The Montessori method is a subject near and dear to my heart as I truly love the years of early childhood learning. Naturally I was thrilled to receive John Bowman's Montessori at Home! and it's companion book "Help Your Preschooler Build a Better Brain" in the mail for review. His request for my input comes at a time where I am finding I have no more preschoolers at home and I am a bit saddened by this, but can also enjoy the fact that many of the principles outlined in his handy guide and cd were tantamount to much of our children's early childhood experiences in learning at home (and many still for my Kindergarten boy), and for this I applaud him!
Studies have shown that children who are stimulated and encouraged early in their life with age-appropriate educational activities will build a stronger brain with more active cells. The longer they engage in an activity allows the brain synopses to spark and create new cells which in turn gives the child the capacity to absorb more information or to become "normalized". This happens from birth to about age six. In Maria Montessori's book The Absorbent Mind she speaks directly to this and she encouraged her teachers to allow enough work time for all their students to truly engage in and absorb the benefits from a given activity. This is why uninterrupted work time is the model in any Montessori classroom and why a child may stay at an activity or work for many weeks until this normalization process occurs and they are ready to move on to different or more advanced work in an area.
To be sure John Bowman has put alot of time and effort into creating a lovely program for parents to use at home with their children. The Montessori at Home CD has many materials to print and use with your children and will supplement any current activities you may already have established. It is also a perfect way to start with Montessori materials at home if this is your first foray into the Montessori Method.
"Help Your Child Build a Better Brain" is a wonderful book filled with an array of photographs of the activities set up and includes a nice Quick-Start guide in the introductory pages to help you begin Montessori in your home right away. You will have many of the necessary items for the activities in your cupboards and drawers or even among your children's toys. There are suggestions for each area of Montessori work such as Language, Math and Sensorial (just to name a few) and in addition several ideas sprinkled throughout the book to expand the lessons using the internet, for example, using Google Earth for Geography enrichment, etc.
I do hope you'll stop by Montessori at Home! and see what it might have to offer you and you children to get started with Montessori at home. Many blessings in your early learning experiences with your sweeties!