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In this post, I am sharing our update with activities and games for ages 3-5 years old and for children who are in the lower elementary age group. Our Montessori-friendly homeschool evolves and changes all the time. And it is only natural. Children, our circumstances and priorities evolve, transform, and adapt based on many factors.
One thing that never changes is our perspective and goal – to nurture a healthy, balanced, safe, engaging environment that calls to children’s intrinsic motivation of discovering the world through their senses.
By now I’ve gathered snippets of our daily homeschool morning activities following my two youngest children who fall under the 3-6 age range. I am describing learning that is defined by a homeschool setting, not strictly arranged around a set age group as it is done at school.
You won’t find many photos of my oldest daughter because she is very much well adjusted to working independently by now. She is considered upper elementary and I don’t stalk her with my camera during our homeschool morning activity cycle as I used to.
The best part about our homeschool activity cycle is that we use curricula to fit the children’s learning process not all the way around. Our homeschool routine commences as soon as children wake up. Once they completed the morning part of the day which includes self-care, breakfast, house duties, and exercise, children gradually transition to doing their morning work.
Fine Motor, Art, and Practical Life Activities
I will start by describing fine motor activities. Natural loose parts are fantastic tools for working on the sand. Children are free to create patterns, pictures, and prints – activities that foster creativity and prepare them for writing.
Finally, the poppers came in handy. The children were exploring colors. Here the child was squirting yellow water into a blue popper tray. As a result, she observed that the water slightly turned green.
Rainbow colors are such a happy theme for children to explore. I have noticed that transferring activities engage children and boost their concentration abilities in a major way.
Tracing allows children to practice drawing continuous lines and encourage establishing the habit to follow the correct direction of writing in the English language – from left to right. This printable is a part of the Compassion and Peace printable.
The cutting and coloring strips featured here are included in my Spring pack.
Seeing little fingers at work makes my heart sing. Simple jewelry-making activities with beads and, in this case, pipe cleaners foster a sense of beauty, encourage children to practice counting, and allow children to imagine different patterns they can create in the process.
Dressing frames foster perseverance in a child’s character. Often it takes a couple of goes for a child to completely master them as they need to follow specific steps to tie ribbons or laces into a bow.
When children are calm and our work cycle flows, I invite the youngest to work on push pinning as I know I won’t be distracted when supervising her work. This printable is included in the North America Preschool Pack.
This butterfly painting activity presents so many fun learning opportunities as children learn to identify different species of butterflies, enjoy painting experiences, and learn about symmetry and symmetrical forms.
Whenever we get an opportunity, we take advantage of gallery and museum exhibitions. After the visit for the next couple of days, we draw our homeschool study inspiration from there. It helps the children to process and internalize what they’ve experienced during their excursions.
I used laminated sheets of Van Gogh painting replicas to inspire children to create their own and then I make a puzzle for the youngest to assemble. In case you are looking for activities that involve famous European artists, you may like to check out my Famous Artists printable.
You can download Free DIY Winter Puzzles from our Resource Library. These include coloring pages along with different puzzles you can use with your preschooler to enhance her concentration and problem-solving skills.
Often I find children follow their own agenda and they need very minimal involvement from me. The metal insets are always there to inspire children to learn the properties of 2D shapes, trace, create designs, color, and draw lines.
We emphasize in our home the importance of taking good care of our belongings for our own benefit and for the benefit of the planet and the environment. Here is one of the Practice Life lessons in action.
We don’t have many pictures on the walls. However, I found that having student helpers right above the desk is very helpful for children who are learning to read and write. It cuts the urgency to ask for help when he gets stuck sounding out or decoding words.
After using these cards to pair capital letters with lower case letters, the child decided that he wanted to copy them. This printable is included in the Sports Themed Unit.
This is another example of the child working on mastering capital letters. These puzzles can be found in one of my Spring Packs.
Whist the child is in the process of learning to read and write independently, we often work on building words and sounding them out. This time the child was learning to spell colors. I prepared index cards with the correct spelling for each word next to a group of letters included in the word. The child’s task was to identify colors, sound each word out, and self-check. You can find the moveable alphabet in our shop – click here for cursive and here for print.
My preschool children work with 3 part cards practically every day. We use them to learn new vocabulary, practice reading, create stories, make student booklets, and do copy work. This set is included in the Sports Pack I created with preschool children in mind.
Children love learning about rhymes as it helps them to discover a whole new world of poetry they can create all on their own. This printable set with picture cards that rhyme is a helpful preparation step for making up their own silly rhymes.
We used these picture cards from the Spring Pack to play a memory game and learn new garden vocabulary with my 3-year-old child.
My youngest child who is gaining phonological awareness enjoys working daily on identifying initial sounds. This is an example of a picture set included in my Phonics – Initial Sounds Printable.
