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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, we've recently decided to pull Ben (6) out of public kindergarten & homeschool him. Sophie (4) is at an awesome Montessori preschool, and I'd really like to take this approach with my son. I'm a bit intimidated, since we might only be doing this for 5 months (and then re-enroll him in 1st grade), and the cost of buying Montessori supplies is HUGE. I've ordered a spring Montessori curriculum to help us out, but it's tough starting 'halfway', when most schools begin at age 3. Anyone been through this & have some general advice or good websites to peruse? Should we just start at the beginning & see where we end up? He can read small words, is good at sounding out, and writes fairly well, if that makes a difference. Any help appreciated!
 

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Are you planning on public first grade, or Montessori first grade? Some Montessori schools won't let in children you haven't completed the primary three year cycle, so you might want to talk to the school in advance about that.<br><br>
If you are looking at public first grade, then I would think you would want to focus pretty heavily on the traditional subjects in the interim: math and language. Montessori teaches science and geography so differently than traditional schools that it probably isn't worth the effort for such a short time. I don't mean to ignore it, but you could probably get away with teaching the subjects more generally and not investing heavily in Montessori supplies.<br><br>
As for math and language, you will probably want a moveable alphabet in whatever font you think he will be using next year. You may also want sandpaper letters and sandpaper digraphs, depending on how you plan to teach language. You can make much of the pink/green/blue series materials (a free set is available at <a href="http://www.montessorimaterials.org/" target="_blank">Montessori Materials</a>, or you can order a complete set from <a href="http://www.montessoriforeveryone.com/" target="_blank">Montessori for Everyone</a> for a very good price).<br><br>
Math I think is a little tougher. Montessori math materials are amazing, but they are quite an investment. Perhaps you might like RightStart math as an all-inlcusive package? It was written by a former Montessori teacher who also has a PhD in mathematics. If you are set on Montessori materials, then you might talk to the ladies on the early childhood learning forum at <a href="http://4real.thenetsmith.com/" target="_blank">4 Real Learning</a> about how to make the most of your budget.<br><br>
Of course, it's not a terrible expense to set up practical life materials at home. You can certainly do that with items you have at home or some small expenditures.<br><br>
The other rather expensive items that you might consider purchasing are the sensorial items. I think these are some of the favorite Montessori items in the classroom, but they are expensive and if you aren't planning on long term homeschooling, I'm not sure how economic it is to purchase them. Some of them you can make yourself, but for many I think that's probably impractical.<br><br>
There are some good books on how to do Montessori at home on a budget. The Hainstock books come highly recommended.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much, Marlaina! I bookmarked the websites & have been slowly going through them. I'm the type that needs a curriculum right now, I'm sure as my confidence builds I'll be more comfortable doing things on my own. But those sites will help.<br><br>
Unfortunately, we don't have any options for a Montessori 1st grade. That school only goes to K. And we're in Mississippi & I'm not that thrilled with the school options here, so we'll see how we do the rest of this year. Thanks for the input, any other advice is also welcome!
 

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If you are looking for curriculum, the <a href="http://www.montessorird.com/index2.php?cPath=2_17" target="_blank">Montessori R&D</a> albums are very helpful. They aren't too expensive, and they lay out the lessons very well. Don't be nervous about buying the early childhood curriculum, as kindergarten is definitely still early childhood in Montessori terms. I have basically all of the Montessori R&D early childhood albums, so let me know if you have any questions about that curriculum.<br><br>
Good luck with everything.
 
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