I have been asked by several friends and blog readers to share some of my Montessori resources. I have divided my resources into several categories so it is a little easier to look through.
If you are looking for a basic "feel" for what Montessori is I would read either Montessori in The Classroom or Montessori Today by Paula Polk Lilard. Montessori in The Classroom is an annotated journal from one year of teaching. It is great for seeing scope and sequence (her classroom is a kindergarten group) and also getting a feel for what a Montessori classroom can be all about. Montessori Today is more of a historically based explanation. Not a how-to persay, but good solid background information.
For information on activities for infants and toddlers I recommend, Montessori From the Start, also by Polk-Lilard. I do not, however, agree with most of her recommendations in chapter 7 regarding physical care of the infant. I find them limiting and not very respectful of individual variations in parents, children and the parent:child relationship. My personal opinion is to skip that chapter and read up on attachment parenting which I feel can fit very well with this approach to education. The activities and ideas in the book are great, however, and there is a neat timeline of development in the begining chapter.
For information on preschool activities I recommend How To Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way by Tim Seldin. The entire book is full of activities in all the subject areas that can be done at home. Some of the activities are for older children (K/1st) but the book could easily serve as a curriculum guide for starting with a 3 year old and working up from there. Montessori Play and Learn by Lesley Britton is another book full of at home activities for 2-6 year olds.
There are several books on the topic of Montessori homeschooling that I haven't had the chance to read yet, but I will be sure to review them when I do.
I basically follow two blogs, both of which are linked from this page. There are many others out there, but these are the two I follow and why:
The Moveable Alphabet- This is where I get many of my "authentic" Montessori activities, especially in the non language/math areas (she doesn't post as much in that area). Susan is great about showing authentic activities using real materials and includes excellent information on presenting. I have shown several of the activities on my blog and linked to them when appropriate. This week we will be doing the copper polishing activity (tomorrow) and self-portraits (Friday). Last week I introduced a hemisphere/globe activity I learned by reading this blog. Caleb is still working with the clay and the terms sphere and hemisphere.
My Montessori Journey- I like this blog because she shares a TON of extensions for activities. I could never use all of them (and honestly wouldn't need to in this setting) but as we continue homeschooling I think it will be valuable when I need to reintroduce something and need a fresh perspective. She also shows many pictures of children working with the materials and of finished student work. My one word of caution on this blog is that I don't feel it represents the traditional materials in equal importance with her supplementation. I think she does them (because I can see them in the backgrounds of the pictures and because she does post about them sometimes) but the blog's focus is more on the supplement. There isn't a problem with this, but I don't think a person could follow her blog and really LEARN about Montessori or how to do it. It is one part, but not the full picture.
This might seem like a silly inclusion, but a lot of my resources are humans. I am married to one Montessori trained individual and friends with many others. They have been gracious to share their albums from training and to offer feedback on things I am doing. If you are looking for a human resource (and you weren't fortunate enough to marry one), one idea would be to look for an accredited Montessori school near you and see if you can connect with a teacher. Even if all you do is tour a classroom it would give you the opportunity to see and possibly touch some of the materials. The school may even have parent information nights that are open to the community. One word of caution is that the term "Montessori" is not copywrited or protected in any way. Anyone can claim to be a montessorian even if they don't use the correct materials. Searching for an accredited school can help assure you that you are able to observe an accurate environment.
Well I think that is enough for one post (and my children would agree I have been sitting here long enough). I will post additional resources either later today or tomorrow.