Kit's Montessori Room
His favourite puzzles (25 months)

Montessori DVDs - A Review

There are a lot of Montessori DVDs on the market. It's difficult to know how valuable they are to parents. There are many DVDs that I would like to see but they are expensive and difficult to obtain in Australia. A couple of months ago I chose seven DVDs that were of particular interest to me (Otis is 2 years and Caspar is 5 years old) and only now have I found the opportunity to watch them all.

Most of these DVDs are very good. Most of them are more valuable then reading a book. Being able to observe children in Montessori environment, how they interact is something you cannot see in a photograph. A couple of these DVDs are fantastic, read on for my reviews. 


Montessori Under Three

Montessori Under Three. 1987. 24 minutes. $45

Montessori Under Three is presented by two highly regarded Montessorians; Dr Montanaro, the author of one of my favourite books Understanding the Human Being and Judi Orion. The DVD is based on the concept of a traditional family, any family that falls outside this traditional family concept will struggle with the first section of the DVD. 

It starts with discussion on the infant's attachment to the mother "a good attachment means a good detachment". However most of the DVD is dedicated to the benefits of attending a Montessori Mother-Infant Centre and later a Infant Centre (which appears more like a toddler community). This is great if you have a centre near you but not so good if you don't. I like that you are able to see the Mother-Infant Centre in some detail, you can see the children interacting with the environment. Most of all I liked listening to the parents discussing Montessori and the hands on help they have received. I would recommend this to parents considering attending a Montessori Parent-Infant Community.  


The Making of Great Little PeopleThe Making of Great Little People. 30 minutes. $24.94

I purchased this DVD because it is presented by Jan Kitzen-Lunchenta the author of Awakening Your Toddler's Love of Learning, which is a fantastic Montessori book. It is set in a Montessori preschool although many of the materials used are not traditional Montessori (this is not a negative or a positive but worth mentioning). 

It commences with discussion on nutrition which is one of Jan's areas of expertise. We are shown a child who behaves poorly and is rehabilitated through better nutrition. 

We are given a tour of the classroom and see how the children interact with the many materials and with each other. There are many activity ideas including early literacy ideas and demonstrations on things like the three period lesson and sand paper letters. We are show how to encourage independence particularly in the area of self care and dressing. Most of all I like the discussion on conflict resolution. There are many demonstrations on conflict resolution from children being aggressive to not sharing. You can see and hear how Jan handles the situation and I know a lot of parents would benefit from this. I would recommend this to parents with toddlers and especially parents setting up or running their own Montessori toddler group. 


Edison's Day NAMTA

Edison's Day. 2006. 30 minutes. $45

As I mentioned here Edison's Day is highly regarded. It is shown during Montessori training and at Parent Education events. It shows 20 month old Edison though an entire day. Both of Edison's parents are Montessori trained and have an ideal home environment. This is a really practical DVD. It is wonderful to be able to see and hear Edison and his parents in their home. Lots of at home inspiration and ideas. 

I recommend this to parents with an infant or toddler under 2 years. I highly recommend this to any school or group with a parent education library. This DVD should be more widely available to parents. 



Follow Your Child AMS

Following your Child: A Montessori Philosophy of Parenting. 2000. 25 minutes. $29 (including free shipping within the US).

This provides a really good basic understanding of Montessori parenting. The focus is on the home environment for the first three years. There are many home set-up ideas that are really simple and completely doable. This is not at all overwhelming. There are lots of concrete ways of following and respecting the child. There is discussion on the key areas of; Movement, Order, Language, Respect, Independence and Responsibility. 

I love the discussion on following your child's cues to understand what their needs and abilities are and how to provide a home environment that satisfies these. I love the discussion on focusing on activities that interest the child and to prepare them so that the child can be successful. The best part of this is hearing from the parents and sharing in their experiences. 

I highly recommend this to parents with young children, especially those new to Montessori. 


At Home with Montessori DVD

At Home with Montessori. 2004. 15 minutes. $35

Full of Montessori in the home ideas which will be of particular interest to those new to Montessori. It contains home environments for young children and parents who discuss their Montessori experiences. Children are shown at home cooking, cleaning, dressing, gardening etc. There is a good balance between theory and the practical application of Montessori. Home environments with floor beds are shown and other simple adaptions like light switches, step stools etc. 

I highly recommend this to parents with young children, especially those new to Montessori. 


At Home in Nature

At Home in Nature. Biology in the Montessori Classroom. 2010. 43 minutes. $75

This is an instructional DVD aimed at teachers in Montessori biology. I ordered it because Caspar (five years) is interested in science and I would like to extend his nature study at home.

This takes you step by step, in an instructional way through biology in the classroom but has so many ideas applicable at home from gardening to plant and pet selection. 

It has given me lots of ideas for home, there are lots of nature study books and guides but I love that this is very specifically Montessori. It means that I have a better understanding of biology in the classroom which can help me extend the activities at home.

I recommend this to Montessori teachers or homeschooling parents who want or need further information on Montessori biology or nature study. 


Five Going on Six NAMTAFive Going on Six. 1987. 17 minutes. $25

This very specifically discusses the qualities for a five going on six year old as the child moves from being a sensory explorer to an abstract thinker. 

It was very useful for me as Caspar is in this age group. You hear from teachers of students in this age group who discuss the classroom and how it meets the child's needs. The teachers explain their work and the thinking of the child. It is based in the classroom including a wonderful farm area. It also shows many of the activities and materials a child of this age may be using and how the teachers follow the interests of the child. You also get to hear parents describe what Montessori brings to their children. 

There is also discussion on the importance of the child finishing the three year cycle and the benefits of the thre year age grouping in the class environment. 

I recommend this to parents with children four or five years old. I highly recommend this to any school or group with a parent education library.


Following your Child: A Montessori Philosophy of Parenting and The Making of Great Little People are both standouts for me and I will be recommending them over books, especially to anyone new to Montessori. 

Have you seen any of these DVDs? What did you think? 


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