I had never heard of the Montessori method until I found out there was an AMS Montessori school close to my home. At first, it sounded crazy to me. I only had one child and couldn’t imagine sending him away from me to work on his “pouring” skills. However, since I didn’t know any families with kids, when he was 2 and a half I decided that he needed some sort of socialization.
What I first read about Montessori sounded interesting, but not necessarily compelling. However, the book that really made me believe in the teaching philosophy was Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius. The author discusses all the scientifically proven benefits of a prepared learning environment where the child gets to decide what they are going to learn without being graded, tested, or even corrected. (The Montessori material available to the child is self-correcting, such that the teacher does not need to tell the child when they are making a mistake.) It is a hands-on environment of exploration and discovery intended to stimulate a child’s curiosity.
I literally went from being a skeptic to a convert in the few hours it took me to read that book. I enrolled my son and even began to question whether or not I would eventually send my son to the public school as planned. Ultimately, my son attended Montessori preschool for 3 years (from 2.5 to 5.5 years old) and my second child attended for 1 year. During that time, I’ve had a criticism or two of the Montessori method, but I still think that overall it’s an excellent philosophy.
I do think a lot of the benefits of a Montessori education can be obtained in the home environment. For that reason (and also because I think it’s really instructive, hands-on, useful material), I’ve been very interested in finding ways to make Montessori material at home.
When I first read about Montessori nomenclature cards for elementary age students, I was fascinated. I don’t think flashcards are the best way for young children to learn, but as a graduate student, I relied on them heavily. I made these Montessori-inspired cards as a quick and easy, low-pressure, self-correcting way for older kids to memorize useful information.
The Montessori math material is among my favorite hands-on material that I’ve seen in a Montessori classroom. I fell in love with it so much that I immediately went home and started working on my own.
Below are all of the Montessori and Montessori-style tools, activities, and printables that I’ve made so far.