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I’ve followed Simone for a while and find her instagram really helpful and was very much looking forward to this book.
Positives: Book is well laid out, easy to dip in and out and to read small sections at a time. Beautiful illustrations. Following some big Montessori Instagram accounts had left me feeling a bit overwhelmed but Simone makes incorporating the approach simple and achievable. I also feel that her age appropriateness suggestions for activities were reasonable. Simple suggestions on how to make little tweaks to your home to set a child up for success and independence. I like the emphasis put on spending time outdoors. Strategies for respectful parenting with limits have really helped me (and I particularly like the ‘instead of this, say that’ page).
Negatives: language work suggestions with flashcards etc seem tedious and time consuming to set up and unnecessary, I don’t think language acquisition needs to be forced like that. Book advises against playpens but doesn’t take into account different houses have different layouts where a child’s playspace can’t always be in your eyeline or that they can be made a cosy and comforting space. Advice re stand up diapering doesn’t really work for cloth nappies which I find impossible to fit properly unless lying down. Book assumes a certain level of income and privilege (ie, if you live in a city, take trips to lake or mountains) and even what the author suggests as simple and cheap modifications to your home aren’t in reality especially if you change a lot at one time. Book also assumes children are all able bodied. My daughter is deaf and a very late walker. Surely she has encountered a wide variety of children with additional needs in her work as a Montessori teacher? Some perspective on applying the approach with children who fall outside the normal range of developmental milestones might have been helpful and more inclusive. The biggest disappointment however was the advice on sleep. I don’t know what qualifications the author has to make sleep suggestions but I was very surprised to find advice against feeding to sleep and encouraging self settling from birth. Whilst the author advises against cry-it-out alone, she does advocate a crying to sleep approach whilst you are in the room. This seems the opposite of the Montessori approach of ‘follow the child’. Forcing a child that wants to be cuddled to sleep to fall asleep alone seems the opposite of this and I for one doubt that I will look back on my child’s babyhood and wish I had sat on a chair and read in their room whilst they cried instead of rocking them to sleep.
It is an I interesting read and we were already motivated by what we had found out about Montessori. It will take some more digesting of the content and our little one doesn't allow all that much time for reading. Recommend the book so far...
The reason for low stars is the fact the book arrived covered in black marks which are slowly coming off, but it just distracts a little when we got it on prenorder rather than waiting for a secondhand book.
This is a sweet book, but I already follow a lot of Montessori blogs and have read a couple other books - this didn’t have anything new. But it’s a good intro to Montessori parenting. I think this is the starting point for a lot of Montessori parents. Her blog has a lot more detail and kind of works as supplementary material...