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Friday, December 28, 2012

Art: Artterro - Eco Art Kits

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Family-friendly art projects; real skills; eco-friendly... who could ask for a more Montessori-style art kit to give a Montessori-educated child - or indeed ANY child - as a birthday or holiday gift?

We have the booklet-making one. More "girl-focused" than this household of boys cares for, but the skills learned have been utilized to transform other now-recycled materials into more boy-coordinated themes. Saving the girl stuff for the girl cousins!

The book-making kits fit right into the Montessori classroom; the other projects are great for the family setting :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Games: Family Pastimes - Family Pastimes Games


These fantastic games, almost all co-operative, build family and community relationships, while learning some great skills.

Some of these games are listed over at Michael Olaf, but I chose to list the original company so you could see the widest gamut of options available!

Great for birthdays, celebrations, holidays and more!
Not to mention a neat "break" from school! (ok so around here, games like these COUNT as school ;) )

I can't even list out all the Montessori album pages and Family Pastimes games that correlate with one another- out favorite is Farmers Market ;)
(check the "economic geography" section of the elementary geography album for this one!)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Maitri Learning - Environment downloads

Maitri Learning, LLC

Maitri Learning has a series of downloads that are OH so helpful for organizing a Montessori space - whether at school or at home.

These guides are most helpful in a rough determination of what is going to be "school" and what is going to be "home" in a homeschool environment.

And are definitely helpful for teachers in schools. I love her recommendation in every one:
JUST FOLLOW YOUR ALBUMS! If it's not in your albums, it's not on the shelves!

This is a top-notch statement for all teachers whether at school or at home. And at home, it can help delineate "school" lessons from just being home and living life (though the items will be related - some items should be "school" such as the number rods, but some items are "home" such as legos connected together to re-create the number rods!).

I am not over-excited about the downloadable papers for primary level, but they could prove useful for some people :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Music: Montessori Moms Music

From their homepage:

Welcome to the place where the Montessori philosophy meets music in EVERYTHING we do!

Our first release is "Songs for a Practical Day".   
We hope you find this collection of music to be fun, helpful and educational. Our goal was to create music that assists with Montessori themes and practical life activities in the classroom. You will find songs for circle time, reinforcing learning, walking the line, and even for birthday celebrations. "Strummin' Time" and "Ebb and Flow" can be used as background music while children complete their work.  Teachers, parents, caretakers, please use this CD anyway you please!  It was created with a Montessori mind, but will be useful for many environments.  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

All Subjects: In the Hands of a Child
In the Hands of a Child

This website is so fantastic for a unit study based on a child's interest.

Do you have trouble sorting out how to keep personal research going? Or have a topic you want to cover as a family but don't have time or energy to plan it out?

This site has a variety of options, ever-growing, for lapbooks - but you don't have to just make lapbooks - you can use the same information and activities to make a posterboard display instead, or just put each activity on its own page in a notebook (get a one-subject notebook for each project you do) with lots of space for the child to add in his own ideas and the results of his own studies.

Don't use these for every single follow-up or research project, but especially to fill in an area that you or your children are wallowing around not sure where to go or you have something that has to be learned but there is just no interest - THIS is the place to go!

And they have stuff for ages preschool through high school!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

Art: Drawing Textbook

A blank page presents a wealth of opportunity!

For those 5 year olds and older (including adults) who want a guided but very key-based approach to basic drawing skills. THIS book is IT! 

37 lessons with additional information on the end, the small size of this book may fool you as to its depth. 

The new artist is to focus on each lesson individually until totally comfortable, drawing simple objects with a pencil onto small (quarter size) paper so as to focus on the task at hand and not worrying about filling that space - or wasting paper on mistakes! Each lesson hones in on line, shading, and other artistic concepts. 

By halfway through the new artist feels very quite confident when looking back on what he has learned - and by the end of the book, while there are no horses in the book, the new artist is VERY competent at drawing such creatures. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Music: Major Scale Construction

Musical Scales Chart - Major scales

This chart has to be the NEATEST thing for the mathematical and geometric patterns within music.

