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Best Montessori Books I Own

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Welcome to my Best Montessori Books I Own Series: I highlight four Montessori books including Teach Me to do it Myself, Montessori activities for you and your child  by Maja Pitamic; How to Raise an Amazing Child The Montessori Way by Tim Seldin; The Essential Montessori Updated Edition: an Introduction to the Woman, the Writings, the Method, and the Movement  by Elizabeth Hainstock; and Awakening Your Toddler's Love of Learning by Jan Katzen-Luchenta. Some of these books are available at your local library, as an ebook on Kindle, and or used and new on Amazon.com where you can add them to your wish list or purchase them on the spot. 

Teach Me to do it Myself, Montessori activities for you and your child  by Maja Pitamic
The Introduction includes: a Preface; "Who was Montessori"; "How to use this book"; and "Frequently asked questions" (seven in all).
There are five chapters with activities you can do at home or in a classroom setting: "Life skil…

DIY Bedtime Box With Day and Night Matching and Sorting: A Guest Post by Carolyn Wilhelm of Wise Owl Factory

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I recently purchased Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness: Mom Stories from the Trenches, Lisa Nolan's mom lit parent humor anthology with forty contributing mom bloggers. Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness is very funny and poignant while describing the experiences of the sleep deprived mothers who contributed the chapters. Any young parents needing some comedic relief about their situations would feel less alone and more understood by reading this book. I've already sent it to a young mom who I know will enjoy the writing. The writers are all very talented and many have written other books and/or blogs. They are introduced at the end of the book with links for future reading and enjoyment.
I smiled for days remembering some of the lines in the book such as, "I hear a doggy barking!" spoken by a child trying to delay bedtime. The teacher mom I could so relate with, as both jobs can be exhausting. There are poems and stories, and it is the perfect bed stand book to help paren…

Do You Need to Be Crafty to do Montessori?

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I am a mom with well intentions, but I struggle with organization, planning and as a pregnant woman, fatigue! I am also admittedly not that crafty. I will often opt to purchase an item if it will save me from the overwhelming feeling of crafting something. However, I really don't want my deficiencies to interfere with the type of quality environment I raise my children in. After reading many different Montessori books, I know this is the approach that I want to adopt for raising both my children.
I asked other Montessori moms and educators what they thought! Here is what they had to say:
Me: You'll be happy to know I'm not the crafty type, either, and I'd much rather buy than make!

It really helped that, when my son was born and until he turned four, I lived within walking distance to TWO children's consignment stores! I was also in two mother's clubs (great for free stuff), not to mention Craigslist and eBay!
I never did buy those expensive Montessori infant ma…

Is there a general order that teachers use for giving Montessori lessons?

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Is there a general order that teachers use for giving lessons? Montessori method follows the child and observes what is next for that child. Therefore, I have read in many places that there is no set curriculum to follow. But there are albums that Montessori teachers create. There may be no set time to teach something, but what I am thinking and wondering is, is there a general order or pattern which a teacher might use. I have noticed in the math materials that the pink tower comes before the brown stair and the red rods. I am thinking that I could have the "next" lessons or activities prepared, and tucked away, and taken out when the child is ready for it. But how do I know what lessons and activities to tuck away?--Laura S.
Here is what other Montessorians had to say!

"When Montessori teachers go through training, there's a whole curriculum that goes through each area of the classroom and specifies a lesson progression to follow for each area. It encompasses each…

What constitutes misuse of materials by an infant?

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I've been doing a few Montessori activities with my son C. since he was born. He's now nine and a half months old. Here's a question I've been wondering about for a while.
When I present an activity, C. has very little interest in copying me and doing the intended activity. I know that sometimes it's appropriate for the child to use the materials in his own way, but other times it indicates that he is not ready for the activity and I should just put it away. But how do I tell the difference?

When I presented the "putting spoons in a bowl" activity, C. picked up the spoons and put them in his mouth, and tapped them together, both of which I thought were probably ok. But then he took a spoon in each hand and started crawling away (he loves to crawl while holding things). I decided that was not a good idea, because he wasn't using the materials in any investigative way, so I took the spoons away from him and he was really mad.
Do you have any tips on this f…

Teacher Pushing Children With Down Syndrome Into Special Ed Kindergarten

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I was wondering if you could direct me to any research done regarding children with Down Syndrome benefiting from Montessori schooling. Several of my children attend a public Montessori school in N.C. and I would very much like for my 4 year old daughter to attend kindergarten there next year.
However her preschool teacher told me today that she does not think my daughter should be in an inclusive kindergarten class, despite the fact that she is in an inclusive preschool! 
It’s clear to me from other comments she’s made over the past year and a half that this is not about my daughter but about this teacher’s low expectations of children with Down syndrome and misunderstanding of the benefits of mainstreaming and of the Montessori method.
The county is presently focused on mainstreaming most children with special needs and I was told at an event sponsored by the county Special Ed Department that of the 600 or so children leaving preschool this year about 500 of them will go into regular k…

Are Montessori Young Kids on Average More Shy?

