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#1 of 149 Old 01-15-2010, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I tried to get one of these started in the homeschooling area, but nobody piped up. I'm wondering if anyone over here is doing Montessori at home and would be interested in an ongoing thread to share our day-to-day experiences.

I've got a 32-month old daughter who we'll be starting more formal Montessori lessons with soon (supplies are en route!). It's a little early, but she's always loved the little lessons I put out, and we've got a second due around her third birthday and I'd like to have a routine in place before he arrives.

My obsession right now is how to set up our Montessori area -- a tiny corner of our bedroom. I had no idea deciding on shelves could be so overwhelming!

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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#2 of 149 Old 01-24-2010, 06:57 PM
 
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I'd be interested! We're figuring out preschool stuff right now. I'm not sure if DS is going to be in a school or if we're going to have him at home, so I'm waiting to see what will happen. I'm holding off on ordering materials, though we have sandpaper letters coming in the mail and he got a continent and US map from my parents for Christmas. What is your background in Montessori?
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#3 of 149 Old 01-24-2010, 08:36 PM
 
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I'll join in!
My son is only 18 months old but we are planning on homeschooling during the preschool years, and perhaps kindergarten. I'd love to get get some ideas.

Mama to DS 7/23/08.
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#4 of 149 Old 01-24-2010, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! Wow, I'd given this thread up for dead!

chekhovgirl -- I'm pretty much self-taught. I read a bunch of books, then we decided to be serious about Montessori at home over the summer when we realized that we couldn't afford the local schools. So I took the NAMC online course (which is effectively a certification for teaching yourself) and read more books and blogs.

We did some practical life stuff at home, but just couldn't afford to spring for the official supplies and had given the idea of doing Montessori at home up. But we were given a surprising and very generous gift, and were able to put together a package of the basics! I was totally bowled over.

Right now I'm working on making some of the materials that we didn't buy (touch tablets, sandpaper globe) and getting our environment ready. We've decided to dedicate a corner of our bedroom. It's not an ideal situation, but we don't have a lot of extra room.

My current obsession is trying to find some artwork for the area. I keep thinking that I should be able to find a coffee table book of various famous artwork at a thrift store that I could tear up and frame. But I've searched endless thrift stores with no luck! Any ideas?

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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#5 of 149 Old 01-25-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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Hi! I just have time to respond quickly, but I'm so happy to have found someone who is in the same situation! I would really appreciate the community and support of others if we really do go down this road-which it looks like we will.

I'm kind of putting off setting up and buying things, not only because there's a chance that DS will be in a school, but also I want to move the two boys into one bedroom and use the smaller of the two bedrooms as a school room, but I'm not going to do that until it gets warmer out and we can put DS2- 8 months- on a floor bed. Right now it's just too cold up here! Once they're in a bedroom together then I can go crazy I will think about the artwork thing. It is a bit pricey, but Michael Olaf makes a nice frame that makes it easy to change out art work. Don't know if it would be worth it or not. Yeah, I'd probalby try to find a book cheap and then laminate pictures from the book to change in and out of frames.

Talk to you later!
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#6 of 149 Old 01-25-2010, 02:10 PM
 
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I'll join in! We aren't starting this until we get to our new house in March (and get our tax return back so we can buy the stuff), but we will be starting! We'll have a 14 month old and a 37 month old who will be doing it.

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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#7 of 149 Old 01-25-2010, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm kind of putting off setting up and buying things, not only because there's a chance that DS will be in a school, but also I want to move the two boys into one bedroom and use the smaller of the two bedrooms as a school room, but I'm not going to do that until it gets warmer out and we can put DS2- 8 months- on a floor bed.
Ugh. Finding room was our big problem, too. We'd initially planned to use the third bedroom as our Montessori room, but then we decided to have a second and wanted them to have their own rooms. We have a playroom, but like that it contains the toy mess. We tried giving up our dining room, but we eat together a lot and it just didn't work out. We even had a contractor come out and give us estimates for knocking out various walls to make space!

When we thought we couldn't afford to go Montessori -- that we'd just go eclectic and wouldn't have as many materials -- we turned our tiny breakfast nook into a school area. But when we got the gift of the materials, we had to find another way.

