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They supply the energy and enthusiasm for the essential, continuous relationship with the environment throughout our lives.
When they are fully operative in our everyday activities, whatever our age, we experience joy and a sense of being fully alive. To the extent that they are missing from our daily lives, we feel listless and unenthusiastic. The energy of our response to life is directly related, then, to how our environment encourages and allows for the human tendencies in our everyday life. It follows that children need more than opportunity to respond to the environment; they will need encouragement. In the following chapters, we discuss ways to design the home environment for the child so that the human tendencies are actively encouraged.
You will note that our suggestions are often at odds with the current fad or media hype. For example, psychologists today discuss the need for "stimulation" in the child's environment. The problem with this term is that it is vague. With the best of intentions, parents respond in excess and children are harmed more than they are helped. As you will see in later chapters, a simple but well-thought-out plan, geared to specific formation of the child at designated age levels, is the most helpful approach.
Nor should we forget that the mission of human development is also the basis for creating homes for adults, too. In order to develop our humanity, we must nurture the human tendencies in all of us. Our homes also should reflect adult needs for exploration, orientation, order, imagination, exactness, repetition, control of error, manipulation, perfection, and communication. All of these behavioral tendencies are clearly visible through, for example, music, art, and other forms of spiritual expression, which indicate that their rightful place is in our homes.
The mission of developing the home environment has belonged primarily to women in past civilizations. Whoever may now assume this responsibility, the role of homemaker remains essential to human destiny. Today, althuogh some of us enjoy the greatest affluence the world has ever known, we find that developing a home environment that serves the human spirit, a home of beauty, order, and simplicity, remains a very challenging task.
We now turn to the child we have referred to as "incomplete" at birth. In some ways, this lack of completion is shared with other mammals when they are born. In varying degrees, they also require adult-nurturing for a period of time before they become fully functioning adults.
None, however, need the assistance of adults in their group for nearly a quarter of a century. This is the span of time Montessori identified as necessary for complete adult formation in the human being. Her conclusion is supported by recent scientific research demonstrating that the foundational neural structures in the frontal lobes of the human brain are not completed until approximately age twenty-four.
It is in the frontal lobes that our most advanced reasoning and knowledge reside, including wisdom. What must the human child achieve in order to become a complete human being? The development of the brain through sensorial awareness and interaction with the immediate envir-onment is the beginning of the child's journey. This development is individual to each child; no two brains are alike.
In this sense, we are all "originals. We do, however-against huge statistical odds. In order to become a complete human being, the child has to advance in all of these areas beginning with the first days of life. For the young of the animal species, independence as soon as possible is essential as a matter of physical survival. For the human child, independence, the ability to do things on one's own, is most important for its psychological component; it is the path to confidence and self-assurance. The infant is born as one who must be served. Gradually, the child is helped to take care of basic actions independently and, finally, to serve others.
To grow in confidence in this process of forming independence, the adult has to prepare just the right amount of challenge for the child to face. Even adults lose confidence when they find themselves overwhelmed by situations where they have no chance of success. Yet, we routinely put children in this position by not thinking through simple acts of everyday life and then finding the best means for a child of that age to do them independently. Everything we will describe to you in subsequent chapters will help the child to ever-increasing independence of action and therefore to the ability to help others who are less capable because they are either younger or otherwise less developed.
Montessori outlined environments leading to the child's independent functioning at school as well as at home, thereby preparing the child for growing intellectual independence as well. The comfortable self-possession of students from a quality Montessori school is the attribute most often remarked upon in their assessment by other educators and professionals.
The significance of independence for the human child then is the view that it gives of the self. In Montessori education, self-evaluation is a function of realistic achievement through in-dependent action. Adults cannot give children confidence and self-regard through external praise and evaluation; those come as the result of the child's own efforts. An infant first explores an object, perhaps a carrot, with the senses of touch, sight, and smell. If the environment is properly prepared for her, at fifteen months of age, she can wash it with a small vegetable brush.
Montessori From the Start: The Child at Home From Birth to Age Three | AMI USAAMI USA
By eighteen months, a child can use a vegetable peeler to peel one slice of carrot skin at a time and then discard it in a dish. She can use a small cleaver, with a filed blade so that it is not overly sharp, to cut pieces of the peeled carrot for eating or serving at family dinner. By five years old, a child can prepare her own lunch for school from preselected items and with a minimum of adult assistance. From such independent accomplishments come the child's sense of self-mastery and resulting self-confidence. Cautionary note: Adults must always be in constant attendance or monitor closely when such objects are used.
