Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Book Review: Montessori Learning in the 21st Century

Montessori Learning in the 21st Century: A Guide for Parents and Teachers

by M. Shannon Helfrich
Troutdale, OR: NewSage Press, 2011

Homeschooling truly starts at birth, but because I now have a preschooler who according to society's expectations should be at school, I've been researching Montessori methods, hoping to find ways to incorporate some of that thought and process into our homeschool experience. "Montessori Learning in the 21st Century" by Shannon Helfrich was very interesting, but not what I was looking for.

Helfrich, a Montesorri teacher trainer, examiner and consultant, offers a very good argument for Montessori style learning. She discusses Maria Montessori, her motivation, and her methods as well as explores child development, sensory learning, and language acquisition. This is a book primarily about theory and as such it is intelligent and informative. Chapter Eleven, "This is my Montessori School" is the only one to offer concrete ideas about how to implement Montessori-style methods, but even that is not a how-to manual.

If you are looking for the theory and educational basis behind a Montessori education, this is the book for you. If you are searching for a practical how-to guide, search elsewhere.

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