Our master bedroom is a lot bigger than we use, and laid out strangely. There's some dead space between where the bed is and the bathroom. So we've put some shelves in there and I think it'll work ok for now.

The reason we were hesitant to go that route is that DH works weekend nights and sleeps during some days. DD and DS won't have free access to the school room and materials. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought that maybe that was a positive. Maybe having slightly restricted access will keep them special and respected. Sure, in a Montessori school kids have unlimited access, but they're not always in school, not always being faced with the materials.

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I'll join in! We aren't starting this until we get to our new house in March (and get our tax return back so we can buy the stuff), but we will be starting! We'll have a 14 month old and a 37 month old who will be doing it.
Welcome! That initial purchase is a bear, isn't it? How big are you guys going initially? That took a lot of pondering on my part. I just put up a post on my blog about what we decided to buy, but I'm curious about how others approach it.

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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#8 of 149 Old 01-25-2010, 04:20 PM
 
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Yeah, I'm still wondering if we want the boys in the same room, but I think I need a "separate" space for myself for "school" stuff, or it will be hard for me to keep it in order or for DS1 to really feel like it's a school area and be in that frame of mind. It would be in DS1's current room which is small and narrow, so I don't mind moving the boys together into the larger room for right now. They might want their own space when they're older, but I think they'll like being together.

Up until May when our second was born I was working as a specialist in a M school and DS was coming with me, attending the toddler program. When we decided I was going to be home this year I thought I would do M with him at home and use the "play area" we set up in the living room as M shelves, but DS just sees it as a place to play and he would use a material and be very interested, but then it would get lost int he shuffle with toys that he would bring into the living room. Didn't work. And with the baby, forget it, I haven't been able to keep up with making materials for him, lessons, etc.

Can you consolidate toys and have toys in her room and use the play room as a M room? That's what I would do! We don't have a play room, only a space in our living room (rug with a shelving unit).

My mom is a M teacher, I went to M through K and have been working in M schools teacing drama and music (sometimes assisting) for the last 6 years. I was contemplating doing the NAMC course online, but my mom also offered up her albums, and you can find them online. I'm wondering if it would even be worth it for me, since I have an extensive M background and access to these things. Based on your NAMC experience, what do you think?
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#9 of 149 Old 01-25-2010, 04:33 PM
 
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We're a maybe/partial montessori homeschooling (well, probably all homeschooling, partial montessori), but DD had been in a montessori preschool which we recently removed her from for other reasons. She really seemed to do well w/the montessori method, though. Soooo now I'm looking for a movable alphabet set that doesn't cost a fortune...

Jenna ~ mommy to Sophia Elise idea.gif  (1/06), Oliver Matthew  blahblah.gif (7/07) and Avery Michael fly-by-nursing1.gif(3/10)

 

dizzy.gif Wading slowly and nervously into this homeschooling thing.

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#10 of 149 Old 01-25-2010, 04:55 PM
 
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We're not Montessori homeschooling but I thought I'd chime in about the environment situation. DS is 2, and he really appreciates as many similarities between home and school as possible. We have what I consider to me a Montessori-inspired playroom. The toys are very neatly displayed on low shelves, his has a small table and chairs to sit at, artwork displayed low on the walls, and a work rug for when he plays on the floor. We have the same standards in his playroom that he has at school as far as respecting his belongings and returning them to their "home" when he's finished with them. We also have many Montessori-inspired "toys" in his playroom like puzzles, books, lacing beads, lacing cards, etc. While this isn't a specific Montessori school room, I can see how it would work well if we did incorporate more Montessori materials in there. He does have 1 shelf in the living room that is available for toys, but he doesn't normally choose to play with stuff in there. The main thing that he does in the living room is play with bigger stuff like his rocking horse and basketball goal. I probably have pictures of our playroom if anyone is interested, but OP, I think if you already have a playroom, you could absolutely make that work!

Kat, wife to and mommy to (Dec 07).
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#11 of 149 Old 01-25-2010, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was contemplating doing the NAMC course online, but my mom also offered up her albums, and you can find them online. I'm wondering if it would even be worth it for me, since I have an extensive M background and access to these things. Based on your NAMC experience, what do you think?
I wouldn't do it. You can straight up buy the albums from NAMC for about $1000, but if you're getting them from your mom (and there are a few different sources online, and there's the Gettman book), they aren't really necessary. They look pretty, but I don't think they're necessarily any better. In fact, I really didn't like the Language Arts one because if focused heavily on the Insta-Learn Language Board.