This independence in the child is not to help make life easier for the adult. In fact, at least initially, helping children to establish independence requires a great deal of effort and thought on the adults' part. Montessori encourages us to go to this trouble for children so that they will experience the confidence that comes from not having to wait for someone else to do what is needed. It is not to help adults, then, that we help children to become independent in daily acts; it is to help children.
A must for parents-to-be, nannies, and care-givers. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview What can parents do to help their youngest children in their task of self-formation? How does the Montessori method of hands-on learning and self-discovery relate to the youngest infants?
This authoritative and accessible book answers these and many other questions. Based on Dr. Maria Montessori's instructions for raising infants, its comprehensive exploration of the first three years incorporates the furnishings and tools she created for the care and comfort of babies. From the design of the baby's bedroom to the child-sized kitchen table, from diet and food preparation to clothing and movement, the authors provide guidance for the establishment of a beautiful and serviceable environment for babies and very young children.
They introduce concepts and tasks, taking into account childrens' ''sensitive periods'' for learning such skills as dressing themselves, food preparation, and toilet training. Brimming with anecdote and encouragement, and written in a clear, engaging style, Montessori from the Start is a practical and useful guide to raising calm, competent, and confident children. Paula is the principal of the school, and she and Lynn teach the parent child course, a workshop for parents on the Montessori approach for children from birth to age three.
They live in Lake Forest, Illinois. Read an Excerpt Chapter One The Completion of the Human Being Before we begin the chapters of practical detail that form the body of this book, it is important to visit two more areas of thought about the formation of human beings. Show More. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches. The Century of the Child. Ellen Karolina Sofia Key was a Swedish difference feminist writer on many subjects in Ellen Karolina Sofia Key was a Swedish difference feminist writer on many subjects in the fields of family life, ethics and education, and was an important figure in the Modern Breakthrough movement.
She was an early advocate of a View Product. The Child at Home. The Difficult Child. Temperamentally difficult children can confuse and upset even experienced parents I recommend it to ALL parents, not just those interested in Montessori. It outlines a wonderful understanding and respectful way of raising confident capable children View 1 comment. Jan 11, Yvonne rated it really liked it Recommends it for: anyone with young children, but especially though of Marlise.
I thought this was a great book. I enjoyed Dr. Montessori's books in her own words, but this book did a great job giving some guidelines on how to implement Montessori principles with teaching infants and toddlers how to do things themselves. I know that even years ago pioneer children were a lot more mature then they are today so it would make sense to me that children are very capable of learning how to 'help' and how to take care of themselves. A few things I have done since I started rea I thought this was a great book. He still spills, but he is starting to like to wipe the spilled water up himself as well he doesn't get it all, but like Paula and Lynn suggest in the book, once the child has done it then the parent will say, "It's my turn now" and then clean it up the rest of the way.
He gets so excited when he can see we are going to take a walk now! Plus, I know it's helping him to gain the confidence to walk more on his own because he is walking a lot more without holding onto anything or anyone! I was just telling my husband last night as I was helping my son get dressed in his pjs, "I'm so glad I read this book.
I never would have thought a one year old would be interested and capable of helping to undress and dress himself. Aug 03, Hannah rated it it was ok Shelves: parenting , home-education. I cant help but find myself sitting here wondering, "Are the views on infancy espoused by this author actually the Montessori viewpoint, or is she simply parroting back modern baby trainers? Then of course there was the typical modern "sleep training" approach that was also espoused, which I also don't agree with. The implication is that if you co-sleep, or even if you don't co-sleep, but still practice nighttime parenting instead of cry-it-out, that your child will never learn to independently sleep through the night.
Someone apparently forgot to inform my son, who nursed albeit down to once a day by the end through sixteen months of age, and was consistently sleeping through the night around twelve to fourteen months of age these times were interwoven with teething, when he would go back to waking up once or twice for a few days, then sleep through, et cetera, depending upon his discomfort? I also found myself smirking at the mention of the infant bed on the floor instead of a crib.