Activities on Mathematics and Logical Thinking
In this post, I share activities that I present to my children who are 2 years apart. This activity was very engaging for my youngest. I gathered a couple of groups of items that had one odd object that did not belong to the group.
We love classic Montessori materials but children also enjoy wooden puzzles they can use to work independently. So many of them allow young children to self-teach many fun educational concepts.
These number cards are included in my Dinosaur Pack. I use them for teaching one-to-one correspondence, number recognition, matching numbers to quantities, and playing maths games, eg. “I spy with my little eye number that is one more/less than.. or greater/less than..”.
Sequencing cards with flowers fit the nature of a 3-year-old girl just perfectly. You can grab this free printable from our Resource Library here.
Example of greater than.. less than exercise with color beads – extension to activities from the Shiller Math curriculum.
As preparation for learning the multiplication table, we started to practice skip counting. This student helper came in very handy. You can download a copy from our Resource Library for free!
This is another freebie with sum facts you can use with color beads in your classroom I have available in the Resource Library.
Many preschool math books come with wonderful activities on logical thinking we often incorporate into our morning cycle.
Geography and History Activities
When we explore continents, young children enjoy tracing the continent’s outline. We take turns drawing outlines from memory for each other to guess what they are or children compare sizes after tracing them next to each other. You can find my continent printables here.
We had this activity with animals of the world living on our shelves for at least 2-3 weeks. The child took so much interest in sorting, identifying, and drawing animals. You can download this freebie from the Resource Library for your classroom too!
In my experience, geography is best received when it is taught through hands-on exercises. This activity was a part of the Africa Study when the child was exploring various biomes found on the continent. This printable is a part of the Africa Printable.
When learning about Africa, we encompass holistic learning by making connections that tie continents, history, and biodiversity of the world together. With this printable, we were looking at grassland biomes all around the world, I encouraged the child to observe the pictures and distinguish similarities and differences between them asking questions. He came up with his own ideas on why the flora and fauna of the regions were alike and what made them appear different from each other. This activity is more suitable for children in the lower elementary age group.
This is an example of a child-led activity that I wholeheartedly encourage. During the Africa study, the child expressed interest to learn more about Ancient Egypt.
Children use different techniques to process the information they learn. Here he used building blocks to create a storyline describing the life of Egyptian people at the time and the way he interpreted it.
Children are great at finding and focusing on the tiniest details when it comes to learning about the natural world. This particular activity with matching fragments of butterfly wing patterns to the butterflies they belong to was revisited over and over again. Soon it turned into a memory game which was a wonderful way to keep her focus engaged for an extended period of time.
Even though the spring season is not very well defined where we live, the children still enjoy working with sorting activities when it comes to nature and its inhabitants. This sorting activity is a part of the Spring Pack.
I didn’t manage to snap a good shot but I thought it is worth mentioning here how much sensory play benefits young children. This is particularly an effective strategy to engage children who are reluctant to start their morning work cycle routine.
In the middle of our hot spring, this simple water freezing experiment and color exploration exercise was welcomed with cheer.
It was followed by the Walking watercolor mixing experiment. To conduct this experiment, we poured water into two glasses (blue and yellow colors) and left the middle glass empty. We placed paper towels inside the glasses so they met in the middle. We left the water to make its way up to the middle glass and turn green. As with every experiment, children are encouraged to record their discoveries.
I find that the conversations about space and the solar system never phase out when it comes to these early years. Children love to observe the moon, and night sky and ask millions of questions. Hence space printables are always on-demand here.
Home sometimes is just not enough when it comes to satisfying curious minds. The local science museum is our beloved place to spend a morning, especially during a school term when we often get the whole place to ourselves.
Homeschool - Learning Resources and Must-Read Books
Back to School learning resources with hands-on activities gathered in one bundle. This bundle includes materials that help develop skills to support the main areas of a child's development - language, math, geography, fine motor, social-emotional, organizational skills, and sensorial. It fosters creativity and logical thinking and prompts moments of deeper concentration. The materials are suitable for use in a classroom setting at school or childcare and in the homeschool setting. It contains tools to help children transition and settle well into their classroom and support the development of their executive functioning skills. You will find many materials to include in your All About Me unit, editable name tracing printouts, and tools to help you organize your classroom such as a Linear calendar and Mobile calendar to start the day. Editable and Homeschool teacher planners are also included. The bundle contains language resources for learning to identify initial sounds and CVC words, and math hands-on resources for teaching basic mathematical concepts.
Chore Charts for children of different ages Fifty-six visual and thirty-six non-visual chore cards Blank rounds and editable blank chore cards to add your chores to the list Different chore board designs to choose from
Editable and customizable homeschool planner with daily and weekly planner templates for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and lower elementary students based on key areas of Montessori scope and sequence. It can be used by families internationally with the option to choose Jan-Dec or Aug – July academic year.
