This week my five things are sources of Montessori information.
I love blogs and read so many of them. They are great places for ideas, inspiration and motivation. However if you are new to Montessori keep in mind that blogs are just web logs and not ever the best source of accurate Montessori information. What DID we do all day? has a comprehensive list of Montessori blogs. Also Flickr and Pinterest are great for visual inspiration!
I put books into two categories. First books that are written by or transcripts of the work of Maria Montessori. Yep, I actually enjoy reading her and recommend that everyone have a try! Secondly are books written about her work, or further interpretation/extension of her work. I have not seen a full list but I refer to Montessori Books when I am looking for something new. I intend to review more books on this blog and if you have an absolute favourite I would love to hear about it.
This can be difficult if you are feeling isolated but I genuinely feel that people are the best source of information, because the conversation is two ways, you can ask further questions, for more ideas or details. When I was putting together Otis's room I asked so many questions of everyone I knew. I think I started to bug people but generally people want to help out! This doesn't have to be in person. If you find someone that resonates with you online, try emailing them. If you are having trouble connecting with others ask around, I have done this at playgroups and have found other parents by simply asking "is anyone else interested in Montessori?".
Not everyone will agree with me here because not everyone has such a wonderful experience with Montessori schools. But I believe they are such great sources of information. Try information sessions, open days, converse with leaders in your Montessori community. If you are interested in a Montessori schooling for your children I would recommend connecting with your preferred school early, some schools/preschools offer programs or information sessions for infants and toddlers. Many schools also have information sheets on activities you can do at home.
5. Foundations, Associations...
There are a number of foundations, associations and groups that offer support to parents. A great thing about membership to some of these groups is their publications. The Montessori Australia Foundation has Montessori Insights and I really like Tomorrow's Child. I have also really enjoyed Communications, the Journal of the Association Montessori Internationale but haven't seen a recent edition.
What about Montessori albums? I have never read an entire album and don't know if I have ever seen a genuine one. How do you know? Albums were originally developed by students studying Montessori to be used as a teaching reference. There are a few that you can access online for free and there are many around for purchase. I have considered purchasing one for the 0-3 age group, would you recommend it??
Another good source of information if you are looking for something specific is transcripts from Montessori conferences. Some conferences put transcripts online. This is also useful if you find a presenter/educator you really like but are not in a position to attend the conference or if the conference is overseas!
One more to add is providers of Montessori materials. If you purchase materials from someone don't be afraid to ask questions about how to use it. I have found most often they are happy to help!
I am interested to know your sources of Montessori information or what your opinion is on these?