It must be assumed that there are no other young children in the house, who might still be of a young enough age that they need to be supervised around the baby, or that if there are, then obviously everyone has their own bedroom and we can simply gate older children out of baby's room. Oh, and the "Sensitive Period" for toilet training is from twelve to eighteen months?
How about we take individual development into that equation, hm? My son was such an avid crawler that he didn't start walking until sixteen months Before he's even thinking about the milestone of walking? While I do think that in some situations, our culture has swung to the opposite extreme and allowed for significantly delayed potty training, I also don't think we need to be shaming parents for "missing the sensitive period" if their child isnt potty-trained by eighteen months of age.
Starting before they are developmentally ready is more likely to lead to greater issues and frustration! Are some children ready to start potty-training that early? But quit guilt-tripping parents of those who arent't. I -did- find some meat in this book, but it was only when the author began to discuss points that were in regard to developmental milestones from around the eighteen-month mark onward. If you were looking to pick up a book about the stages and development of your child between one and two years of age, I highly recommend "Your One Year Old" instead.
Leave this one on the shelf. Edited to add: If you don't mind fishing through some rather "New Age-y" jargon, there are also some great resources to be found in "You Are Your Child's First Teacher," which focuses on the same years as this book, albeit from a more Waldorf approach. While I disagree with the anthrosophy philosophy behind the Waldorf approach, I think that they have a lot more going for them in their approach during the first couple years of life than Montessori does.
View 2 comments. Jun 11, Jessica rated it liked it.
Before having our precious little boy, I worked for three years as an assistant at a Christian Montessori preschool ages , my time there is what persuaded my husband and I that Montessori is a good method for educating the whole child. It might be a bit of a shocker and a lot of information to take in. The book was very useful with a lot of information and examples to illustrate concepts.
Sometimes the reading felt a little heavy. It was definitely very helpful and we will implement many of the ideas for our family. The chapters I felt were particularly useful, in their topics and examples, were Pratical Life Ch. View all 3 comments. Mar 01, Jessica rated it really liked it Shelves: parenting. Jul 26, Siim rated it it was amazing. Montessori's approach to assisting the development of the child is, to me, not another how-to theory.
Rather, it is a mentality and a common-sense approach to doing things. Everything said seems very logical, and I find myself nodding along to reading the book. The most important thing to raising a child and assist in his self-formation is taking the time to observing him and, yes, assisting him and collaborating with him. The book is a great companion as it covers several important themes and doe Montessori's approach to assisting the development of the child is, to me, not another how-to theory. The book is a great companion as it covers several important themes and does so for various stages of development in each chapter.
So it is a reference book that keeps you sane during all the stages - from newborn, three to nine months, nine to twelve months, twelve to eighteen months, and all the way to eighteen months to three years. It helps you prepare yourself, prepare the environment for the child, and shows you how to provide freedom with responsibility, taking into account the human tendencies - exploration, orientation, order, abstraction, imagination, manipulation, repetition, exactness, control of error, perfection, and communication.
A great resource for a new father or mother if you think of are afraid that things are running away from you. It is also very well written. Mar 07, Ashlyn Hunt rated it liked it. I also favor the principle of imaginative play. Of which the Montessori belief discourages against. Montessori is without a doubt an unconventional philosophy that is nothing short of a culture shock to any parent that was raised with the Western adage of instant gratification.
Not that we have everything right, because we certainly don't. I do love the push for activities involving concentration; children do need to focus more on diversifying their minds, focusing less on mechanical toys and television. I did come away from this book with more educational empowerment for my toddler that I do believe will be helpful in offering him a well-rounded childhood. However, to devote oneself exclusively to a single philosophy for child development will only deprive the child of a complete enriched, contemporary childhood.
Dec 11, Julie McDonald rated it it was ok. It's difficult for me to review nonfiction books. For this one in particular, I have to keep reminding myself to focus on reviewing the book, and not the subject of Montessori education.
I was interested in this book because it's one of the few resources I've found that includes educational information geared toward infants. Most early childhood resources begin with information about 2 and 3 year olds. I did take away some ideas that I can incorporate into my son's environment, and I also learne It's difficult for me to review nonfiction books.