For $2000, you can get the albums AND "certification". Basically, you're proving that you read the albums. They send you pages of short-answer questions that you send back to a "mentor" to have verified. The questions didn't require any in-depth thought or analysis.

I wish I'd spent our money on materials instead of the course, but we have vague thoughts that it might be nice to have the certification down the line if I want to look for work as an assistant at a Montessori school. So, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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Soooo now I'm looking for a movable alphabet set that doesn't cost a fortune...
I'm getting one from Montessori Outlet, but you could probably also just print letters onto paper and cut them out (like their printed alphabet http://www.montessorioutlet.com/cgi-...Blue)-(L-007-1)).

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I probably have pictures of our playroom if anyone is interested, but OP, I think if you already have a playroom, you could absolutely make that work!
I'd love to see pics! We went back and forth about playroom vs school room, but decided we'd start with some separation for the kids between "school time" and "play time". We're thinking we can be more relaxed about play in there and not feel like we have to be enforcing Montessori standards and behaviors. Besides, then DH would have to follow suit and clean up his Duplo creations.

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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#12 of 149 Old 01-26-2010, 01:01 AM
 
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I'd love to see pics! We went back and forth about playroom vs school room, but decided we'd start with some separation for the kids between "school time" and "play time". We're thinking we can be more relaxed about play in there and not feel like we have to be enforcing Montessori standards and behaviors. Besides, then DH would have to follow suit and clean up his Duplo creations.
The funny thing is that it's not necessarily that I'm enforcing these Montessori standards on him during his playtime. It's more like, upholding them on his own gives him a sense of order at home. Just like he instinctively hangs up his jacket when he takes it off at school, so when we gave him a low coat hook, he instinctively started hanging his jacket up at home too. Before we bought him a work rug, he was using any blanket he could find as a rug, and would get frustrated that it was difficult to roll up properly. So he sort of forced us to get him a work rug. I have some pictures of his playroom.

This one is from before I changed up a few things...
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b5...22709_5065.jpg

This shows his closet where we keep toys and books put up so we can rotate them out. He's not really interested as much in those "toys" though since he started getting more into stuff like his memory game, lacing beads, and more "Montessori-inspired" stuff.
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b5...22709_5067.jpg

I just took this picture. This is after a day of playing in his room.
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b5...12510_5152.jpg

There are tons of things that I'd like to do to make it an even better space. I got some flash cards with beautiful pictures of all different types of animals at the dollar spot at Target, and I plan to think of a way to display those in his room, and also be able to rotate them as his interests change. I also found a miniature globe at Target for $1.

Kat, wife to and mommy to (Dec 07).
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#13 of 149 Old 01-26-2010, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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There are tons of things that I'd like to do to make it an even better space. I got some flash cards with beautiful pictures of all different types of animals at the dollar spot at Target, and I plan to think of a way to display those in his room, and also be able to rotate them as his interests change. I also found a miniature globe at Target for $1.
Lovely playroom!

We got some of those cards from Target back when DD was younger. She was into matching then, so we hung them around the perimeter of the room and got another pack that we left out for her to match to the hanging ones.

And those globes are great! I got 3 -- one I'm almost done turning into a sandpaper globe, another one will become a continents globe.

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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#14 of 149 Old 01-26-2010, 10:33 AM
 
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Welcome! That initial purchase is a bear, isn't it? How big are you guys going initially? That took a lot of pondering on my part. I just put up a post on my blog about what we decided to buy, but I'm curious about how others approach it.

We're going to be buying one of the sets from here:

http://www.kidadvance.com/productdet...id=291&catid=7

The only reason we can get it is because we qualify for the homebuyer's tax credit with our new house. Otherwise, we'd probably just have to buy a little at a time....

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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#15 of 149 Old 01-26-2010, 10:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We're going to be buying one of the sets from here:

http://www.kidadvance.com/productdet...id=291&catid=7
That's a great set! You guys will be totally ready to go!

Can anybody convince me to put the effort into making something like a geometric cabinet? I just can't seem to balance the cost (money to buy or time to make) with the educational value. I feel like I must be missing something! What are the benefits to it that you see?

