This year we decided to homeschool the kids. But we didn’t want to stop using the Montessori Method when teaching the kiddos. So I did some digging and found some materials that will work for us as we set up our lower elementary homeschool classroom. These materials are traditional Montessori manipulatives the kids use in their AMI Montessori classroom. This is why I felt these are my favorite lower elementary Montessori materials and curriculum to share with you. I will break all the materials up based on subject area to help streamline what types of items you may need to set up your homeschool classroom.
In Montessori, the kids are grouped in multi-age classes. Primary are kiddos ages 3-6. Lower elementary are kiddos ages 6-9. Upper elementary are kiddos ages 9-11. Since both my kids fall into the 6-9 age range, we are keeping our homeschool classroom as a lower elementary Montessori program.
Lower Elementary Montessori Homeschool Materials + Curriculum
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Lower Elementary Curriculum
We decided to go with the North American Montessori Center’s curriculum to help guide me through the teaching process. These curriculums are based off of the AMI Montessori Method. Now there are two different types of Montessori, AMI and AMS (I know, super confusing at first). AMI is the traditional teachings of Maria Montessori, so in a way, it is traditional teaching. AMS is more progressive. Teachers can go “off book” if you will. They are allowed to use outside materials for teaching lessons, rather than just the Montessori materials.
We are sticking with the AMI method because that is why my kids know from their school, and that is what they were thriving in. So we are sticking with that approach.
Lower Elementary Language Materials
I absolutely love how Montessori teaches language. They use picture symbols to demonstrate how language looks. Kiddos as young as 3 can start learning how language is developed.
Paper, pencils, erasers, and pencil sharpeners are also a necessity when teaching language.
In addition to the grammar boxes and cards, I wanted to include the moveable alphabet for my first grader. She still benefits from laying out the letters to create words. The moveable alphabet is something that isn’t traditionally seen in a lower elementary classroom, but the kiddos can go and get it from primary. And since we don’t have a primary in our homeschool classroom, I felt it would beneficial for my kids to have a set for when they need it.
We also have chalkboards (or green boards) for both language and math.
Our reading will include novel studies. We will read different books and have discussions about them. Most of the study guides can either be created from simply reading the text, or you can go to sites like Teachers Pay Teachers to get novel study guides for books you are reading.
We are planning on reading:
In addition to the novel studies, we will also be doing critical literacy. Critical literacy is when you look at books in a new way. The idea is having kids actively analyzing text to determine theme, voice, and bias in the text. You can read more about critical literacy here.
Math + Geometry
For our lower elementary Montessori homeschool materials, we are staying with Montessori math. We purchased the North American Montessori Center’s curriculum for math and geometry. In addition, there are some materials that we really needed to purchase because I am not about to cut out a million tiny pieces for stamp game!
Now if you are looking for cheaper options, there are a few websites that sell Montessori materials at a discount. But for us, I was really ready to get started without hunting. Based on the curriculum we went with, these are the materials that were recommended to purchase. I did add a few so I wouldn’t have to cut out all the things.
- Addition Strip Board
- Subtraction Strip Board
- Multiplication Bead Board
- Division Board
- Large Bead Frame
- Golden Bead Material
- Colored Bead Bars
- Stamp Game
- Geometry Sticks
- Long Division Material
- Addition Box
- Subtraction Box
- Multiplication Box
- Division Box
- Fraction Box
Science + The Arts
For science and the arts, I decided we are going to do hands on learning. With science, I am a huge believer that you need to teach the kiddos the scientific method early on. In fact, I presented a few national conferences on the topic. The scientific method is a way to ask questions and find answers to actual science experiments…not demonstrations. There is a difference!
So a science experiment is one where you test a hypothesis (idea) based on a question. A demonstration is where you show how things work. A great example of a demonstration is the volcano using baking soda and vinegar. This is a great demonstration to show how volcanoes erupt. But it is not a science experiment.
To do a science experiment with the kids, start by having them ask a question about something they are interested in. For example, they may want to know how water turns from an ice cube into water. So you start with the question. Then you research. This research may be reading a book about water or watching a video on water. Once you have done some research, it is time to create a hypothesis or guess. That guess can be anything. Because it is a guess using the information the child has. Then you can do the experiment or test it out. See if their guess for where the water goes is true or accurate.
Keeping Lower Elementary Montessori Homeschool Materials Organized
With all the materials I wanted a good way to keep things organized. I started by ordering carts to keep the materials tidy. I also ordered drawers for materials to be stored. I am trying to keep it as much of a Montessori-based environment as possible, but some things have to be stored so we can continue to use the space.
Another things that I did was create labels for everything. All the labels and planners are in The Organized Homeschool Bundle. This bundle is perfect for keeping everything organized. With planners, labels, and more, you can easily keep your homeschool area tidy. Get your bundle here.
Now this list is not as super comprehensive as one could do, but it is where we are starting. I figure that you can always add as you get going. If I notice we need a different type of manipulative, then we can purchase that. But starting with the basics is the best place to start!