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!