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Montessori from the Start Paperback – 1 Aug 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 259 pages
  • Publisher: Schocken Books; 1 edition (1 Aug. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805211128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805211122
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.2 x 20.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 101,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
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. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 112 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 Dec. 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I worked as a Montessori teaching assistant many years ago and was already familiar with her ideas, so when my own daughter was born I was eager to put them into practice. I read a review of this book and bought it but although it has a few good suggestions, overall it was of very little use. Though the book is intended for use from birth to age 3, the focus is overwhelmingly on babyhood. If your child is already walking and you didn't use the Montessori child-bed, weaning chair, weaning table, etc, much of this book will be pointless. If you do not have the resources to buy the equipment suggested, this book will also not be of much use, because it rarely suggests inexpensive or homemade alternatives.
I also strongly object to some of the authors' suggestions in the chapter entitled "Personal Care". They recommend intensive toilet training beginning at 12-15 months, and weaning from breastfeeding at 9 months, arguing that this will foster the child's feelings of independence. Both of these suggestions are contrary to the latest advice given by childcare experts. Few children show any signs of being ready for toilet training at such a young age -- most are still learning to walk, or have recently learned to do so, and for the parent to begin intensive toilet training at this time interferes with the child's natural instincts to be on the move. Furthermore it is much easier and faster to toilet train when the child is actually ready to do so, which in the vast majority of cases is not before the age of two.
The authors' advice to wean from the breast at 9 months is contrary to that of the American Association of Pediatrics, which recommends that breastmilk be the primary source of nutrition for all of the first year. This advice can also be dangerous.
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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Ng Wai Yin on 11 Aug. 2003
Format: Paperback
This is the first Montessori book I read after hearing about it years ago. I expected to learn about the method, which I did, thanks to the book's clear writing and pragmatic choice of content. But quite unexpectedly, and more importantly so, it opens up a new horizon in my personal relation with children that is at once profound and practicable.
The Montessori method begins with acknowledging a child as a developing but incomplete individual. Being developing but incomplete, she needs help in facilitation rather than education in the conventional sense, which tends to be pre-packaged and indoctrinating. Being an individual, she is on a journey to adulthood that is her own, with an inner self to emerge and a will to grow. Her goal is a reflective person who knows her way and summons her will to walk in it. There is a properly spiritual dimension that appeals immediately to me. According to the authors who founded their own Montessori school over twenty years ago, "Montessori children" are known for their calmness and inner strength.
While the method normally applies to school-aged children, this book claims to be the first attempt to extend it to babies below three in the home context. I think the authors have succeeded in piecing together a coherent and convincing picture, from years of experience in the field, as well as their own families. (The second author is in fact daughter of the first who raised her in the Montessori manner.) The theory is well formulated and clearly presented, with detailed advice on practical matters such as helping babies to sleep, food, clothings, toilet, etc. that are derived from it. It therefore reads coherent and whole, unlike many other baby care books that tend to appear piecemeal and ad hoc.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By KJB on 12 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am trained in the Montessori method but wanted more ideas on how to use her principles with my own children. I've found the book very useful and quite practical so far in designing and decorating the bedroom for my, yet to arrive, first born. Time will tell whether everything works but based on my experiences with Montessori so far, it's really grounded in science and child development, so with a little patience and effort really seems to have great results. The book is well written and easy to read, and I'd definitely recommend it.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Ms. R. Freedman on 10 Nov. 2006
Format: Paperback
As an AMI trained Montessori teacher, I thought this book was fantastic! It covers the basic principles of Dr Montessori's work and gives excellent advice on helping your child develop to his or her full potential.

I had a friend with a 15 month old boy who had started banging his head on the floor and she could not work out what was wrong with him! I was reading this book at the time and I told her that the child of around this age is trying to challenge himself to use his new-found strength in his arm muscles as well as his new skill in standing steadily.

I asked her what was his favourite thing to do at the moment and she said he kept going over to their fireplace and trying to pick up a heavy, beautifully-carved, stone horse. She kept taking the horse from him and picking him up and moving him away from the fireplace because, quite rightly, she did not want him playing in a fireplace!

I suggested that he had merely found an excellent challenge for himself in the horse and that maybe he was not interested in the fireplace at all. She moved the horse to a different place in the room and her little boy did not go back to the fireplace but to the horse and when she left him to try and pick it up, without interfering, he did it and the happiness and sense of self achievement that shone out of him was wonderful!

It had been very difficult for her not to interrupt his efforts and pick up the horse for him, to 'help' him, but she had held herself back and her son had shown her the fundamental human spirit - that of self development and the innate drive towards challenge and progress and 'work' with a purpose (his work at that time was to develop his muscle strength and balance while carrying a heavy object, now that he could stand of his own accord).
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