Seasonal printables were designed specifically for Montessori classrooms with a large variety of activities that cover different learning areas, such as geography, math – one-to-one correspondence, language – identifying the initial sound, reading, sight words recognition, classification, fine motor practice for students aged 3-6.
I Have, Who Has? Math Games help reinforce valuable lessons and math concepts whilst capturing students’ attention, focus and concentration in a fun and engaging way. Students will be learning while having fun and playing math games with their peers in pairs, in small and large groups. Once students are familiar with the subjects, these cards can be also used as an individual activity to review important math concepts.
Early Learning Bundle with 40 printable sets that contain 3-Part Cards for an object-to-picture matching activity. Sets are designed to match the classroom favorites – Safari TOOB figures. Use in any language. All sets include an editable PowerPoint file. Types labels in your own language and print.
When I first learned about Montessori, we had just welcomed our second son and I was in the midst of trying to figure out where my then 3-year-old son was going to go to preschool. He had been attending a 3-day-a-week autism therapy school for early intervention and was about to complete his time there since he had reached all of his targeted goals.
Homeschooling isn’t a new concept, but it sure has gained momentum over the last few years. But, is it effective? What does the research say?
You might be surprised to learn that while only 7% of American students were homeschooled in 2021 (an increase from 4%), over three quarters (78%!) of these students perform better than their traditionally schooled peers.
Should your family homeschool or should you send your child to a school? This question has crossed the minds of many parents in the past few years. So I am here to share with you my thoughts on whether it’s best to home educate or to send the child to school.
A homeschool space setup is an integral part of home education. How do we create a space for learning that is inviting, clutter-free, practical, budget-friendly, and efficient? Before we set up a learning environment we need to ask ourselves, what goals are we looking to achieve.
I often get asked where to purchase Montessori materials, what I consider Montessori essentials, what handmade items are best for those who prefer handcrafted materials, etc. Below you will find a list of materials, resources, and toys I sincerely recommend. Everything on this list is of high quality and value. I’ve gathered resources and products that I personally purchased, had in my Montessori classroom, reviewed, and would genuinely recommend.
Having a plan at hand, especially during uncertain times, can only benefit busy and overwhelmed parents. Sometimes parents can be going through a period of transitioning when they work on establishing new homeschooling routine.
Do you wonder sometimes what a day in the life of another homeschooling family may look like? Unless you are a part of a dynamic and large homeschooling community, you may not have time or energy to connect with others on a regular basis to discuss your routines and timetable.
When a family decides to take a route less traveled to homeschool their children the number of questions and choices you have to make is staggering and overwhelming. The list is never-ending – from what approach to take to how to manage household and expenses on one income, and of course, there is socialization.
Don’t fall for gorgeous looks! Beauty is within. The modern world portrays Montessori as a fancy method of education for privileged children. In its essence, the Montessori method is not about the status or gorgeous classroom interiorioir. It is about meaningful connection, respect and authenticity.
Are you new to Montessori?! Do you feel sometimes overwhelmed with the amount of new information you need to process? Would you like to hear advice from Montessori parents, bloggers, and teachers on common mistakes Montessori newbies make and how to avoid them!?
Our homeschooling journey is something that consumes my heart and mind these days. I guess because it is unknown territory that we are walking into. So far it has brought great fruit and I feel that our everyday life is bursting with colors like never before. My daughter’s “whys” have got a completely new dimension, and I love, love, love how excited she got from receiving a magnifying glass by mail the other day. I would like to share what happened when we emerged into our Montessori work 3 – hour session. You can read about our Homeschooling routine in this post. I hand-picked a list of Montessori materials for our classroom. Aside from this list we also use some natural toys and materials that carry educational purpose.
It is not a secret that the child needs stability in life in order to feel secure. Order in life creates inner order and peace, something that lays the foundation for successful learning, smooth transitions, and a happy kid. One of the first tasks for homeschoolers is to establish their own rhythm, and set up a daily schedule that is the backbone of the whole process.
Montessori is a truly unique method. One of the main characteristics of this philosophy is that it requires parents and teachers to acquire a particular list of habits, behavior, and attitude towards children, learning, environment, and a certain mindset.
by Jacy Ruwe (Author), Elin Johnson (Illustrator)
It’s a question that nearly every homeschooled child asks at some point. With its delightful, hand-painted illustrations and rhythmic structure, this charming book shows readers how they can learn scholastic skills through everyday life.
by Susan Stephenson (Author) Format: Kindle Edition
A fifteen-year experience of day-by-day, year-by-year, learning how to create an authentic Montessori education at home through elementary, middle, and high school. The main guide or teacher during these years had taken AMI teacher training courses for 0-3, 3-6, and 6-12 and had taught for many years.
by Christopher Lloyd (Author), Andy Forshaw (Illustrator)
Discover how history, nature, and science connect in this fast-paced, entertaining, and incredibly informative history of the world, from the beginning of time to the present day. How was our universe made from a tiny speck of energy? Where did the first trees, plants, animals, and humans come from? What happened to the dinosaurs? What was so miserable about medieval times? How were railroads and electricity invented? What are the perils of global warming?