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I did take away some ideas that I can incorporate into my son's environment, and I also learned more about Dr. Maria Montessori's actual observations that served as the basis for her theories. I did wish that the book was more clearly organized. It was sometimes challenging to wade through the author's experiences and anecdotes as I looked for the meat of each developmental theory. I would've also preferred lists and charts that summarized each section in addition to the narrative.
Feb 14, Abby rated it it was amazing Shelves: nonfiction , parenting , education. But, the former is the work of an educator; the latter is the easy and inferior work of a servant. Maria Montessori Tremendously inspiring. Nov 22, Sana rated it liked it. Started off with a good overview of the Montessori method but then got repetitive and overly specific for my needs. Overall, the first few chapters are a good primer for anyone curious about the method and the philosophy behind it. Dec 02, Camille rated it really liked it.
Useful book. It did sorta make me feel like I wasn't doing enough if my kid wasn't like making his own sandwiches by 18 months. But it was a good reminder to encourage self-determination and get my kid into routines early. We moved him to a floor bed at 16 months after he climbed out of his crib numerous times, we did elimination communication something I'm surprised Montessori doesn't promote and got him out of diapers much earlier than his peers.
He's also fastidious about cleaning up his ow Useful book. He's also fastidious about cleaning up his own messes and solving a lot of his own problems. He is curious and confident and often introduces me to things I wasn't familiar with. I think part of his independent spirit is just his personality but I credit the Montessori approach for encouraging us to give him the space and structure to let that personality blossom.
Nov 21, Lucinda rated it liked it. For the most part I think there is a lot of truth to what the author argues in this book. Giving your child the freedom and opportunity and support provided in the proper way to develop gross and fine motor skills, language skills and practical daily life skills starts, well, from the start of their life not at 3 years of age when they head off to preschool. At times, though, the author comes across as really sanctimonious, as though using any sort of devices - like a high chair, for instanc For the most part I think there is a lot of truth to what the author argues in this book.
At times, though, the author comes across as really sanctimonious, as though using any sort of devices - like a high chair, for instance, or heaven forbid! I for one will not feel guilty in having my child sit happily in her high chair by the rest of us while we have our dinner. Jul 13, Nina rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. Great book that gives you some practical tips as well as provides with a solid mind frame how to introduce Montessori principles into your child's life.
I am not a Montessori fanatic, but I think that its accent on child's independence, focus, and concentrated work is something that every mindful parent should look into and adapt for her own child and home environment. Feb 16, Chelsea rated it it was amazing Shelves: parenting. I love this book! I've already begun implementing the changes it recommends in my family's life, and the results have been very positive. Feb 03, Katherine rated it really liked it Shelves: parenting. Montessori and RIE have a lot of overlap with the shared themed of respect, but Montessori asks you to be a lot more involved in steering their education.
It can feel a bit much at times for young babies, but the sections here that talk about how to get started on teaching them to dress themselves and help with household tasks, those seem like they'll be really useful. The goal is not just to get each task done as efficiently as the adult would, but to teach the kid at the same time. One smart technique, like let's say with brushing teeth or wiping something is "you take a turn, I'll take a turn" and putting yourselves on equal footing. The language is a bit dry and academic at times and doesn't feel that modern, but they do also note that the philosophy and reasoning is important to cover so that you can adapt it and not necessarily get hung up the exact Montessori materials like you might otherwise on Pinterest or Instagram.
Children cannot reason yet, so rely on memory and repetition to know what to do. We are not freed to do other things but because we are meeting our child's needs in self-formation, the days being to go more smoothly and happily for us both. Ask her to set the table, to bring things from one place to another, to wash cups and other little things. You will be surprised how much and how well a small child can work. At the same time you must never forget to set the limits of her activity. Children need to know where they can go and what they can do in order to feel secure.
It is precisely this time, when all acts of self-care are still difficult for the child, that she is so interested in participating in them. Adults cannot give children self-esteem. They must earn it for themselves through their own efforts. After your child makes her attempt, say, "Now it is my turn," without mentioning that her turn did not quite do that job. At times you will need to put your hand on your child's hand to guide the action to be taken. As in everything we do with children, you need to be gentle and move at their slower pace, inviting their participation.
You are offering your child a learning opportunity. Nov 06, Melanie Gibbs rated it did not like it Shelves: parenting.
