To tell the truth, you can organize your homeschool classroom however you want. That’s the beauty of homeschooling. No one is going to tell you that you’re doing it wrong. As long as you follow a short list of Montessori basics and find a set up that works for you, that’s all you need. I’m not a trained Montessori directress (teacher), just a Montessori Mom so if you’re trained and have input to share, please do. That being said, this is what works for us.
First and most important is to open shelving that is easy for the children to access independently. This is an old Ikea storage unit with the doors removed. I love this unit because it has the taller area in the middle for the pink tower. This layout is set up for preschool group, which is 3 and 4 year-olds.
If you have children of multiple ages, you can either put their materials on different shelves, completely different units or simply tell them which ones they are able to work on. I personally don’t like limiting the boys’ work to what is “age appropriate”, but I do tell them they need me to present new materials before they work on them for the first time. This lets me know they understand the purpose of the work and allows me to observe since Montessori doesn’t test the students. The only evaluation is done through observation.
Some people organize the materials by theme. For instance, one shelf will be all of the practical life materials. Another will be all of the language materials. I don’t do this. I place them on the shelves as they fit and are visually appealing. I like to think they will be more well-rounded with their choices this way or will pick something they are less likely to pick because it’s near something they love. It seems to be that way with my boys, but I have no idea if anyone else sees the same thing happen in their home. Thoughts?
I also recently bought rugs for our school room since it will be used by more children now. Well…kind of. I actually bought placemats which were on sale for $1.39 at Target. Those will have to work for us for now. You can see them stored in the basket to the side. Show the children how to roll and unroll the rugs before they use them.