Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mini Book Review: How to Raise an Amazing Child to Montessori Way

I'd read some good things about How to Raise an Amazing Child to Montessori Way, by Tim Seldin, on a few Montessori themed blogs, so I was really looking forward to checking it out. I wanted to like it, but I found the tone pretty off-putting right from the start.

There were some neat things in the book, like how to teach your child to put on his own coat independently - that will definitely come in handy! And of course, the fundamental Montessori principle of "following the child."

I would probably have had a different impression of this book if I hadn't just read a couple of books by John Holt (reviewed here and here) that stress letting children learn naturally. For example, the Montessori book described a 3-step activity to do with your child to increase their vocabulary, seemingly only for the sake of increasing their vocabulary. It makes more sense to me, and here's where I'm being influenced by Holt, to just use those words you want the child to learn in your normal speech. The example in the book was naming different vegetables. I could easily imagine saying, "Let's buy that eggplant," in the grocery store, or "We're having eggplant for dinner," versus setting aside time for sitting E down and repeating "eggplant" to him until he could point to one and repeat it back to me. I'm being a little harsh on the Montessori book, but not by much.

How to Raise an Amazing Child to Montessori Way is mainly aimed at somewhat older children, so I may revisit it when E's a bit bigger.

Our latest development that I haven't snapped a picture of yet (sadness!) is little E sort of grabbing at his noggin. He puts all five fingers on his head and then brings them together, like he's scratching his head. Quite cute!

Instead, here's a picture of snow covered trees from last week. The snow is almost all gone already. Here's to hoping that was our last big snow for this winter.

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