Friday, 19 February 2010

Homeschooling area - the beginning

I have started to gather a few things and organise the basement, which is our designated Montessori area.

I am currently following an online Montessori course, where we are commonly studing the montessori method. Currently, we are working on the Practical life album.

Practical life was already something close to my heart, and already establised for many things here. So It was rather easy to put a couple of trays together.

I see practical life as an important part of homeschooling, and an easy part to do. I have indeed put up some trays together, per the Montessori method, but there are many lessons that are given unformally, according to what we are doing and their current interest.

A few details:

Cleaning caddy

the beginning of the music corner (to be worked on)

the work table

The work mat (for now)

Temporary sensorial shelves


I have a 2 1/2 and a 4 1/2, and I clearly see a difference between them, which make it difficult, IMO, to make all of this work al the time. Sometimes my youngest would like to imitate her big brother and is not quite ready yet, and that obviously frustrate her a lot. This is something I am not yet certain of how to deal with. And at the same time, I feel like the Practical life shelves are more geared towards her (DS has ben there done that a lot at school I think) and sometimes he changes activity a lot of time, and has a hard time to really settle in one work. I have to start putting out things that are more age adequate for him.

Another challenge is to really keep their attention focused through all this. In a school setting, you have the power of the group to keep you settled on what you are currently working on. But here, there are many distractions, and they are with mom...It is hard to keep them always working on the material as they have been showed, and I have yet to develop tricks, and ways to acts when this happens.

time will tll I guess...


  1. Your set-up is beautiful! Can you tell me more about those shelves in the first picture?

  2. Sure thing!

    THis is the practical life area. Since space is an issue, we have to combine stuff together, so I have both the care of the environement and the trays (for pouring and such) at the same place.

    ON the upper shelve, we have the cleaning caddy, that they can take with them to clean whatever they have to. The 2 white buckets are to do dishes (one with soapy water and the other rince water) or to just clean a spong to clean the table... SO they fill them up in the bathroom (which is just beside the shelves) and bring them back on the shelving unit.

    Then on the 2nd shelve, we have the sorting tray on the far left, and 2 bols that are being used for a variaty of reasons right now, and the first tray, pouring and with a variation with a funnel for my oldest.

    On the 3rd shelve, at the left is a pouring activity intended for my youngest (just pouring from one shooter glass from the other) and a tong activity with ice tongs, and some puff balls

    then on the last one, we have a transfering activity and at the right, the excess material to enable variations. (so buttons, spoons, other pain or thongs...)so when they get bored of something, I change an item to make it interesting again.

    HTH!!! :)

  3. I loved your PL shelf.
    One note - you don't need your children work on the material the way you showed. On the contrary, at least for my understanding, Maria Montessori says it quite clear: we are only the guides, showing the children the general use of the material, leaving them to explore it the way THEY want it. I think she talks about it in "The Discovery of the Child" - a great book I highly recommend. I do know that in many Montessori classrooms things are not really as they were meant to be...