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Welcome to the Montessori At Home! Blog

Photo: Julie Josey

A blog is born! What is this one going to offer? Resources, information, early learning activities, videos, links to great posts – all to help you be a great Home Teaching Parent.

Montessori At Home!’s mission: To encourage parents to do Montessori early learning activities with their 2-6 year old children; and to support their efforts..

I spent over a decade creating Montessori Prepared Environments and assisting young children in using them. Not one day of that time felt like going to work. Young children are the coolest people I know. I feel very privileged to have played a small part in helping them realize more of their potential. Now I want to do the same on a larger scale, through parents!

The vehicle for that is a unique resource just for parents of preschoolers, the Second Edition of the Montessori At Home! Ebook, available on this site starting today. 296 pages of Montessori how-to information just for parents, over 250 activities you can easily do at home covering all the content areas found in every Montessori preschool, an incredible number of links to sites and videos (many for your child to watch!) supporting and expanding the information in the book, and 42 pages of printable materials to use with different activities. All for just $8.95. Check the home page for much more information.

Why is Montessori so cool? Watch the Montessori Madness video.

You can give your child many of the important benefits of a Montessori preschool right at home, for the price of a fancy coffee drink and a muffin per week!

The first vital component is YOU. If you are already doing early learning activities at home, fantastic – I hope you make this a regular stop for ideas and inspiration. If you understand how important the early years are and want to do something to help your child, but are not sure where to begin, the ebook can get you started right away. If you are just discovering the incredible importance of a child’s first six years of life, welcome!

John Bowman


 

25 Comments

  • Deb @ Living Montessori Now

    Congratulations on your new site and blog, John … it looks wonderful (as does the new edition of your book)! I love that it’ll be even easier for you to share your great Montessori ideas now! :)

  • Montessori Print Shop

    Welcome to the blogosphere John!

    Looking forward to reading all your great words of wisdom and encouragement that you love sharing with other parents.

    Love the new site!

    • John

      Thanks, Jennifer! Really appreciate your tips and support! Thanks for partnering up to put your awesome printables in the new edition – they’ve added so much to the resource!

  • Leila

    HI John,
    I have yet to read your book but I have heard wonderful reviews. I used to be a Montessori teacher and sometimes at home you get stuck since you don’t have all the wonderful materials from the classroom. Just wanted to say it looks like a great book and that it is wonderful to have something updated and current.

    • John

      Thanks, Leila! It only took me 25+ years to get around to finishing the project! I’m kind of a late bloomer, LOL. Nice thing though – Montessori just stays current and keeps inspiring people as the decades go by. Maria Montessori was an incredible genius.

  • Jen

    I’m so glad to see that you’re blogging now! The new book is such a fabulous resource. I have learned so much from you! While I read many other books about Montessori and works by Maria Montessori herself, I was missing a lot of key elements that you filled-in for me. I now understand the order of certain activities and why it’s so important to do things a certain way. My son and I thank you for helping make our home environment that much more in-line with “true” Montessori! Thank you for all of your hard work!

    • John

      Thanks, Jen! So glad the book has been helpful, that’s what it’s all about. There is a lot of information out there, but it can be confusing! I hope the book helps folks get organized & confident so they start doing things – like you!

  • Rachael @ Little Red Farm

    Hi John,
    The new site looks amazing! Thanks so much for the copy of your new book; I can’t wait to try out the activities with my boys.
    I am also looking forward to getting some ‘real time’ knowledge from you now that you have a blog I can follow :)
    Best wishes
    Rachael

    • John

      Thanks so much, Rachael! I’ll be looking forward to hearing how your activities with your boys go, have fun on the Little Red Farm and then tell us all about it!

  • Lori

    Very excited to see what’s to come on your new blog. I’ve heard from Montessori Print Shop that your book is a fantastic resource. I’ll have to get my hands on a copy soon! Thanks for all you do to spread the word about Montessori.

    • John

      Thank you, Lori! I better come up with something good now, eh? Spreading the word about Montessori is fun. I like to see the light come on when folks learn a little about what it really is, and then say, “Hey, that sounds good!” I hope the book encourages folks to give it a try at home, juts like you do on your blog.. I sent you an email.

  • Jennifer Altman

    The new site is awesome! Looking fwd to checking out the new book!

  • Leptir (Nataša)

    Hi! Your new site and blog are great! Thanks for 2nd edition of your book :-)

  • Discovering Montessori

    Just found your blog. I love the ebook!! I have also used some of the concepts with my elemetary children. They loved the moon phase activities and now look forward to moon watching at night! As a preschool teacher this is my go to book, as a Homeschooling Mom I am inspired to carry over the principles of the Montessori Method with my elementary children. Your activities rock!! Thank you so much for sharing.
    http://www.godwhohasnohands.blogspot.com

    • John

      Thank you! I can’t tell you how happy it makes me every time I hear that the book is being used and kids are having fun doing the activities – you rock, too!

  • Julie

    Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic!!! Your new book is amazing! There are so many ideas that are easily incorporated in a day…as parents, we need an author like you to teach us, as parents, how to teach our little ones. So many things that I have never thought of can be presented in a way that opens up little minds! I can say, without a doubt that your book is not isolated to 2-1/2 to 6 year olds. My 1-1/2 year old has been benefiting for months…and my 7 year old participates with just as much enthusiasm as my 4 year old. The only question is, how many activities can we fit in day! Your ideas have inspired my children to learn and learn and learn.

