Both my husband and I attended Montessori schools for preschool and we have chosen to send our children to a montessori school for their preschool education. Much of montessori philosophy permeates our home-life.
One of the most vivid and differentiating aspects of the montessori experience is the layout of the classroom and in particular how the materials and “work” are arranged on shelves. The following two pictures are from my son’s primary classroom.
Order and organization, accessibility and beauty are hallmarks of the classroom.
Though each classroom directress has her own style, the presentation is consistent. The materials are within arms’ reach of the child and usually contained in a child-sized box, basket or tray so that the child can bring the work to a table and back again.
Curiosity and anticipation are piqued by the work on display and children can differentiation between areas of the classroom (practical life, writing, reading, science, etc.) based on the materials on the shelves. Every activity has a purpose. Inspired by the shelves in my daughter and son’s classrooms, I recreated a similar presentation in our home.
- Shelving unit pictured above
- More shelving options:
- Ideally, each child would have their own shelving unit but given space constraints my two older children share these shelves
- I have grouped like items together, writing in one shelf, math in one shelf, puzzles in one shelf to resemble as best as possible the one-to-one correspondence which is characteristic of montessori organization, though again due to space constraints some cubbies are more crowded than is ideal
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