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The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn. Maria Montessori
I decided that it is time for us to share activities that our Montessori preschool home classroom is buzzing with. Talking homeschooling journey has been an exciting and strange adventure for me. I had to adapt and change my approach from what I used to do teaching in a classroom.
Creating and running a homeschooling routine with a baby on board is more of a challenge than a journey. But we persevere, and I wouldn’t have any other way. When preparing for the Montessori learning 3 – hour cycle I take inspiration from our daily life, places we visit, conversations with our daughter, and events that happen.
This is why I do not plan and present themed activities. I believe knowing the curriculum is the key.
Development of a 4-year-old child
At four years old, a child is developing their language and communication skills rapidly. They are able to express themselves through language more effectively and understand more complex sentences. They are also developing their social skills, enjoying playing with other children and learning to share.
Physically, their hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills are improving, allowing them to run, jump and climb with greater ease. They are also developing their cognitive abilities, starting to understand cause and effect and learning basic math concepts, such as counting and sorting. Overall, a four-year-old child is becoming more independent, curious and imaginative, with a growing sense of self-awareness.
Montessori education for a four-year-old child emphasizes hands-on learning, practical life skills, and respect for their individual pace of development. The classroom environment is carefully prepared and organized to promote exploration and discovery, with materials that encourage the development of social, cognitive, and motor skills.
Children learn through play, sensorial experiences, and observation, building independence and confidence in their abilities. The Montessori approach maintains a focus on the whole child, fostering creativity, curiosity, and a lifelong love of learning.
Homeschooling a 4-year-old
Children are very astute at creating their flow of learning and progressing from one subject of interest to another. Allowing them this power leads to a significant result when they become equipped with the ability to organize their own time and follow their inner guidance, feeling confident in their decisions. I share the most popular choices from our 3-6 Montessori environment.
I probably should mention that our Montessori home classroom does not include Practical Life activities as such – traditionally presented on trays. These are all part of daily life incorporated most naturally. I make my aim to follow the child and reserve at least two days a week when we do not have an agenda or meet-ups.
Our day can include Montessori work from shelves or something that Blossom naturally is interested in at this point. Sometimes we can spend our morning washing toys (incorporating all the steps as we would for Practical Life activity in a classroom) or furniture outside, or sewing a pillow for her doll.
Here is a glimpse of our Montessori homeschooling days
Learning about the continents. In a Montessori classroom, teaching about continents can be done through hands-on activities that encourage exploration and discovery. Children can use Montessori maps and globes to identify and locate each continent, learn about the characteristics that make each one unique, and explore the cultures and wildlife that inhabit them. Activities like puzzle maps, sorting activities, and arts and crafts projects can also be used to engage children and deepen their understanding of the continents. This approach fosters a love for learning and encourages children to be curious about the world around them.
Before we started using a map that is different from the Montessori world map I made sure Blossom was 100% confident in identifying continents by their location and color. Once she could point to any continent, we started working with this large World Map.
Learning to recognize various cultural differences in traditional clothing from country to country.
Montessori continents song was never as much fun to sing for Blossom as when she was doing it while jumping from continent to continent. This was a very useful way to revisit the location of the continents on the map. Another way to do it is to draw a rough map with all seven continents with chalk outside and invite children to hop as they sing The Continent Song.
We found significant value in materials that are not explicitly Montessori but spark a child’s curiosity and engage them in discovering new fascinating facts.
Learning the names of the states of Australia. Blossom traced the state of Queensland and did push pinning and coloring of the state.
Building Decanomial Square – teaches the child to discriminate shape sizes and build a square. Another name for this Montessori work – the Square of Pythagoras – is sensorial material that represents the timetables.
Decanomial Square is a Montessori material that helps children learn multiplication. It consists of ten square tiles in different colors, each representing a number from 1 to 10. To introduce the Decanomial Square, children are shown how to arrange the tiles in a specific pattern, starting with the 1 tile and building up to the 10 tile. Using the Decanomial Square, children can visually see how to multiply each number by itself and by other numbers, leading to a better understanding of multiplication and its relationship to addition. It is a fun and interactive way to learn math!
