Welcome to our Montessori homeschool classroom in the unfinished basement of our home. In this post, I will share with you how Montessori Homeschool Organization works for us. I love to teach my child using the unit study structure and our homeschool is organized by our favorite subjects. Little Bee and I are animal lovers and many of our unit studies revolve around zoology. We also love to explore the great outdoors and enjoy bringing nature inside to study. Please visit our unit studies from last year to see how I present our learning in a unit structure. Also, here is last years (2015-2016) Montessori Homeschool Curriculum for Preschool.
To create a more inviting space in our basement, I added painter's canvas to the walls, hung cheerful curtains in the window, and added an indoor/outdoor rug to the floor. Then I added shelving that I found either at IKEA or consignment shops. Over time, I added second-hand Montessori materials to our classroom from the "Montessori Material for Sale" Facebook group. We love spending time in this cheerful space!
Montessori Shelf Materials
Here is a list of what is on our shelves (pictured below) for Little Bee at 3.5 years old.
- Metal Insets
- Continent Maps
- Zoology Puzzles
- Shape Counter (1-5)
- Montessori Large Fractions Skittles
- Bird/Nest Discovery Tray
- Displayed Art Book
- Pink Tower
- Brown Stairs
- Displayed Horse Puzzle
- Knobbed Cylinders
- Shape Sorter
- Misc. Puzzles
These white boxes from IKEA hold our collection of Schleich animals organized by continent. Little Bee can take one box out at a time to play with the animals.
Preparing Unit Studies
On the other side of our basement classroom, I have a desk from IKEA that I use as my work space for preparing homeschooling materials. Little Bee likes to play or work at my feet while I sit at my desk.
How do I prepare our unit studies each week?
- Choose a Topic that Interests my Child
- Brainstorm the Topic by Looking at Photos on Pinterest
- Reference NAMC Manuals (if applicable) and my Favorite Montessori Websites
- Create a List of 5-6 Activities for the Topic
- Find Printables to Print, Laminate, and Cut
- Gather or Purchase Materials for the Unit Study
- Put it all Together
- Present the Unit Study Activities to my Child
- Photograph the Activities
- Blog about the Unit Study
*Please note: This whole process takes me about 2-3 weeks from start to finish. So I am constantly thinking 3-4 weeks in advance for what topics we will study next.
Art & Craft Supplies
The shelves above my desk house our art and craft supplies. When Little Bee is older, I will set up an art station for him with accessible materials. If he had free access to the materials right now, he would create a HUGE mess.
*These materials are stored in recycled nut containers from Costco and plastic shoe boxes from Target.
- Practical Life Tools
- Magic Markers
- Tools for Crafting
- Glue Gun
- Finger Paints
- Acrylic Paints
- Small Containers for Painting and Other Activities
- Other Art/Craft Supplies
Organizing Homeschool Printables
On my desk, I have white containers from IKEA for organizing my homeschool printables as I prepare them for our current unit study.
The boxes are labeled:
- Current Unit (ready to use - laminated & cut)
- Printables to Cut
- Printables to Laminate
- Printables to Organize (after unit study is completed)
These labeled boxes help organize all the loose papers that I print. I only print one or two unit study printables at a time to keep the confusion of many papers laying around down to a minimum.
Steps to Organize Printables
- Find Printables on Pinterest for 1-2 Unit Studies
- Print, Laminate, & Cut
- Organize into Clear Expandable Folders by Subject (or gallon sized zip-lock bags)
- Place into File Box for Storage
Tips for Organizing Homeschool Supplies
I organize all our Montessori materials and other homeschooling supplies into clear boxes bought from Target. These boxes are organized onto wire racks from Costco. The bulky Montessori materials that do not fit into a box, are kept on the top shelf. I label each item to easily identify what the material is.
Best Tips for Organizing Homeschool Supplies:
- Create a Homeschool Curriculum for the Year
- Plan Subjects/Unit Studies (2-4 for each month)
- Use Clear Boxes
- Place Materials for Each Unit Study inside a Box
- Label Each Box
Organized Homeschool Supplies
- Wooden Boxes on Top Shelf (buy at Michaels) - Continent Boxes with Materials from Around the World
- Plastic File Drawers - Office Supplies
- Medium Plastic Boxes (buy at Target) - Unit Study Materials
- Safari Ltd TOOBS
- Small Containers for Displaying Works (buy at Goodwill)
- Large Plastic File Boxes - Montessori Materials
- Montessori Math Materials
- Practical Life
- Bottom Shelves - Long Plastic Boxes and Square Boxes for Art/Craft Supplies
Inside a Unit Study Box
Below, you will find an example of what I keep inside our unit study boxes (see photos). The four boxes displayed below are Seasons, Space, Birds, and Ocean.
Inside our boxes:
- Safari TOOBs - birds, space, space, space
- 3-Part Cards (Nomenclature Cards)
- Completed Craft Projects
- Nature Sensory Items
Please visit the following links to learn how we use these materials in a unit study and also to get a closer look at what materials are in our boxes!
August: Homeschool Rooms
5 Ways to Have a Peaceful Homeschool Room | Natural Beach Living
Our 2016 Homeschool Room Tour | The Natural Homeschool
How to Prepare a Montessori Home Environment for Afterschooling | Living Montessori Now
Montessori Homeschool Organization | Mama’s Happy Hive
Evolution of Our Homeschool Classroom | The Kavanaugh Report
Montessori Shelves Organization for Small Spaces | The Pinay Homeschooler
Little Fish, BIG EMOTIONS | Every Star is Different
Start Your Homeschool Off Right | Christian Montessori Network