Our supplies arrive on Thursday!

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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#16 of 149 Old 01-27-2010, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our supplies arrived today! They were shipped to my parents', and they're bringing them over this evening. A big unboxing party for me!!

From what my mom read of the invoice, the stand for the red rods and color tablets #3 were backordered. I think that's all that was going to be missing... I hope that's all!

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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#17 of 149 Old 01-27-2010, 10:52 PM
 
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What fun! Where did you order from? We're still waiting on the sandpaper letters that were a Christmas present from my parents and are backordered...which kind of sandpaper letters did you go with?
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#18 of 149 Old 01-28-2010, 12:19 AM
 
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Hi! Wow, I'd given this thread up for dead!

chekhovgirl -- I'm pretty much self-taught. I read a bunch of books, then we decided to be serious about Montessori at home over the summer when we realized that we couldn't afford the local schools. So I took the NAMC online course (which is effectively a certification for teaching yourself) and read more books and blogs.

We did some practical life stuff at home, but just couldn't afford to spring for the official supplies and had given the idea of doing Montessori at home up. But we were given a surprising and very generous gift, and were able to put together a package of the basics! I was totally bowled over.

Right now I'm working on making some of the materials that we didn't buy (touch tablets, sandpaper globe) and getting our environment ready. We've decided to dedicate a corner of our bedroom. It's not an ideal situation, but we don't have a lot of extra room.

My current obsession is trying to find some artwork for the area. I keep thinking that I should be able to find a coffee table book of various famous artwork at a thrift store that I could tear up and frame. But I've searched endless thrift stores with no luck! Any ideas?


WOW you're an inspiration! Was the course affordable?


EDIT.. oh sorry..missed that answer! Thanks!
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#19 of 149 Old 01-28-2010, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What fun! Where did you order from? We're still waiting on the sandpaper letters that were a Christmas present from my parents and are backordered...which kind of sandpaper letters did you go with?
I ordered from Montessori Outlet. They seemed to have the best balance of low prices and good reviews. But I think everyone comes to a different conclusion on what supplier to go with depending on what they're looking for.

I got the basic, lower-case set. I only got a quick glance at them last night (I unpacked the Sensorial materials before bed, and tonight I'll do the reset), but I was pretty impressed.

Montessori Outlet backordered the small numerical rods, stand for the red rods, and color tablets #3. I have no idea how long until those arrive.

I've got lots of pictures of the unpacking up on my blog! Overall, I was really pleased. The pink tower and brown stair feel very substantial, and all of the materials just feel special.

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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#20 of 149 Old 01-28-2010, 03:20 PM
 
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Here's a great site with ideas for making your own montessori materials:
www.monthome.com
Just clikc on the different areas and you'll see what she uses. Some are bought, but a good amount she makes herself from common things found around the home.

Dalila, mom to two boys, 7 and 5

490/2013

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#21 of 149 Old 01-28-2010, 11:12 PM
 
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I ordered from Montessori Outlet. They seemed to have the best balance of low prices and good reviews. But I think everyone comes to a different conclusion on what supplier to go with depending on what they're looking for.

I got the basic, lower-case set. I only got a quick glance at them last night (I unpacked the Sensorial materials before bed, and tonight I'll do the reset), but I was pretty impressed.

Montessori Outlet backordered the small numerical rods, stand for the red rods, and color tablets #3. I have no idea how long until those arrive.

I've got lots of pictures of the unpacking up on my blog! Overall, I was really pleased. The pink tower and brown stair feel very substantial, and all of the materials just feel special.

Good to hear. The maps we have and the sandpaper letters on their way are from Montessori Outlet. If we order more materials, it will probably be from them. I observed at a school the other day (a recent expansion branch of another school) and their maps were from MO.
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#22 of 149 Old 01-28-2010, 11:13 PM
 
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So you got the print letters?
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#23 of 149 Old 01-29-2010, 12:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So you got the print letters?
Yeah, lower-case print. Yours are on backorder?

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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#24 of 149 Old 01-29-2010, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Getting close! I made a big run to the thrift store and Michaels and such to pick up items to round out the initial Practical Life activities. I'm going to try to have the shelves full of Practical Life those first few days, with one or two initial Sensorial activities (Pink Tower and Cylinder Block #1, probably).

