The Joyful Child: Montessori Wisdom for Zero to Three

The Joyful Child: Montessori Wisdom for Zero to Three

by Susan Stephenson


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The Joyful Child: Montessori Wisdom for Zero to Three by Susan Stephenson

Every culture has wisdom but in modern times much of it has been lost. The first three years of life are too important for experiments, but the Montessori guidelines presented here have held true all over the world, no matter what the culture of the child, for over 100 years. It is the goal of this book to help parents look for, discover, appreciate, and support the mental, physical, and emotional needs of the child in the first three years of life.

There are over 180 black and white pictures from the author's work around the world with children from birth to three years of age. "The Joyful Child" is used in Montessori teacher training centers, middle school human development classes, birth preparation classes, and it is of interest to anyone studying education and child development. It has been translated into several languages and is often used as a text for parenting classes.


The First Year-The senses: Before birth; music and language; crying as communication; seeing and processing; the absorbent mind; materials

The First Year-Reaching Out and Grasping: The development of movement; toys that aid the natural development of movement; natural materials for toys

The First Year-Sitting up and Working: The child's Work; eating and working while sitting up; safety concerns with new movement abilities; number of toys available at any one time, and learning to put them away; suggested toys

The First Year-Freedom of movement; a safe and natural environment; crawling, pulling up, standing, and walking; toys and equipment that aid movement development

The End of the First Year-Unique Development and the Child's Self-Respect: Each child's path of development is unique; aiding the beginning of a good self-image; preparing the home to welcome the newborn; clothing that supports free movement; attachment and separation, preparation for weaning and toilet learning; sign language and elimination communication (EC); materials that support optimum growth and development; unconditional love; the end of the first year

Age 1-3-Care of Self, Others, and the Environment: Participating in the real life of the family; kinds of practical life activities; the work environment and concentration; materials; undressing and dressing; a place for everything and everything in its place; The child's purpose; the needs of the parents; adults and children working together; the child's research of the rules of society; teach by teaching, NOT by correcting; offering choices

Age 1-3-Toys and Puzzles: Selecting toys; organizing and rotating toys; learning to put toys away; respecting concentration; visual discrimination and eye-hand control; puzzle toys; open-ended toys

Age 1-3-Music: Dancing and singing; percussion instruments and other music materials

Age 1-3-Language: Listening comes first; a second language; listening and including the child in conversation; vocabulary, words, pictures, and books; formal language; storytelling, reading and writing; biting; imagination? lying?; materials; supporting language development

Age 1-3-Art: Art is more than drawing; art materials; art appreciation; art work

Age 1-3-People: Daily life of people of the world; materials

Age 1-3-Plants and Animals: A natural love of nature; experiencing and naming plants; gardening; observing and caring for animals; materials

Age 1-3-Physical Science and Math: The beginnings of physicals sciences; the beginnings of math

Age 0-3-Preparing the Environment: What do we need for a new baby? safety; general environment principles; the environment and the absorbent mind; the outside environment; materials; conclusion

Age 0-3-Parenting and Teaching: A gentle birth; gentle family togetherness in daily life; clothing and materials; developing trust in the world; a gentle beginning, the role of the father; a sense of order; the changing environment; the child's needs; modeling, setting limits, and time out; educational materials for 0-3; conclusion

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781879264106
Publisher: Michael Olaf Montessori Company
Publication date: 04/01/2013
Pages: 290
Sales rank: 230,453
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

The author's books are always about making the lives of children, and their families, happy, interesting, satisfying, and geared to the stage of development of each child. Her experience in this area is broad and international. In 1963-1964 Susan Mayclin Stephenson spent four months aboard the first university on shipboard, now known as The Semester at Sea, traveling and studying the cultures of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. This awakened a life-long interest in the differences and similarities in cultures, specifically in parenting.

After earning a degree with a double major of philosophy and comparative religions, at San Francisco State University, Susan worked as a counselor in a detention center for juvenile offenders. It was the experience with these troubled young people, from both the poorest and the wealthiest communities in the San Francisco area, that convinced her that in order to fulfill the potential of individuals and of society, it is best to begin as early in life as possible.

In 1971, Susan earned a 2.5-6 diploma at the Maria Montessori Institute (MMI) in London, England and the 6-12 diploma at the Washington Montessori Institute (WMI) in Washington, DC.

After teaching children from the age 2-13 for twenty years she earned the 0-3, or Assistants to Infancy (A to I) diploma at The Montessori Institute (TMI) in Denver, Colorado, completed a masters degree in education at Loyola University Maryland, and took as course on multiple intelligences from Howard Gardner, Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Her two daughters took the Montessori Assistants to Infancy course in order to be the best parents possible.

Susan has traveled in over 60 countries and often shares her experiences in these countries through her art, most often oil paintings which can be seen on her website. She has worked with parents and teachers, documented children's developmental stages, consulted with schools, and served as an examiner on Montessori training courses.

Susan is also the author of "Child of the World: Montessori, Global Education for Age 3-12+"

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