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September 29, 2020

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.

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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? 

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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
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…
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