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Hi, I am a mom from Macau. I am often faced with the comment from non-Montessori outsiders, or even families who send their kids to Montessori preschools, claiming "Montessori young kids on average are more shy, or need more time to warm up in social gatherings, than kids who go to playgroups". Is this the real scenario? My 2 yr 8 mo girl happens to be an introvert, and people are commenting like "is the Montessori environment really helping her to survive in an extrovert world". I firmly believe in Montessori philosophy, but have to admit I am anxious in this area, especially as she is approaching the time for school interviews for getting selected and admissions into kindergarten, and she really needs a long time to feel comfortable before she speaks or greets (we don't have Montessori kindergartens or elementary schools here in my place). Can you give me more insights to this? Thank you so much!
Usually the opposite is a concern for parents, that their child…

Child Screams and Runs Around the Classroom When Asked to Put Montessori Activities Away

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I have a child in the class who just turned three. Very smart. His parents are bilingual. Repeats words, phrases or sentences you say in third person. He can sit down and do work but when he is done he would start screaming or running around the room wall to wall. Then would have a hard time going back to work. He has a fascination on fans and makes fan out of most if the materials. Recently he has been pulling hair in random no apparent reason and no show of emotions toward the child. Are these sign of something about the child or just simply a child lacking communication skills which will come soon. Thanks.
"When he is done he would start screaming or running around the room wall to wall..." I suspect he gets away with not putting his belongings away at home, too, and uses tantrums to get his way. Ask for a good time to talk with the parents over the phone (try not to talk in front of the child) and find out what their child does when he is asked to put something away (jack…

FAQs on the Montessori Knobbed Cylinder Blocks for Twos and Threes

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I've been looking for some information on when to introduce the pink tower, brown stairs and knobbed cylinders. I have found info on their purposes, but not much on when and how to intro them. I have seen mini versions of these materials (with only half the steps, tower pieces or cylinders) in the toddler section of montessori shops online but they don't have any age suggestions. Can you please suggest a good source for info and activities?

Big Grey Mare / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Pink Tower: age 2.5 to 3. They can be hard for a tot to pick up, and the smaller pieces can be a choking hazard. Try stacking cereal boxes or egg cartons under the age of 2 as an indirect preparation for the Pink Tower at age 2 or 3. (Don't by a small Pink Tower, save your money and get the regular one and introduce it age 2.5.)
Brown Stairs are a little more challenging, age 3 and up. Children love to make a tower with the Brown Stairs! Age 3.5 to 4 is a good age for that! (Again, don't buy the sh…

Infant Mouthing Montessori Materials In a Nutshell

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Hello. I am having a hard time getting my son to use his materials the correct way. He will either gnaw on them, hit them to the table or ground, or "windshield wipe" them with his arm across the room. He's 11 months old, and we've tried object permanence box with drawer, single bead on a wire, the donuts that stack onto a post, single shape puzzles, and 3-D shapes that go onto the shaped holes. Thanks!
Your infant is in an oral stage of development, the height of which is 12 months!
Give him lots of safe objects he can explore with his mouth, and wash them each night, put them in the dishwasher, or dirty laundry.
You also need to give him "finger foods" to chew on.
You child is also interested in throwing because it is a new skill he is learning, and it is very common at this age! So give him items he can throw: pot holders, rolled up socks, and bean bags.
So your child will be cruising and then walking, and his sensitive period for oral motor will decreas…

Montessori DIY: Tips for Creating Montessori Inspired Activities by Teresa Hadsall of Montessori By Mom

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Creating Your Own Activities Creating your own Montessori inspired activities can be a lot of fun, but challenging as well. Parents can “Bring Montessori Home” with a few simple principles:
1. Create an ordered environment for your child to work in. Have all the materials ready and in their proper place. After the work\fun is done, guide your child take responsibility and help clean up.
2. Plan an activity that promotes concentration. TV and video games distract, while Montessori activities require your child’s full concentration.
3. Make sure you know the activity’s purpose. Ask yourself, “What is my child going to learn?” It is especially important to use activities that teach real life skills. (Tying, pouring, folding, matching, mixing, etc. are all great.)
4. Rely on your child’s inner motivation. Kids are built to learn and LOVE it. Most of the time, they just need the opportunity.
Making activities that rely on inner motivation: The first thing to think about is your child’s interests.

How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Simone Davies of Jacaranda Tree Montessori

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How to talk with children is a lesson we all seem to need. Even as infants they learn from how and what we say to them. We are thrilled to have Simone Davies back with us to walk us through the How2Talk2Kids method of communicating with our children. 
It’s a pleasure to be back guest blogging here. I love the energy of this group and your passion and interest in incorporating Montessori in your homes.

I’m exactly the same. When my children were born (already 12 and 13 years ago!), I wanted to learn a different way to be with them. I didn’t want to force learning into them; I wanted to discover and explore the world together and guide them along the way.
But I found my communication skills lacking. A repertoire of “good girl/good boy” or “what a great job” or “don’t worry, it’s just a scratch” came flowing out of my mouth in the same way we had been raised by our parents.
The words I used just didn’t seem to be consistent with the way I wanted to raise my kids, for them to think for t…

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