Visit this site for more information:
Musical Scales Chart

HINT: Read the chart going down. If you want C-Major scale, there are no sharps and flats, so nothing below it. If you want C-sharp Major scale, it has all sharps listed below it ;)

Read the article, then build this as an activity with the children after they done the album pages on the major scales constructions.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Paper Varieties - Free Printables

This site has a variety of paper options for all the variety of research that the elementary child does.

It is NOT specifically Montessori, so you won't find banded line paper, but you WILL find graph paper in a variety of formats, music paper, and so much more!

Printable Paper

Monday, June 18, 2012

People of the Ancient World - series of books

Scholastic now publishes this great set of books. The books are mostly 6th grade reading level and appropriate for history studies of the Montessori elementary children. Scholastic lists the Mayan book as 3rd grade reading level; reviews are forthcoming when our copy arrives!

These books are great for pulling information to give to the lower elementary children, then inviting the 3rd graders to read selections for themselves. With wonderful artwork, non-bias explanations, the civilizations shine forth on their own merit, demonstrating to the children their development and decline over periods of centuries.

A list of available books on Amazon - as of the date of this post, all the books are available for less than $10 each, and are on 4-for-3 - buy 4 and the 4th is free! includes free super saver shipping too!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Life of Fred Mathematics

Life of Fred Mathematics books are great reading books with some practice for ways to apply mathematics to every day life.

As a supplement, they are great for a Montessori child looking for humor and applicability.

They could also be used in the adolescent years as a way of preparing for high school mathematics, while affirming the young adolescent's need for consolidation and applicability.

Life of Fred Elementary Set

Monday, June 11, 2012

History: Magazine Subscription - DIG

Dig - Archaeology for Kids

This website and related magazine are great for Montessori children aged 7 and up, for those with a love and appreciation for history.

The whole website is rich in resources: articles, art, submissions, teacher's area with lesson plans and ideas for setting up a history-friendly environment, and so much more.

The teacher's area even includes the topics for at least the next year's worth of issues.

Friday, June 8, 2012

History of Mathematics - YouTube Videos

YouTube has videos on the history of mathematics:

A series of 4 BBC documentaries on the History of Maths
Could be used for the adult to preview and share the stories orally with your younger elementary children; older elementary, middle school and older might be interested in actually watching them. They are geared more for older children and adults in the style of presentation.

The Story of 1 - presented by Terry Jones - BBC
This one would be great for older elementary and older children to watch as a review of what they've already learned, tying in things like the Pythagorean Theorem, non-real numbers and the like. There is some borderline crass humor and some "violence" (Arabic/Indian numeral 1s eradicating the Roman Numeral I; later the 1s and 0s are seen doing some slight graffiti - British humor, all in good fun).

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Maestro Classics

Maestro ClassicsMaestro Classics is a great site for classical music studies.

In addition to their great collection, they have samples, downloadable lesson plans for school or homeschool, a kids club newsletter with activities and more. Each CD is performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and some CDs have varying options - for example Swan Lake has both a narrated and a purely orchestral version.

Their website is just beautiful too!

Currently available:
9 CD Collection• Peter and the Wolf
• The Story of Swan Lake

• The Sorcerer's Apprentice
• My Name is Handel: The Story of Handel's Water Music
• The Solider's Tale
• The Tortoise and the Hare

• Juanita the Spanish Lobster
• Casey at the Bat

• Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

Monday, June 4, 2012

Celestial Almanack - Astronomy for Everyone

Celestial Almanack, Vol. 1, No. 5 - May, 2012The Celestial Almanack has been a great resource for studying the night sky withOUT the use of any equipment besides one's own eyes (and a notebook, drawing pad and an open mind).

There is enough in every issue for the youngest crowd, while still providing new material for the oldest; and lots in between!

Back issues are currently deeply discounted. Each issue includes current events as well as what happens EVERY year at this time.

Please support this resource! It is written by a homeschooling dad who has a passion for astronomy. His main website can be found at Classical Astronomy.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Business Math for Elementary Children

Your Business Math Series: Pet, Sports, and Book Store

Simple Charlotte Mason - Your Business Math Series - Printed
Simply Charlotte Mason - Your Business Math Series - E-Book

Your Business Math is geared for 8-12 year olds; but with Montessori experience, a child could use it sooner OR it could be an excellent introduction into the business world for the older elementary or early adolescent student.

