Monday, September 5, 2011

Montessori Makeover: Home Edition

Until a couple weeks ago, my husband and I were planning on sending Froggy Boots to one of the local Montessori schools.  However, we were not only depending on the 50% scholarship from the school, but also a secondary scholarship from an outside organization called Open Montessori Initiative.  We were able to get the 50% scholarship directly from the school, but did not receive a scholarship from OMI.

Talk about disappointing!  I had already bought Froggy Boots a lunch box with her name embroidered on the front just for school!  Thank goodness she is still young enough to not realize she is missing out on something.

So, I made a quick shift in gears.  On top of all the planning for my own preschool, I began to plan for Froggy Boot's as well!  I went to Target and purchased a white, 3-shelf bookshelf for putting Froggy Boots' Montessori work on.  I gathered up as many materials as I could come up with to make work for Froggy Boots.  I put together the book shelf and the work I had come up with.  And ta-da, we now have a Montessori work area for Froggy Boots!

I added a small brown bookcase that we already had so that I could fit more work.

This is the white bookshelf I bought at Target.

This is the brown bookshelf we already had.
When I was at Ikea buying work rugs for my preschool, I also bought one for Froggy Boots to use with her work at home.  She really likes using it!

Here are the different works I have set up for Froggy Boots.  She has recently been very interested in colors and shapes.  So, most of the works have something to do with shapes and colors.

First pouring work -- pouring beans between two creamers.

First whole hand work -- transferring plastic fruits and vegetables from one small grocery basket to another.

Large pegs and pegboard (borrowed from my preschool) -- this is a good writing prep exercise.

Shape sorting activity.  Froggy Boots is really good at this!  But, she gets really frustrated because the sorting tray does not allow her to put the shapes in straight lines.  So, I am planning to set this up differently to allow her to sort the shapes in rows.

This is a Melissa and Doug "toy."  It's great for matching shapes and colors and for sequencing from smallest to biggest.

First opening and closing work.  A card box with a Velcro closure, a glasses case, a small purse with a magnet snap closure, and a box with a latch.  Inside each one is a shape -- she enjoys finding the shapes when she opens each one.
This is another great pre-writing activity.  The small basket holds different colored pieces of cut up straws.  I used a popcorn tub for the container to put the straws in.  I poked holes into the lid of the popcorn container and stretched them out with a thicker pen.  I then used a hole punch and punched holes in dot stickers that matched the colors of the straws.  I stuck the stickers on the lid on top of the holes.  The objective is to match the colored straw with the color on the hole and put it through the hole.  I found this idea on Pinterest.
I also added Froggy Boots' puzzle rack with puzzles since she has really been in to doing puzzles again recently.  Next to the puzzle rack is a magnetic shape matching book.  There are pictures that are missing certain shapes and the magnetic shapes to match them right above.

Here are some pictures of Froggy Boots doing some of her work:

Froggy  Boots did pretty well with this for her first time!  I think once she starts using her other hand to hold the bottom of the creamer, she'll eliminate most of the spilled beans.

This is one of her favorite puzzles!  She finally got the idea to turn over all of the pieces so she can see the front of them!

Sorting shapes!

Whole hand transfer!

Straws into matching colored holes -- this one has been her favorite!

I have been looking for a desk for Froggy Boots to keep and use all of her art supplies.  She has a very cool hand painted table and chair set already.  But, she is always using that with her play kitchen stuff, so it is rarely available to use art supplies on.  I also wanted her to be able to access and use her art supplies independently -- they were in a bin under my desk and very difficult for her to access.

We happened to find the perfect desk when we took a trip to Costco a few days ago!  The desk has places to keep crayons, markers, colored pencils, glue and things to glue, paper, stamps and stamp pads, etc.  As an added bonus, the desk top also flips up and turns the whole desk into an easel -- great space saver!  I'm not sure how "Montessori" it is, but it works for Froggy Boots and that is what's important.  She absolutely loves it!

Froggy Boots using her new desk to do stamps with stamp pads!  She is giving herself stamps on the hand like she gets when she goes to library story time.  She was very proud of herself for figuring this out!!

On a final note -- I finally got Froggy Boots' closet set up so that she can access her clothes and make choices for herself.  I only have clothes at her level that are appropriate for the weather.  Her outfits are hanging up on an adjustable shower curtain rod that my mom and dad happened to have in their attic.  Her other clothes -- pajamas, socks, jean shorts and pants, underwear (she is back in diapers again, so they are waiting for her to use them again), etc. are all in bins below the hanging clothes.  I got this awesome closet organizing idea from The New Mommy Files!

Here's a picture of her re-organized closet:


  1. You did a fantastic job putting this together! And I just want to encourage you to trust that she doesn't have to be missing out at all by doing school at home! Best of luck as you venture into this amazing journey!

  2. Sorry to hear about the funding for the Montessori school, but you've done a wonderful job of creating a Montessori space at home. My daughter was taught at home until college (Montessori only in the early years), and she never felt that she missed out on anything. Thanks so much for linking up with Montessori Monday! I just added your post to

  3. Great job putting this all together! It looks great! I totally understand the lack of funds to send your kiddo to a Montessori school! We have the same problem! Oh well! Homeschooling is amazing and I know (being homeschooled myself) that it all works out! A ready good book that is hitting the motessori blog world is Montessori at Home by John Bowman. Super great book! If you have time check it out! Good Luck!