Book Review: ABCs of Montessori & Special Needs
"If someone told me 15 years ago, how my life would be today, I"m not quite sure how I would have responded. Perhaps run the other way? Cry? Be angry? Or just maybe I would have said okay, and spent as much time as possible studying and learning all I could, in hopes that it would prepare me for what I do now, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But then I wonder. If I had known, would I be able to find the joy in the journey? Would I consider my children to be the blessings they are? It's then that I feel at peace knowing all has worked out the way it was intended."
I could have written those words, myself, but it turns out that I didn't. It turns out that Renae Eddy has walked this crazy, crazy road of discovering how to make Montessori work while raising their offbeat kids too. She has four children, all with a wide range of special needs. She is an in-the trenches mom! Renae and her husband, Jason, blog together at Every Star is Different.
What will you find in this book? In addition to the author's story, you will find a section detailing a variety of special needs and possible classroom/learning implications. This section is very useful for classroom teachers who may need a refresher on a particular issue a student in their classroom is facing.
You will also discover a set of tips for using Montessori learning techniques to support learning. I was pleasantly surprised to see how thoroughly each item was discussed. The "B" section on behaviors, for example discussed the ABCs of Behavior Analysis and gave a crash course in defining problems. Then it discussed three common triggers (communication, transitions, and defiance) and some things to consider in addressing each aspect. The final two parts covered what this might look like in a traditional Montessori classroom and tips/reminders for Montessori teachers looking to help their student succeed.
Overall, this book is written more for the classroom teacher than the homeschool mom, but there is so much information that I also highly recommend it for the homeschool mom looking to incorporate new techniques in working with her special needs child at home. It doesn't contain lesson plans or activities, but it does provide many techniques and descriptions of Montessori procedures that would be highly valuable for the home environment. It can also give parents tools to help bridge the gap between home and school and help their child thrive in a classroom Montessori setting.
Maria Montessori emphasized an individualized approach to education based on the observation of each child in the context of his/her environment. She didn't want to change children to fit environments, she wanted to change environments to fit children. Because of this, Montessori is an extremely appropriate educational approach for special needs children. Who more needs an education and environment tailored to who they are?
You can purchase the book directly from the Every Star is Different website.
In exchange for an honest review, I was provided with a free copy of this book by the author. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.