For some reason, I fell in love with this material during my Montessori training and could not wait to present it to Blossom. You can watch the video of a teacher working on Decanomial Square below.
DIY Sequin Boards are very simple to assemble. Montessori math beads are some of the most frequently used materials in our homeschool classroom at the moment. For those who are not familiar with the Seguin board presentation, you can watch it below.
The Montessori approach to teaching math includes the use of a material called Golden beads. These beads visually represent place value and students can see and touch the difference between units, tens, hundreds, and thousands. Children can begin to conceptualize the meaning of larger numbers and perform basic operations such as addition and subtraction. This hands-on approach enables students to better understand abstract math concepts and engages multiple senses for optimal learning. By using Golden beads, children develop strong number sense and gain confidence in their math abilities.
As I mentioned, we enjoy experimenting with materials and finding different ways to use them, still within their original purpose.
In a Montessori classroom, teaching math with color beads bars is an effective way to engage kids in problem-solving activities. These beads, which come in different colors and sizes, help children understand mathematical concepts such as addition, subtraction, and multiplication. By introducing the use of these colorful manipulatives, teachers can make math more accessible and enjoyable for kids. The Montessori method encourages hands-on learning, and using color beads bars is a fun and interactive way to teach math in such a way that children understand and retain the information.
Or not. 🙂 This was done to satisfy Blossom’s great interest in spiders. We talked and discussed these creatures and their habits. The next thing I see – she is using Montessori math beads for making a model of a spider.
She did request my assistance. As we made this spider and web together, we talked about the number of legs and eyes spiders have, what they eat and how they catch their prey.
Sums with bead bars teens
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I found that one of the most valuable lessons children are taught when working with Botany materials – is the understanding of the natural processes. They touch and feel living matter which gives them more appreciation for nature.
Botany materials are an important component of the Montessori classroom. They help kids learn about plants, their parts, and their functions. Some of the popular botany materials for kids include the parts of a flower puzzle, plant structure puzzles, leaf puzzles and anatomy cards. Other materials provide opportunities for hands-on learning, such as planting seeds and observing plant growth, and learning about the different types of plants through pictures and books. Overall, botany materials help cultivate a curiosity and appreciation for the natural world among children.
Children learn to notice tiny details and beauty in ordinary things, like flowers. Also, they LOVE to learn new vocabulary. Learning parts of the flowers, for instance, almost broke my tongue, encouraged her to come up with ways to remember new words by repeating them over and over again casually throwing them in conversation.
In the Montessori classroom, children learn about the different parts of a flower through hands-on activities. They observe real flowers, use diagrams and 3D models to learn the names and functions of the parts such as the petals, stamen, pistil and sepals. They also learn about pollination and the role of important pollinators like bees and butterflies. These activities not only help them to understand and appreciate the natural world but also foster their curiosity, observation skills, and critical thinking abilities.
Three-part cards are a foundational tool in Montessori classrooms for helping children learn vocabulary and concepts. The cards consist of a picture, a label, and a control card with both the picture and label. Students use the cards to match the picture to the label and the control card to check their work. This hands-on and self-correcting activity engages children and helps develop their visual discrimination and literacy skills. Teachers can also customize the cards to suit the interests and needs of individual students. Overall, three-part cards are a versatile and effective tool for promoting learning in the Montessori homeschool.
Learning a new language is always very useful when it is something a child is interested in it. We discovered a jellyfish on shore one day. Guess what we did the next day.
Mystery Bag with Montessori materials. This game assists in learning the names of Montessori materials. We picked one object from various Montessori materials and placed them one at a time in the mystery bag. She had to close her eyes and feel the object with her hands in the bag trying to guess what Montessori material set it belongs to.
I have to mention that my daughter now attends Forest School in the area once a week. I can’t emphasize strongly enough how fantastic this program is. We also attend a swimming pool, Sunday school, and 0-5 singing sessions once a week. Practical Life activities – the essential part of our everyday life, as I mentioned earlier – cooking, making fruit snacks, mopping, dusting, folding clothes, checking the mailbox, baking – something we encourage our 4 yo to take an active part in on a daily basis.
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.
Are you feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start? Join this guide to Montessori-inspired homeschooling to ease into homeschooling with confidence.