Or if you have an older student transitioning into elementary Montessori, this could be a good way to purge any math-phobia, make the subject applicable to their lives, while you are introducing the other areas of the Montessori elementary environment. Then delve into math slowly as the child becomes ready.

Adolescent children should be delving into economics, running their own real business; this program is an excellent introduction for them, given either in elementary or as soon as you consider Montessori for your adolescent.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Living Math

This site has great literature and games all related to mathematics, geometry, algebra and other math topics.

The focus is on experience, understanding and perspective --- and fits *perfectly* with Montessori elementary mathematics, geometry and algebra.

Indeed, if you have used Montessori elementary and now have an adolescent - continuing with the suggestions here and doing a study of history, would be perfect for the adolescent child. Even into high school!

The site owner also has a set of lesson plans for math history and skills called Living Math Through History
-- and she has a Yahoo group for folks to join for support and questions: LivingMathForum
You do NOT need to be using her lesson plans to be part of the group.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Blogger Resource: Montessori Tidbits

Montessori Tidbits is a great resource for Montessori-inspired activities and curricula.

While not pure Montessori, true Montessori provides KEYS and following a child's interests can and should take you to areas that have no album pages - hence we have a wide avenue of exploration that is not "in" an album page.

So here is the first blog we share here at Montessori Station:

Montessori Tidbits

Friday, May 25, 2012

Kids In the Kitchen

There are all sorts of tools and books and gadgets for kids these days to help in the kitchen.

Here is one set:

Rachael Ray has mini-muffin tins, oven starter sets, cutting boards for kids, and more.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wff N Proof Games for Thinkers

The Wff N Proof website has this to say about their products, that are great for Montessori children and all children of all ages:

Awakening the genius in every mind
We design games that develop powerful, creative thought. Playing these games will expand your ability to recognize and apply the concepts needed to find solutions among life's unlimited possibilities.

Our games teach formal subjects like math, logic, scientific reasoning, and language structure at a deeper, more profound level than any traditional method can. It works because the greatest secret to learning is to fill the process with joy.

Captivating fun and mind-expanding interactions in class will always beat endless drills on isolated skills. You can ignite a firestorm of peer-driven motivation with balanced use of evenly matched competition, enlightened team cooperation, and widespread social rewards and recognition.

Categories of products available range from $2.50 to $35, with games for all ages - there is something for everyone!

Math and Logic

Language Arts

Scientific Reasoning

Social Studies



The Geometry of Incidence

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Grammar Box Extensions

This file from Utah Montessori has some great ideas for incorporating further grammar lessons in conjunction with the Grammar Boxes.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fossil Facts and Finds

Fossil Facts and Finds is a great site for following up with the Timeline of Life and Old Earth geologic eras.

While heavily Old Earth, this site contains a plethora of information that is valuable for teaching any age of the earth, as well as for exploring an Old Earth without constant propaganda.

Free downloadable booklets; sources for purchasing fossils, images, lesson plans, fossil hunting and so much more.

Well-organized and to the point - can't beat it for a Montessori-like experience :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Totally History Website

Totally History

This site currently covers information on US History, World History and Art History.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Common Bird Sounds

Beautiful and clear bird sounds.
Black and white detailed sketches with a paragraph
of information for each bird.
Just right for maturing young readers - 6 and older. 

My son and I just love this small book and CD field recording of live birds. The reading is short but is rich; children should be reading fluently at 2nd or 3rd grade reading level to read this book comfortably. Definitely for both lower and upper elementary reading; and excellent listening for children of all ages. The narrator only lists the bird and the number when necessary; otherwise the focus is on the bird sounds themselves. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Monday, May 7, 2012

Logic Games for Elementary Children

This is a great game for developing logic and sequencing skills - necessary skills for life, and best developed within mathematics and language - AND in fun games!

At $3.50, this game is totally worth giving a try!

The WffNProof website has a variety of logic, science, probability, language and mathematics game - my family has used several of them. They are great for the Montessori family!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sedia by Raphael

Dr. Maria Montessori wanted this image to be in every Montessori environment. 

Prints can be ordered in a variety of places and placed in a simple dark wood frame for the ideal presentation. An 8x12 or so is perfect for the children to carry around, look at and copy. A larger one is excellent for further detail work. 

The peace, beauty, balance and JOY.