    Thank you!

    • John

      Thank you so much, Julie, I’m thrilled that your children are really getting into it! You are exactly right, age doesn’t mean nearly as much as interest and enthusiasm. I am so happy your kids are excited and engaged! Of course, they need a great Mom to put it all out there for them – and you are! This is exactly why Montessori needs to be brought out of the Montessori school – so parents can see the magic happen!

  • Lenore

    I’m trying to set up a Montessori environment at home. We have boy/girl twins that will be almost 19 months old soon. I’m not sure if I should designate separate things for them (color code?) or prepare separate activities? Or just try to teach them to get things out one at a time and to share? I’m starting with working on Practical Skills and so they are sitting & eating together at their own little table/chair now. I’d like to start teaching them to pour, drink from a glass, and to set their own table next…I’m a little worried with juggling 2 at the same time though and how to realistically manage that and think through it before we begin. Any ideas with working with twins at home and setting up the prepared environment?

    • John

      Thanks for your great question, Orange Girl. Congratulations on your twins, and on your desire to start working with them at home early in their iives. Sounds like fun. They will benefit and it will be a priceless experience for you – a win-win! Maybe you should get a blog started.

      First, not all 19 month olds are the same, certainly not when they are twins, so you will find Montessori’s approach of following the child very helpful. Observe them carefully, provide a variety of activities and then follow their interests, and see what works for your unique situation. One thing you have going for you is they will be fairly similar developmentally. Don’t be surprised, though, if your daughter gets a bit ahead of your son. That’s very common in the early years, and some say that we guys never catch up! LOL. They should generally be using similar activities, which will make your work easier.

      Next, 19 months is usually a bit early to expect children to follow the activity cycle, share nicely, concentrate for long periods of time, be interested in cleaning up, etc. A lot of ‘rewiring’ happens in the brain between 3-6, and that is typically when the full Montessori preschool experience becomes most natural & appropriate. Toddlers are here & now, go with the flow, ‘watch out I’m switching gears’ kind of people! You may want to try having two of everything to avoid spats. Always have more than one activity available, including a favorite of each child’s, as a fall-back if things start going south. If they are both into the same thing at the same time, wonderful, make two sets of that activity and let them do that. If they are fighting it probably won’t be realistic to separate them as you have to watch both, so you’ll need readily available activity options. Despite your best efforts there will be troubles sometimes, don’t let it sabotage your efforts – not every day in a Montessori school is magical, either! The good stuff will outweigh the ‘challenges’. As they reach 2 1/2-3 years they will be more interested in keeping their materials organized on shelves, following the activity cycle, etc. When they get into their sensitive periods for language and math all your work with them will really show – they will soar!

      Your focus on Practical Life activities is perfect right now. Those are just the ticket and your kids will probably progress faster than most because they are starting so young. With practice they can learn to pour, open their own yogurt, get their own cereal, even slice bananas & spread peanut butter. Food activities are always great. Keep it simple to keep your sanity. Bead threading, simple Open – Close containers, free play boxes (plastic storage containers with rice, beans, simple utensils, cups, spoons, etc), learning to wash their face & start dressing, hammering golf tees into styrofoam flower blocks, and any of the early Transfer activities (sponging, moving things by hand) are all good.

      Your twins will probably find many sensory materials very interesting. Blocks, shapes boxes, the Shape Sorting Clock, big legos, there are lots of materials they will like. Do a good deal of large muscle movement activities with them also – throwing and catching, climbing, running, carrying trays while walking. Read them their favorite books every time they will sit still. When you start with children that young and are consistent in providing good early learning opportunities and keeping them challenged, it is amazing what young children can do by age 4-5!

      Have fun and let us know how things are going, ok?

      John Bowman

  • Holly

    Your website looks fantastic and I’m going to buy the book! I even just read through the comments and your replies (particularly the last one about 19 month olds- I have a 19 mo. boy and 4 yr old boy). I am really into the montessori style and try to incorporate it into my homeschool preschool I do with my boys at home. It is something new that I have just been learning about the past 6 months or so. But, I still have some toys that aren’t necessarily “montessori” such as big trucks they love to push around, ha! My home isn’t exactly set up the way a montessori preschool would be, but I’m working on it! I love the philosophy of it, it fits me, and your website/resources look so interesting and helpful, thanks!!!

    • John

      Thanks, Holly, I hope the book becomes a well-used resource for you in working with your little guys. Your 19 mo. old will be the perfect age in just a few months to start right at the beginning with Practical Life & Sensorial and progress on. You will need to experiment with activities with your 4 y/o to find out where his interests are in these areas; and he will be, or perhaps already is, entering his sensitive period for reading and math also. Doing Montessori at home doesn’t mean having to eliminate toys that seem non-Montessori. Kids get what they need from all of it. When you are doing Montessori activities, look for that spark of spontaneous interest and focused attention that will tell you you’ve hit the mark. That’s the response you are always looking for in Montessori, as concentration leads to all kinds of other great things for a preschooler. Have fun!

  • Carolyn Hadsell

    I am very interested in seeing your work here in the future. I was a contributor to the online version of one of your publications done with Deb. Glad to find you .

    • John

      Hi Carolyn. Glad you found the blog, and many thanks for your excellent contribution to Mom Bloggers Talk Montessori. I’m currently writing a third edition of Montessori At Home!, so blogging and other pursuits have taken a back seat, hope to have it finished around Feb-March. Keep checking in!

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