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Following Your Child: A Montessori Philosophy of Parenting Review by Judy Wales and Family

Educational Video Publishing
Produced by American Montessori Society
(937) 767-7988
401 S. High St.
Yellow Springs
Ohio 45387

This DVD is a good resource for Montessori Education. It starts out by observing a Montessori classroom. In a Montessori classroom children are able to move around freely with opportunities to engage their mind and senses. They are encouraged to be independent and responsible while they are being loved as well as respected for who they are. The adults speak to the children at their level with respect and patience.

The video then visits the homes of several parents whom have integrated the Montessori Philosophy into their parenting. There are three primary development needs of preschoolers; movement, order and language. For movement development children need to be able to move around their environment freely. These parents also avoid using walkers and playpens as much as possible. Cassie Fishbein talks about making the house kid friendly.

They feel that to a small child "Don't touch" equals "Don't learn." Order is important to everyone - even an infant - because knowing what to expect leads to security. Infants and toddlers need a regular routine to have order. By respecting a child's need for order we will help them to face each day with confidence. The third need, language, is very important also. A child is aware of your voice at birth. It is important to read to them at a young age because it helps them to be a life time learner. Even before infants can understand the words they take cues from the words and tone of voice.

The three elements that parents need to nurture are respect, independence, and responsibility. A parent must know their child to be able to respect them. The best way to know your child is to observe them. Each child grows at his own speed so by observing him we will know his needs. To nurture independence a parent should let even a young child participate in daily life. Ways that I believe that you could do this is by letting the child help set the table, load the dishwasher, and other simple household chores. I let my four year old son vacuum, and he enjoys and does a very good job. This brings us to responsibility. By being responsible for the vacuuming and knowing that he is helping with daily chores, this builds his confidence and sense of belonging.

This is a very good source for anyone wanting to become a Montessori parent. I enjoyed watching the video as well as making it part of our life. For my family, it has helped us all grow as well as help everybody to respect each other for who we are.

-- Product Review by Judy Wales and Family, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February, 2006