Montessori Links

Better late than never! A friend asked about these a while ago…

A good general introduction to Montessori Home education as I use it is Micheal Olaf company’s websites. As I put this link in today I discovered they have added a lot of information and links I haven’t looked through yet. The catalogues contain a lot of interesting developmental information and are very useful.

This style of Montessori home education is fairly close to natural learning, and does not try to replicate the Montessori classroom in the home, a task that would be impossible even if you thought it was desirable. And I don’t!

The  environment

Online albums

Online/Email Groups

  • playschool6 – Catholic general Montessori homeschool discussion. Although I am not Catholic, I do not find the religious content overwhelming. It is usually clearly marked and can be skipped.
  • montessorimakers – Low volume list, files and archives on how to make montessori materials
  • montessoribyhand – Another discussion, lower volume, and archive of material

I hope there is enough there to keep you busy for a while. If you have any other favourites, please let me know!

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Our “Pink” Tower

I have been inspired!

I haven’t done very much in the way of making Montessori materials lately. I was overwhelmed. There seemed so much to do! Then I was reading “The Brain that Changes Itself” and thought how much Montessori style learning really suits this research, and in one of those weird coincidences that happens sometimes, someone else posted on a forum I use about Montessori homeschooling. Plus we have been spending a lot more time at home lately and we all need to do something new.

So I needed to I start somewhere. I needed something small and something I could actually accomplish, and something that could be used by both the children. So I sat down with my computer and trawled some email lists and albums and Montessori catalogs, and decided to start with the iconic pink tower. I didn’t have pink card, so I made a Green Tower. Yes, there probably is a reason it is pink, but with the effort involved in getting out of the house lately I figured something was better than nothing.

The pink tower is a set of ten wooden cubes, ranging in size from 1 centimeter cubed through to 10 centimeter cubed. They are designed to help the child develop sensory discrimination.

The Green Tower is made of green card, printed from a yahoo group I belong to. In order to simulate the ‘real’ pink tower, where weight is a factor, the Green Tower cubes are filled with rolled oats. (I needed something not too heavy and not too light). As soon as the glue dries, I think I will need to sure up the edges with some thick, clear tape. This is a method I can’t take credit for, I borrowed it.

And the results? I love the elegant simplicity of them. They will never be exceptionally strong, but I actually thought this might be a bonus for a few reasons. First, I didn’t think it would hurt the children to have something that they had to handle very carefully, and secondly I thought we wouldn’t be tempted to use them as simply another set of building blocks.

Tomorrow I will introduce the to the boys. I’m hoping my pride in my accomplishment will spill over into at least a little enthusiasm from them!  There is a little bit of information about how use the tower in this online Montessori album. (A Montessori album is an outline of the plan of lessons, materials etc that might take place in a Montessori setting.)

I am already planning to make some Brown Stairs using the same method soon. As soon as I get some brown card. In the meantime, I’m planning some rough and smooth tablets and some fabric matching.

Montessori Materials Catalogues

Mmmmm…

Today my Montessori Materials Catalogue from Nienhuis Montessori arrived. It was recommended to me by an email group I subscribe to, as a way of getting an idea what the materials were. Well, it is a beautiful and inspiring read, full of great ideas. Thankfully, the prices are on a separate sheet so your drooling isn’t interrupted by maths as you convert from Euro, or the shock you get when you do!

It’s free by request, just ask for it in the contact form.

While you’re waiting for it to arrive, look at the online PDF one at Michael Olaf, it has more of a ‘home’ focus rather than a school one. I just wish the pictures were in colour. No, it doesn’t matter much, it’s just not as drool-worthy.