- Practical life – personal and social skills used in daily living; care of self and environment, courtesy & etiquette etc.
- Sensorial – developing the child’s sense perceptions of the world and using their senses to learn.
- Language – reading, writing, spelling etc.
- Mathematics – counting, arithmetic etc.
- Culture – physical science, history, geography, biology etc.
These activities or experiences are presented via a ‘prepared environment’ with each new task building upon the principles of the earlier ones and promoting work habits that lead to success in later academic work. The activities are designed to be self-teaching and promote independent learning. The materials are child sized and the equipment is presented in an orderly manner on accessible shelving, with a focus on choosing materials that are aesthetically pleasing.
While I do not necessarily follow the Montessori philosophy, the Montessori materials are brilliant and I have based a lot of my early homeschool education around activities that come either directly from the Montessori approach or are inspired by Montessori ideas.
I have organised them under the categories of “Practical Life”, “Language”, “Mathematics” and “Other” which include the following types of activities:
Practical Life (starting out with toddlers here)
1 to 1 correspondence (examples here)
Fine motor (including toothpick activities, threading and sewing)
Cutting (teaching toddlers to cut)
Gluing (preschool example here)
Logic & patterning
Miscellaneous – magnets
Nesting & stacking
Opening & closing
Pegging & clipping
Storage & organisation
Spelling & phonics
Measurement (Length comparison)
My workjobs are organised into the same four categories as they are so closely related to the Montessori style activities. See here for more information on workjobs.
Materials, storage and organisation
Some ideas here