I also finally found some photographs for on the walls. We hit so many thrift and bookstores, but I finally found a book of photos of baby animals at TJ Maxx or some sort. I hung up an adorable baby giraffe on one wall, and a selection of various North American wildlife on another wall (porcupine, brown bear, duck, wolf). Baby animals are probably more cutsey than you'd see in a Montessori school, but at least it's photos from real life -- and DD LOVES them.

And I finished checking out all of the materials. I really love the golden bead material. DH and I couldn't stop holding and turning over the thousand cube.

ETA: I put this up in another thread, but I'll ask here, too. What are your favorite Practical Life activities? I've got the basics (dry pouring, spooning, tonging, dressing) and some more complex ones for later. But I'm always looking for new ideas.

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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#25 of 149 Old 01-29-2010, 02:03 PM
 
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I'd love to see pictures of everyone's Montessori areas and activities. Anyone want to share photos? I need ideas for the future.

Mama to DS 7/23/08.
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#26 of 149 Old 01-29-2010, 05:09 PM
 
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Wish I had taken pictures before dismantling ours. We're relocating and selling the house so I need that room to look like a bedroom or nobody would believe that bedroom furniture actually CAN fit in it (it's long and narrow).

Mine is 6yo and I'm really looking for math materials. The monthome site doesn't really tell you how to make the bead things so I'll be googling for that later.

If anyone else has ideas for Montessori math, let me know. And if the NAMC stuff is worthwhile for learning how to teach it, also let me know!!!

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#27 of 149 Old 01-29-2010, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll post pictures as soon as mine is assembled. Right now it's just empty shelves and pictures on the wall -- I don't want to start setting things up until I'm really ready to go. It'll definitely be done by Tuesday!

There's a few really good posts online about making the bead material. There's info here, and a link to a really detailed site: http://sporschool.blogspot.com/2009/...-material.html

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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#28 of 149 Old 01-30-2010, 04:25 AM
 
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I am also interested in homeschooling my dd who is 23 months old, however, I'm completely clueless on how to start. I read one of Maria Montessori's book and started applying a lot of the principles she discussed in her book in our daily lives, but I need a more consistent framework. Do you guys think that I should just purchase one of the albums or would you recommend a particular book? When I read your posts, I can tell that all of you are way more familiar with this stuff than I am so I was wondering if you could give me some direction on how to start this journey without becoming totally overwhelmed.
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#29 of 149 Old 01-30-2010, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flavfeliz View Post
I am also interested in homeschooling my dd who is 23 months old, however, I'm completely clueless on how to start. I read one of Maria Montessori's book and started applying a lot of the principles she discussed in her book in our daily lives, but I need a more consistent framework. Do you guys think that I should just purchase one of the albums or would you recommend a particular book? When I read your posts, I can tell that all of you are way more familiar with this stuff than I am so I was wondering if you could give me some direction on how to start this journey without becoming totally overwhelmed.
For day-to-day implementation, I'd start with "Teach Me to do it Myself". It's filled with Montessori activities that you can do with stuff around the house. If you decide to get serious and go full-on homeschooling with materials, I think David Gettman's "Basic Montessori: Learning Activities for Under-Fives" is the best book. It's written with a homeschool audience in mind and has clearly laid out the order of materials, how to present each one, and the goals. There are also albums available online if you find yourself looking for direction on specific activities.

ETA: I need to note that those books are going to be focused on age 3-6 activities. I'm pretty sure there's another book or two that have activities for younger (maybe "Montessori from the Start"?), but I don't own them, unfortunately.

AFM: DD invented her own Practical Life yesterday. I had a big sheet of cardboard (packaging from the Ikea kids' desk for her school area) out that we'd been drawing on. DD got hold of a pen with cap and started punching holes in the cardboard, then sticking crayons vertically into the holes. She worked at that quite a while, and it was great exercise for her upper-body strength (she's slightly behind in gross motor skills and strength). I think she's going to love pin-punching when I put that out a bit later.

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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#30 of 149 Old 01-30-2010, 11:37 PM
 
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Thanks so much for ge advice, Jen. I am going to get the books you suggested and go from there!
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