1st Five Items You Need to Start Montessori Homeschooling at the Elementary Level

In the little over a year that I’ve been homeschooling using Montessori Methodologies, I’ve learned quite a bit.  And there are things I wish someone would have told me before I started.  One of those things was which resources are worth my time and money.  Sure, there are lots of low to no cost materials available on the web.  And I do use those.  But there are a few “staples,” I wish someone would have recommended to me when I was first starting out on this journey.

Today, someone asked me what they needed to get started teaching using Montessori Elementary in their home.  This post is my feeble attempt to answer the question.  I’ve bought many things in the last year.  Some have been great, while others, well, simply not as great.   Below are the *first *five things I would purchase if I had to start over again.

1.)  Albums.  I’ve tried many and paid for some of them.  But hands down the best I’ve found so far are these F.REE Montessori albums .  I have found it helpful to print all of the albums and do so printing four sheets to a page so as to save paper as there are MANY pages here to print out.  When I need some of the resources in different sizes, I just print them out full size or as needed.

2.)  Paper based materials. For these I highly recommend the CD collection from http://www.MontessoriforEveryone.com.  It has just about everything you could possibly need on it.  The owner is a trained AMI AMS teacher who is presently homeschooling her children.  She is continuing to add more lower elementary materials on a monthly basis or at least updating things that needed updated.  If something you bought on the CD is updated, she invites you to request the updated .pdf at no charge.  And if you buy the CD, you receive a coupon code to purchase new .pdf’s at 50% off.

3.) A Resource for the Great Lessons. I truly love Miss Barbara’s Great Lesson CD.  Like the albums listed above, I have printed these materials out as well, 4 pages per sheet and print larger pages as needed.

4.)  Printer, laminater & paper cutter. There are lots of materials on these CD’s and lots of extensions that I make myself.  Some of them simply hold up better laminated.

5.)  Hole Punch, Book Rings & those really small rubber bands. I go through a lot of these.  Once you cut things apart, you need a way to manage them.  Rubber bands are great for things that are okay to have come apart.  Controls, however, are better suited for book rings.  Let’s face it.  Montessori work has lots of little pieces and parts.  And when some of these pieces and parts become separated, it’s just easier to have–stealing from the world of web-speak– the control be static…not dynamic in the hands of little people.

With these materials on hand, you’ve made a very good start.

In an upcoming post I will talk about long term storage and presentation storage of the work as well Montessori hard good suppliers.

In the interim, happy printing, laminating and paper cutting!


  1. Lori says:

    Wow, thank you so much for including us on this list! I have been so delighted to see homeschoolers embrace Montessori. Just a little note, I am AMS trained 🙂 But everything else is right on!

    • MontessoriMo says:

      Thank you, Lori, for all of your work and your always very prompt customer response on your site and via email. I edited my reference to AMI to reflect AMS. Thanks for reminding me.

  2. Evelyn says:

    Hi! This is my first time visiting. So nice to meet other Montessori homeschooling moms that teach Elementary. My oldest son is 8 yo. We began Elementary Montessori this year. We also began Children’s House with my 3 yo. We’ve been blessed.
    Hope to hear from you soon…

    • MontessoriMo says:

      Dear Evelyn, thanks for visiting. I did have many other posts and am sorry that you missed them…I crashed my blog a while back doing some testing and learning in wordpress. I just haven’t had a chance to get the old content put back up on the new install of the blog. I hope to write weekly now that we’re settling in AND I’ve almost finished making all of the materials on my Montessori for Everyone CD! Take care. And so glad to hear about what you are doing too!

  3. Monica says:

    Hello MontessoriMo!
    Thank you for this. I read your response on Playschool6 and a great relief swept over me. I am homeschooling my 6 year old son. He attended a Children’s House since 3 &1/2 and thrived. But there are no good elementary Montessori schools within a reasonable driving distance so I am homeschooling. Thank you so much for keeping a blog and sharing your expertise!

    • MontessoriMo says:

      Hi Monica, it’s nice to meet you. I’m glad the post helped you. We have tried an awful lot of materials, albums and other Montessori specific materials. I hope to write more on the topic soon! Thanks again.

      • viv says:

        loved your post . I am very new to montessori still learning a lot from wonderful mums like you . could you advice what printer do you use for all your cards . i have been looking for one for almost a year and cannot decide .

        • MontessoriMo says:

          Hi Viv– Sorry for my delay. So nice to hear from you. I recognize you from the Playschool6 groups! I have two 9+ year old inkjet printers. Neither are without problems/issues and both require attention at least once per month. They are both HP brand and ironically, both have had terrible reviews. It’s been a miracle that they have held up through my abusive behavior (printing on old paper that has already been used on one side and is recycled, running 1000’s of pages at a time, etc). IMHO, go for an inexpensive model that you won’t feel too badly about replacing if it breaks. And be sure to set your printer to copy on “draft,” especially if you plan to laminate. The heat from the laminator enhances the color/depth of the ink which means you can use ‘less dense,’ ink coverage settings on a page.

  4. Theresa says:

    Saw you link on the yahoo group. Great post. How important do you think the paper based materials are as they get older?

    • MontessoriMo says:

      Theresa, Thanks for stopping by. This is a great question. I think it is deserving of an entire post on the topic. I’ll write a post about what we’ve experienced in this regard and post it in the near future. I’ll drop you a note via email as well when it is live on this blog:) Thanks again!

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