Thursday, April 24, 2014

Montessori in the Home

For various reasons, we have had to take Kai out of preschool for a while. I'm changing jobs, and it seems silly to have him start in a new classroom so close to the end of the school year. And there's the financial aspect, of course. Preschool is expensive, even with a staff discount. And we're lucky- Guy works from home and is able to take on full time child care.

There's the rub, though- Guy works from home. And although his income isn't as predictable as mine, he gets paid well for the work he does. In a good month, he'll bring in more than me, and even when things are ugly in the freelancing world, he still has regular clients who make the difference between us paying our bills and, well, not.

So while Kai staying at home is our only option right now, we want to make sure that 1. Kai still has some intellectual stimulation and 2. Guy has the ability to spend part of the day focusing on his freelance work. We're doing a few things to meet these goals, and here's the one I'm most proud of- Our mini Montessori classroom in the basement!

The big ugly pipe has been moved since I took this picture.
Guy and I cleaned the basement and then I dug through my stash of teacher stuff, bought some new activities from a thrift store, and brought it all together with an Ikea rug.

The comfy reading chair was a birthday gift from Grandma Judy. The table faces Guy's work desk, so Kai can interact with him while he's working. The activities here are a zipper frame (picked up at a Montessori that was downsizing), floor puzzle, and magnetic letter board.

Here is most of his work- on the white shelf he has paper, an art mat, markers, scissors, glue sticks, crayons, a pencil sharpener, and the Asia basket that I made for my Montessori training. On the blue shelf, lots of vocabulary and reading works (most of which were also Montessori training projects) a couple of workbooks (not Montessori at all, but oh well), watercolors, and a knobless cylinder set.

The blue shelf is my absolute favorite part of this. You know why? Because I made it. Not out of a box- I made it out of this:

Yeah, check me out. 

The picture is distorting it, but it is a little cattywompus. But it doesn't wobble!

Of course, I had some expert help.

Kai loved this job! He ruined that shirt but insisted he didn't care- I only remembered afterward that we had a smock from his old school he could have worn.

So far, he's been doing a great job of exploring the materials and cleaning up when he's done!

If you're visiting this blog and are interested in doing Montessori inspired learning in your own home, here are a few books you might be interested in- 

Teaching Montessori in the Home by Elisabeth G. Hainstock. I haven't read this, but it's got good reviews. (this is an affiliate link)
Montessori Madness by Trevor Eissler. A great argument and explanation of Montessori education by a parent, for other parents.
The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori. This is my favorite of Montessori's books, which I feel delves most deeply into the philosophy and reasoning behind what she did. (this is also an affiliate link)


  1. Good Job Montessori Mom! The blue shelf looks functional and lovely. And Kai looks like he had great fun helping out.

  2. That anonymous comment was from your mom (as is this one).