I’ve always been interested in the Montessori way of schooling, but never fully understood it. I have to admit that it’s something I’ve seen as something I’d do if I was rich, lived in a massive house and didn’t have to work. So when I was invited to the launch of the new Montessori book, Learning Together, I was really excited, not only to meet the people at the top of the Montessori network in the UK, but to actually get to understand more of it. Unfortunately, Aviya, at just a few weeks old, chose that as her first night to cry and fuss a lot, so I missed the speech, but it’s okay – I got to have interesting conversations, and came away with the Learning Together book.
Learning Together is not a ‘how to’ guide to parenting. It is not a step-by-step education manual. It is not a grow-your-own-genius book, and it doesn’t judge or preach, and it doesn’t make you feel like you’ve done things wrong (you might feel that you have, but the author doesn’t make you feel like you have, if that makes sense?)
Now, while I’ve never really understood Montessori, and might like a step-by-step, this is how to get started guide, I was firstly, quite surprised by some of the things in this book, and more importantly, surprised by how many of them we already do, without my even knowing they were Montessori. I found that really reassuring.
Learning Together has four chapters.
Chapter one deals with the potential of the child, and chapter two with unlocking the potential. Chapter three looks at the ‘Montessori way of life’ and examines some of the principles – like freedom to move and explore, engaging the child in the routines of living, managing time, and so on. Chapter four is about creating a Montessori inspired space. This is really the only part of a Montessori life that makes me hesitate, because it will require some money. Still, the book does give you good ideas for how to incorporate elements into your child’s environment, and some of them are easily adaptable (like having a child-friendly cupboard space in the kitchen, and wonderful ideas for treasure or sensory baskets.)
I guess there’s an element of ‘take what works for you’ to Learning Together and that really appeals to me, especially since I’m not in a position to go out and redo my home!
The definite bonuses of this book include the fact that it’s clear and concise. It provides easy reading, and explains the concepts behind Montessori in very simple ways.
You can purchase Learning Together from the Montessori shop for £6.99 or if you buy 10 or more, they’re £3.99.
You can win one of five Learning Together books from Montessori. Just complete the Rafflecopter entry below.
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