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Montessori for Infants & Toddlers:  Focus on the environment
Photo credit:  American Montessori Society (AMS)
Montessori for Beginners

Under Three

Where to start?  If your child is a baby or under three years old, we suggest our Montessori
newsletter for infants and toddlers.  You can also check out some posts on our
blog that
discuss equipment and instruction.

Creating a calm and child-friendly environment full of objects your child can handle,
touch, and taste are key for children under three.

Between Three and Six

A home environment with child-sized furniture, simple equipment, and space to work on
the floor will help you start introducing the Montessori Method at home.  Check out our
newsletters for this age group here.

For this age group, you do not need fancy technology or an expensive curriculum, but you
do need a fully-stocked home classroom with low shelves that make equipment
accessible for your child to work with whenever he or she chooses.  Our blog contains
some information on DIY and desired equipment lists are below.

Between Six and Nine

Now you need more than just a well-stocked home classroom.  It is hard to provide
Montessori schooling at home during these years because the subject matter becomes
more difficult.  However, the equipment can be learned (by you, at first) and it is all fairly
easy to use once you get the hang of it.  Then you can show your child how to use it.  

Our curriculum newsletters give you step-by-step instructions.     

Areas of study should include Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Geometry, Botany, Zoology,
Language, Foreign Language, and Physical Education and Exercise.  More coming soon for
this age group on our
blog.

See Lori at Montessori for Everyone for more curriculum (available via download or mail)
for this age group.
Homeschool?  Preschool?  Montessori at Home?  

Should you homeschool using the Montessori Method?  We believe that once you make
the decision to homeschool, Montessori is the best method to use.  

Here are some tips from our own Montessori teaching staff for reading,math, and so much
more!

Parents of infants, speaking to your child in complete sentences helps greatly in preparing
him or her to begin speaking.  Infants and toddlers soak in far more than they can express,
so your vocabulary and language patterns are more useful than they may seem.

Creating an environment in which your child can be independent in his or her daily life
promotes self-directed learning in amazing ways.

A child-sized environment can work wonders for your child’s development. Everything
ranging from a special low shelf in the refrigerator stocked with healthy snacks to a
comfortable step up to the bathroom sink creates an environment that promotes
competence in basic life skills.

Bring back some no-tech games such as jumping rope, basket ball, hula-hoops, and
hopscotch to your youngster’s vacation and after school time.

Whether they are building a tent in the backyard or learning to ride a skateboard, the
sensory practice and coordination gained from play will help in all aspects of your child’s
academic life.  So remember to encourage your child to take time off to play!

Is your child struggling to read as you struggle with patience?  Refresh your empathy
quotient by beginning to study something new that is difficult for you.  Anything from a
physical activity or skill to a foreign language will work wonders for your sense of empathy
for your struggling student.      
Montessori Homeschool Setup for parents who want to create a Montessori learning
environment for children ages 3 to 6.

Things you need at home:
Child-sized furniture, child-sized sink and toilet or sturdy steps/platforms for both, floor
space, small mats for floor work (about the size of a yoga mat, but made out of carpet),
colored pencils, paper, three-lined writing paper, and erasers. Plants, good lighting, and
attractive art are also needed. It is nice to have an animal in the classroom, too, so your
child can learn how to care for it.

Notes:  All Montessori equipment can be made at home, but some of it requires excellent
crafting skills and tools to make. Below we have listed the pieces of equipment that we
feel are most important to your home classroom.

Beginning setup for Language Arts (reading, writing, speaking)
1. Metal Insets
2. Sandpaper Letters
3. Movable Alphabet Set

Beginning setup for Math
1. Spindle Boxes
2. Sandpaper Numerals
3. Red Rods (also Sensorial)
4. Red and Blue Rods
5. Number cards and Counters
6. Golden Bead Set
7. Binomial Cube

Beginning setup for Practical Life
1. Dressing Frames
2. Pouring equipment

Beginning setup for Sensorial
1. Pink Tower
2. Geometric Solids
3. Red Rods (see Math)
4. Colored Tablets
Montessori at Home:  Put together a group of children
One challenge for parents using Montessori equipment and methodology at home is that a
key part of the classroom environment is the mix of children in a three-year age range.

But you can replicate this on a small scale with five to ten children and even move the
age range up and down a bit.  You can even add a regular day or two a week with the
grandparents to add another important component to your child's social environment.  

Do you have a good Montessori at home experience to share?  Send a comment to us on
our
blog!

Here's a fun Montessori tidbit from Wikipedia...
Some Famous Former Montessori Students:
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon
Sergey Brin and Larry Page, co-founders of Google
Anne Frank
Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Austrian painter and architect
Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia
Will Wright, designer of The Sims
Katherine Graham, owner-editor of The Washington Post
Sean Combs, famous rapper of Bad Boy Records
Julia Child, first TV chef
Helen Hunt, Academy Award-winning actress
George Clooney, Academy Award-winning actor
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, novelist and Nobel Laureate
Joshua Bell, American violinist, owner of Stradivarius violin
Lea Salonga, a Filipino-American singer and Broadway actress
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