Montessori from the Start

The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three
Narrated by: Randye Kaye
Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (174 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

What can parents do to help their youngest children in their task of self-formation? How does the Montessori method of hands-on learning and self-discovery relate to the youngest infants? This authoritative and accessible book answers these and many other questions.

Based on Dr. Maria Montessori's instructions for raising infants, its comprehensive exploration of the first three years incorporates the furnishings and tools she created for the care and comfort of babies. From the design of the baby's bedroom to the child-sized kitchen table, from diet and food preparation to clothing and movement, the authors provide guidance for the establishment of a beautiful and serviceable environment for babies and very young children. They introduce concepts and tasks, taking into account childrens' "sensitive periods" for learning such skills as dressing themselves, food preparation, and toilet training. Brimming with anecdote and encouragement, and written in a clear, engaging style, Montessori from the Start is a practical and useful guide to raising calm, competent, and confident children.

©2003 Paula Polk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Parents who embrace Montessori's approach will find this a marvelous guide to child rearing, and prospective teachers wishing to gain insights into the Montessori method will value it as a clear and concise introduction." ( Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Informational for first time parents interested in the methods of Montessori

I became interested in Montessori after learning about the idea of a floor mattress and wanted to know more about how to raise a baby with Montessori’s methods. This is our first baby and I’m open to all information. There were parts of this book that resonated with me and gave me something new to consider or think about, and other ideas seemed pretty extreme. To me it seems like most baby books are like that. The narrator is very robotic and unpleasant to listen to at first but once I got into the content of the book it didn’t bother me as much. I would recommend this book to other new parents who are interested in Montessori. I’m sure if you’re familiar with Montessori, a lot of the information would seem repetitive, but for me it was all new.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Great Content, Terrible Narration

I absolutely love this book. The content is excellent, and I even own this book in print. Listening to Randye Kaye narrate it, though, is physically painful. Her vocal cadence and sing-song tone of voice as she reads, along with the over-pronunciation of each word makes listening to this book a miserable experience. Only the best content could make such a terrible vocal performance worth enduring. I recommend the book... in print.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Very informative, but...

I can honestly say that I learned quite a bit about the Montessori approach at home. However, it seems too unrealistic at times, not really considering the ups and downs of child rearing. The real life examples given picture the child and family's life as always joyful and peaceful. The tone is condescending most of the time and it even tells you that you are "a bad mother if", which is unrespectful and totally subjective. I found it to be a stressful read at times. I think a lot can be done to make this book purely informational with realistic expectations and guidelines. The narrator doesn't really help with this either. I couldn't find similar books for this age group though, so give it a try!

19 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Read before your baby is born

This is a great book with examples to start with your baby right out of the womb. You gain an understanding of Montessorial teaching as a whole.

BUT if you already have children and didn’t start teaching them the Montessorial way you will immediately feel guilty on how much you did wrong and because you missed out on opportunities from the start that you cannot get back
your children cannot achieve their fullest capacity to be productive citizens in society.

And the narrator sounds like a robot.

13 people found this helpful

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I would not recommend this book to anyone.

The book gives conflicting information between chapters, and is not practical or up-to-date with current safety standards. I would not recommend this book to anyone.

The interesting part of our situation is that we actually follow the Montessori principles, so we are already doing him the majority of what is described in the text, but the information itself is written with such a condescending tone that I struggled to get through the book. I finally completed it, trying my best to glean any pertinent information that could be applicable to my life, but I would not recommend this read to anyone. This book, the author, and the narrator are so condescending. If you're reading Montessori material and trying your very best, then mama- you are enough!

18 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

EXACTLY WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR!

This is my first book on Montessori that I've purchased and I can say that my high expectations were definitely met and surpassed. I have a 12-month old that I am trying to parent the best I can, but I want to do so with the science behind my deliberate choices and design of his environment. I've quickly learned that the toys and ways in which I interact with my child have been a little off and this book has allowed me to make changes that are immediate within our home as well as have a better understanding of how his miraculous little brain works at his age. We got rid of the crib and he surprisingly has done well with the transition. We got rid of all of the toys that limit his ability to be creative and we are working on being intentional with how we speak with him and go about the daily activities. He is fascinated by putting on his socks and shoes, brushing his own teeth, cleaning the table and feeding himself. He has really enjoyed me letting go of the reigns and doing everything for him... WHICH I DIDN'T even know I was doing in the first place! READ THIS BOOK!

I personally like the tone of the narration and writing. I felt like this is how I would write a book, so if you can handle a little truth and aren't too sensitive you will be fine! ;)

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • S
  • 09-29-18

organization of chapters

it would be more helpful to hear all the newborn aged suggestions at one chapter. I found the organization of the book not easy to absorb but the information is interesting. a very good perspective on the Montessori method.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Not what you’d expect

I chose this book because I was interested in learning about Montessori practices. To start, the narrator sounds like Siri is reading. I tried to just get through the book anyway to see what I could learn. My understanding is that this is a Montessori interpretation and is not actually aligned with Maria Montessori’s work. There were a few contradictions that made me research what other people thought, along with the surprising way they condemn baby-wearing. I was also turned off by the author claiming that bonding of mom and infant is a selfish approach to parenting that does not allow the child to fully manifest their independence. This is absurd! It’s natural for babies to depend on their mother. These concepts do not work with attachment style research.

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monotone

I started listening then returned the book. The narration sounded like my GPS was reading it.

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Easy logical dialog

I really like how it was presented. Its divided into specific categories of development so easy to go back to and give it a listen once your child has outgrown the stage of development he or she is in.