A hands-on open-and-go Montessori math curriculum. Use as a supplement to traditional, physical Montessori math materials OR as a stand-alone math curriculum. Montessori math sets a firm foundation in concrete principles before slowly progressing into abstraction.
This is a learn to read book for kids 3-5 and5-7. Each age group will use the book in a slightly different way. The first group will be able to work with the help of an adult, while the older group can start the Montessori reading series mostly on their own, as they will be able to cut, paste and color most of the reading activities by themselves.
Number Concepts - number rods, cards and counters and one to one association Golden Beads - introduction and arithmetics with golden beads Linear Counting - bead bars, teens, tens, skip counting, hundred board Arithmetics - addition, multiplication, subtraction and division
by Frank Egholm (Author), Anna Cardwell (Translator)
Looking for an outdoor hobby to engage your children and encourage them to be crafty and creative? Wood carving is not only easy to learn and fun to do, but almost everything you need to get started can be found for free -- right outside your door!
by Vicki Cobb (Author), Tad Carpenter (Illustrator)
Kids take the reins in the kitchen with this hands-on book of edible science experiments! With revised and updated material, a brand-new look, and hours of innovative, educational experiments, this science classic by award-winning author Vicki Cobb will be devoured by a whole new generation of readers.
This beautiful art encyclopedia charts the evolution of the greatest cultural achievements in painting, sculpture, and photography. The greatest art exhibition at your fingertips! Packed with fascinating facts, clear explanations, and stunning photography, this awe-inspiring art encyclopedia for kids aged 9-12 years takes you on a magical tour through time exploring every artistic style and movement in stunning detail. From Leonardo da Vinci's iconic Mona Lisa to Vincent van Gogh's spectacular The Starry Night, this art history book celebrates the lives of groundbreaking artists and their most famous art masterpieces.
by Julie Bogart (Author), Susan Wise Bauer (Foreword)
Parents who are deeply invested in their children's education can be hard on themselves and their kids. When exhausted parents are living the day-to-day grind, it can seem impossible to muster enough energy to make learning fun or interesting. How do parents nurture a love of learning amid childhood chaos, parental self-doubt, the flu, and state academic standards?
MULTI AWARDS WINNING FUN LEARNING TOY - Family Choice, Mom's Choice Gold Metal & Tillywig Brain Child Award Winner 2018, and Creative Child Kids Product of the Year Winner 2019! The most popular interactive smart educational talking world map poster.
Continent Race Geography Game for kids was created by 6 year old Byron duringpassion for geography with a desire to help boys and girls like him learn and have fun during their hospital stay - and beyond! For 2+ players
The ShillerLearning Math Kit I - everything you need in a single box! No lesson preparation required by parents! Your package contains over a dozen different manipulatives based on Dr. Maria Montessori's method developed over a hundred years ago. Includes a balance, number cards, number tiles, operator set, foam ball, wood dominoes, a US/metric ruler, wooden shapes, dice, measuring cups, and probability bag.
Magnetic Fuel Tank Monitor Card. Magnets on the game board to hold Fuel Stations in place. 2 levels of game play. This game will arrive in new condition. Please note that each Mission to Mars Edition game was opened in the U.S. for the sole purpose of adhering the magnets to the game board, thus saving customers the task. The game will arrive taped closed with clear tape on all 4 edges of the color box.
It’s time to say NO to trying to fit square-peg kids into rounds holes, and YES to raising them from a place of acceptance and joy. Today millions of kids are stuck in a world that doesn’t embrace who they really are. They are the one in five “differently wired” children with ADHD, dyslexia, giftedness, autism, anxiety, or other neurodifferences, and their challenges are many.
Teaching children how to manage their intense emotions is one of the most difficult aspects of parenting or educating gifted children. Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope With Explosive Feelings provides a much-needed resource for parents and educators for understanding of why gifted children are so extreme in their behavior and how to manage the highs and lows that accompany emotional intensity.
by Susan Stiffelman (Author), Eckhart Tolle (Foreword)
Our children can be our greatest teachers. Parenting expert Susan Stiffelman writes that the very behaviors that push our buttons — refusing to cooperate or ignoring our requests — can help us build awareness and shed old patterns, allowing us to raise our children with greater ease and enjoyment.