This year I decided to move our Montessori inspired homeschool space upstairs into our family room. Last year, our homeschool space was in the unfinished basement. We still keep all our organized homeschool supplies in the basement, however, I wanted to move our schooling space upstairs for two reasons. The first reason is the room has windows along one side of the room and it allows light to flow into the room. The second reason is I feel more comfortable with Sweet Bee (1 year old) hanging out and learning on the main floor versus the unfinished basement with possible dangers. Plus, I think it is a beautiful space with the bright blue walls and hickory wood floors.
Montessori Inspired Homeschool Space
I have found that if I only have a couple shelves with a few materials on them at one time, that I do better with presenting them to Little Bee (4.5 years old). Also, Little Bee does better at keeping the shelves neat and tidy.
Let me explain how we use our shelves... I have prepared mostly language and math materials on our shelves and a couple unit study materials (insects and the five senses). We have done several unit studies about insects because my son is in love with grasshoppers, bumble bees, and rollie pollies. Because of this, I decided to hang up insect art on our walls. (Scroll all the way to the bottom of the post to download your free insect art printable!)
The beautiful butterfly art print is actually vintage gift wrap and it is "oh so pretty!" I bought a frame from Jo Ann Fabrics and placed the gift wrap inside. It looks like expensive art! Also, what is really fun is that I can affordably change out our art according to the themed unit that we are currently studying. Win! The other insect art prints, in the white square frames, are from michaelolaf.com and the frames are from Michael's Craft Store.
List of Materials on our Shelves:
- Spider Plant (named George) for Practical Life Work
- Art Supplies - Watercolor paints, paintbrushes, watercolor paper, watercolor pastels, crayons, markers, and coloring books, insect stencils, postcard watercolor paper
- Mystery Language Mailbox
- Mystery Mathematics/Counting Treasure Box
- Sandpaper Letters (hidden in the mystery mailbox)
- Language Miniature Objects
- Sandpaper Numbers (hidden in the mystery treasure box)
- Metal Insets, Paper, and Writing Tray
- Mat for Floor Work (if desired)
- Sand Tray
- Montessori Numbers and Counters
- Short Colored Bead Stair
- Dry Erase Writing Board with Eraser and Dry Erase Pens
- Montessori Grooved Letters with Writing Tray
- Wooden Clock with Movable Hands
- Wooden Grooved Number Board
- Wooden Grooved Alphabet Board (lower case)
- Little Bee's Name Puzzle
- Featured Book for our Unit Study of Interest
- Red Rods
Little Bee is learning to sound out and spell his own name. I am also slowly introducing him to the letters of the alphabet (sandpaper letters) and his language miniature objects that match. He works on writing the letter we are working on in his sand tray or on his dry erase board. I am also working with him on his numbers - identifying them and writing them. He knows the numbers 1-10. I need to introduce the next set (10-20) soon. Also, I still need to introduce the movable alphabet. That will be next year's homeschool plan!
When homeschooling, it is important to remember that you actually don't need loads and loads of materials. These few Montessori materials, on our shelves, have kept us busy for months and will continue to keep us busy this next year.
Now that we have discussed Little Bee's Montessori homeschooling space, let's transition over to the rest of the family room to Sweet Bee's space (1 year old). When you are sharing a space for different ages (siblings), it is important to remember safety and also durability. All of Little Bee's small objects (materials for math and language) are kept on the top of his shelves. I only place "safer" materials on the bottom shelves and take into consideration that Sweet Bee will take them and scatter them across the floor. This is a wonderful time for Little Bee and myself to "model" putting the materials back neatly on the the shelf. Sweet Bee actually enjoys putting the materials back too. She views it like a game. Little Bee and Sweet Bee share a book shelf. I put all her books on the bottom row and any of Little Bee really special books, land on the top row. I buy most of our books second hand, so a little roughing them up is ok with me. Again, this is a wonderful time to "model" with Sweet Bee how to gently care for the books and to not bend or tear the pages. She actually hasn't torn any pages out of Little Bee's books yet.The corner on the other side of the room is Sweet Bee's movement area. When she was younger, I set this corner up with her mobiles and play stand. The mat was a soft place for her to practice rolling and then eventually crawling. Now she has taken off and is exploring the whole house, but she does return to her movement area to work with her materials and use the pull up bar.
I have found that a low (one unit high) shelf is ideal for an infant learning to pull up and stand. She had a two unit high shelf and she kept bonking her head on the second level when she tried to stand up. The one unit high is fun for her because she can play on the top level and also look at her insect art prints.
Download your free printable located on the Teachers Pay Teachers site. If you are not a member of Teachers Pay Teachers yet, you absolutely must join! It is an awesome resource for finding materials for school and homeschool. You will not be disappointed!
12 Months of Montessori: Homeschool Spaces
August 8 - Homeschool or Montessori Work Areas (Homeschool Rooms)
How to Set Up a Reading Nook Kids Love | Natural Beach Living
Awesome Homeschool Room - Pictures & Printable Homeschool Planner | The Natural Homeschool
How to Prepare Themed Montessori Shelves | Living Montessori Now
Montessori Inspired Homeschool Space | Mama’s Happy Hive
Montessori Home -- Our Art Area | The Kavanaugh Report
How I Organize our Montessori-Inspired Learning Space | The Pinay Homeschooler
How to Set up Montessori in a Small Space | Sugar, Spice & Glitter
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
Montessori Homeschool Room Tour | Sugar, Spice & Glitter