Skip to main content

Montessori Elementary Homeschool and Distance Learning Classroom Tour

I've hinted at this a few times in recent weeks, but school looks very different for us this year. Typically, my children attend in person Montessori schools. Henry and Nora were both supposed to be in public Montessori schools and Gus was attending a small private Children's House. Henry would have been starting upper elementary (4th grade) and Nora was entering lower elementary (1st grade.) But, with Covid, the public schools are distance learning only. 

For Henry's unique learning needs, online learning doesn't work. So, we made the decision to leave his school and homeschool using Montessori for the year. Nora is remaining enrolled, participating in distance learning but highly supplementing with concrete Montessori materials. Given this unique situation, I've created a homeschooling classroom in our basement playroom. Here's a look at how I've set it up and some of the materials we are using to get started with our elementary Montessori learning this year.

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.

Great Lessons Shelf

In the Montessori elementary curriculum the Great Lessons are used as a jumping off point for much of the learning. It is history, science, culture, and social studies all rolled into one. The materials on this shelf will change as we move through the 5 great lessons and dive deeper into our studies through out the year. Here's what's currently on the shelf (top to bottom): 

I'll be sure to share more about the Great Lessons and how we are approaching them as we progress throughout the year. 

Geometry Shelf

Geometry is an important part of the Montessori math curriculum that I think is often overlooked when considering the genius of the method. We have been fortunate enough to borrow some materials from a friend that is not using them this year, this includes access to the geometric cabinet. I'm excited to dive into more geometry as the year goes on! 

Our geometry shelf is also holding some of our other materials for school and play. They include: 


Math is another area that I anticipate will change throughout the year as concepts are learned and new concepts are taught. Again, I am borrowing some of these materials, some of these materials are my own and some are DIYed. The paper materials are from Teachers Pay Teachers

I've marked those for Nora (first grade) with a * and the rest is being used by Henry in 4th. I'm waiting on a delivery of some more advanced math materials for Henry at the moment. 


This area I anticipate will be fairly similar throughout the year, but we'll see. At this point, we are focusing on Nora's reading skills and Henry is working to move more deeply into grammar and analysis. Here are the materials we have currently: 

In addition to these materials, I have the card storage. Inside I'm storing a variety of cards from Maitri Learning and Teachers Pay Teachers. I expect these will change more frequently as we move through our studies.

Practical Life and Gus

Just because Henry and Nora are in elementary school doesn't mean that we have no practical life work for them. In fact, this weird online learning makes it super necessary for us to have things for them to keep their hands busy while they are on zoom meetings - especially Nora. So I've added a few different materials to her shelves to help with that. Additionally, Gus is home from school in the afternoons and needs things to do in our classroom, so I've also included a few trays for him to work with.


Here are some links to some other things found in our homeschool space.
I hope you found this look helpful! Are you interested in more information about how we are approaching homeschooling/distance learning this year? 


Anonymous said…
I would love more posts about how you're homeschooling, whether it's ideas, curriculum, or how you're using your physical space. I live in Washington where Covid started and is still going strong and people are starting to homeschool in huge numbers. Our school district and all neighboring districts are 100% distance learning.

I have been homeschooling for about two and a half years and one thing I can't figure out is how to set up a fixed homeschool area in my house and leave plenty of room for my kid to play. We live in 1000 square feet, but we're fortunate to have a spare bedroom. I would love it if you would write more about homeschool space versus play space when one has a small house in the city. Oh how I yearn for a big suburban house with a finished basement...

Thank you!
Joana Soares said…
Since I’ve been following this blog I’ve tried to figure out how to read the first sentence, with the blue letter, and can’t figure it out. It always seems as if something’s missing.
What am I missing?
Jack said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2020

When you are interested in Montessori, it can be difficult to know exactly what types of products you should get for your home. Or which types of "Montessori" materials are really worth the price. There are no rules about types of products can use the name Montessori which can add to the confusion. Not to mention, every toy manufacturer slaps the word "educational" on the package for good measure! 2020 UPDATE: This list is updated for another year! Enjoy a variety of Montessori friendly finds from both major retailers and smaller shops!  So, with this post, I'm going to try to help with this confusion! Here's a list of Montessori-friendly toys and materials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.  First, let's clarify that there is no such thing as a "Montessori toy." Montessori never created toys, but only works for classroom settings. While there are many works that I recommend for home school use, you won't find these

Sensitive Periods from Birth to 6 - A Chart and Guide

Dr. Maria Montessori spent her life observing, studying, and writing about children. During her lifetime of work she discovered that young children move through a series of special times when they are particularly attracted to specific developmental needs and interests. She called these times, sensitive periods. During the sensitive period, children learn skills related to the sensitive period with ease. They don't tire of that work, but seek it, crave it and need it. When the sensitive period passes, this intense desire is gone, never to return.  That doesn't mean the skill is lost forever once the sensitive period is over. Instead, it just means that it will take a more conscious effort to learn. As Dr. Montessori explains,  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. "A child learns to adjust himself and make acquisitions in his sensitive periods. These are like a beam that lights interiorly a battery that furnishes energy. It is this sensibility which enables

Working from Home with Kids - A Montessori Schedule

One part of my life that I haven't talked a ton about here on The Kavanaugh Report is how I'm a work-from-home parent. Eight years ago I started to work at home while parenting full time. For the first several years, I worked as a legal writer while maintaining this space on the side. When Gus was born, I moved into working on sharing our Montessori life full time. It has blossomed into a full time career sharing content here, teaching courses, and now the podcast! Through it all, my kids have been home with me.  This all seems more relevant to so many of us now that Covid-19 has closed schools and forced parents to stay at home and work while caring for children. I'm not going to lie - it's tough. It's hard to balance work and kids, especially when children are used to a completely different routine. But, it's not impossible! And, it can even be enjoyable.  As I talk about in my podcast Shelf Help , we block our days into 3 hours groups. It helps