense to me (learning to push in a chair, washing your hands, etc.), but for someone completely new to the method they make sense. As adults, it's often easy for us to forget that many of these daily activities don't come naturally. It was a good reminder that we can't have high expectations for these routines, unless we specifically teach them.
The one thing that I felt was lacking was the method for presenting the materials. Luckily, I was able to find a more in depth description in other books (see above). She lists a few short steps (usually about 3-5) for introducing the materials, but she doesn't make it as explicit as I would have liked. There also aren't many extension activities listed. Generally, there is one (sometimes two) activties listed for each material. I would have like to see more variations and extensions. I do like how she lists the control of error for each material. It became very clear to me that all of the Montessori materials allow students to be self taught. It becomes very evident when they've made a mistakes, so children are more likely to self correct without teacher intervention.
This is definitely a great supplement to a beginning Montessori library. I can see myself using this quite a bit as we begin the school year, but as we become familiar with the method, I see myself passing it along to someone else. It's definitely a good starting point for teaching Montessori in the home, but the material is quickly mastered.
This book is fantastic - outlining many activities and giving a taste of the Montessori approach that will let you decide whether you want to know more (I did!).
Many Montessori programs are expensive but this book equips you to do the activities with home made equipment. It also inspires parents to engage their children with everyday activities - eg. my son loved the 'lesson' on how to open and close a drawer properly. He quickly "taught" his panda and Maisie how to do it noiselessly and showed a great deal of pride. What a change from throwing Hot Wheels cars at the wall!