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Teaching Montessori in the Home: Pre-School Years: The Pre-School Years Paperback – September 1, 1997
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“Provides enlightenment on the whole Montessori method.”—Denver Post
“Highly recommended.”—Library Journal
From the Back Cover
This book has already helped thousands of parents connect with their children by introducing them at home to the dynamic Montessori method of education. The techniques, exercises, and easy-to-make Montessori materials presented here instill a sense of discovery and awareness in your child, and serve as an essential foundation for future learning. Covering the pre-school years from ages two to five, the lessons focus on reading and writing, mathematics, sensory awareness, and practical life skills. Updated and revised, this guide puts the entire range of the Montessori system within your reach, so you can make the most of your child's vital years.
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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.
Update....2013...my child is now 9 years old and let me update my thoughts. I have always placed education as one of top priority in the list of most important focuses for my daughter (others being health, family, morals, respect to self and others, religion). I have been an advocate for my child especially in school, making certain she receives the education she should. I have been in the principal's office many many times by choice to discuss education. From the time I received this book, I did enroll my child into Montessori at age 4(researched all the schools in the area very carefully as if it were a university for my child). She attended Montessori for 2 years and now attends a public school, with enhanced tutoring and extracurricular sports afterschool balancing the education and growth process. Again, looking back, I do recommend this book.