While Montessori has a great approach for toddlers and young children, when it comes to caring for an infant this book is a recipe for severe postpartum depression. It has all the hallmarks of a typical parenting book- full of mom-guilting tirades about everything from natural birth to breastfeeding to sleep options- with the addition of this helpful advice: - Don't pick up your kid or hold them, almost ever.
Bonding must be limited to diaper changes and breastfeeding. How dare you play with them and distract them from their focus. Babies sleep most of the day, so their awake time is precious and should be spent alone. This means no babywearing, swings, bouncers, strollers, etc. Give your child the gift of quiet, noninteractive time at home. As a mom you must live alone in your quiet house with no interaction from either baby or other adults. You gave up your right to have needs met when you became a parent. Decent information for toddlers months and older.
Everything else is sanctimommy nonsense. Apr 18, Luke rated it really liked it Shelves: brain. An introduction to Montessori principles applied to the very young, and practical developmental milestones and exercises in preparation for the childhood-long self-formation goals of Montessori education. The organization of the book into functional categories leads to some repetition of the timeline, but this is part of what makes it an effective demonstration of the philosophy.
Jan 30, Katie rated it liked it Shelves: As evidenced from the title, this book offers information on how to raise a child in a Montessori environment from birth through the toddler years. While there was certainly a host of helpful information here, I felt the authors came across as somewhat pretentious and judgmental. But in spite of the cringing I felt in several passages, I found it helpful to see better how to engage my children, how to help foster independence, and how to think creatively about what I give them to play with and h As evidenced from the title, this book offers information on how to raise a child in a Montessori environment from birth through the toddler years.
But in spite of the cringing I felt in several passages, I found it helpful to see better how to engage my children, how to help foster independence, and how to think creatively about what I give them to play with and how I help them play. There is much about this book that I won't keep with me, but the information on creating a calm environment where children can explore and become independent individuals was certainly helpful. May 15, Talia marked it as to-read. Such a home reflects the complexity of life. Certainly we want to b p "The goal is to create a home life that is not overly serious and is filled with joyfulness and spontaneity.
Certainly we want to build this environment on universal principles of beauty, simplicity, and order. Soothing as opposed to strident colors and simple rather than complex patterns on the child's bedroom walls, for example, provide a beneficial backdrop. With less background distraction, objects specifically placed in the room more easily draw the baby's attention and encourage focus and exploration.
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Montessori called the child under six years old a 'sensorial explorer' and based her educational approach for the child's early years upon the child's learning through the senses Young children's experiences with the real world become the basis for their imagination and creative thought in the elementary school years, when they no longer possess an absorbent mind but a reasoning mind.
They cannot understand exceptions. When you are setting the table with your child, for example, you need to carry a plate with two hands and with your thumbs on top of each of its sides. If you are in in a hurry, use a tray for multiple items, rather than carrying an item in each hand. This is important because you cannot expect your child to understand that you can carry a glass in each hand while he must carry only one glass with his two hands.
Children will proceed to do was you do, not as you say, and mistakes and failure will follow. As a general rule, the more routing and ritual in the first three years of children's lives, the more comfortable and relaxed they become and the more in tune with their daily schedule Routines give information to children about their world that they are not ready to receive through words.
Hence they learn what will reliably happen next, by experiencing it, rather than by being told. Therefore, we need to prepare an environment for the child that demonstrates order and structure in action We want to make clear to the child in her daily life: what to expect, when to expect it, and where to expect it What are some experiences of 'what and where' for infants and children under the age of three years?
Food stays in the kitchen; we eat at a table sitting down instead of wandering the house, cracker in hand We bathe in a bathtub, not the kitchen sink. Urine and feces belong in the toilet or the potty in the bathroom, not in a diaper on a two-year-old child's body. Toys and puzzles do not belong in the kitchen work area. The special toys that are for the living room stay there. They are not dragged all over the house. We sleep in our own beds.
Running and loud voices are for outside, and so forth If your child is spending the morning hours away from home in a Montessori environment or other setting, plan to take her directly home afterward whenever possible and save other events for later in the afternoon The parent can use a gentle voice when saying, 'I will help you,' to the child.
However, everything in the adult's manner and tone must leave no doubt as to the outcome of each situation. The adult's words and actions, as a part of the structure of the child's environment, are as real as its physical elements; they must reflect authority.