Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Beginning Language and Reading Equipment: Basic Requirements for Homeschool

For those of you facing budget constraints, we wanted to put together a bare bones list for the first year of Primary school which covers ages three to four.

Language and Reading Basic Materials List:

1. Sand Tray
2. Sandpaper Letters
3. Movable Alphabet Letters
4. Word Cards
5. Double Sandpaper Letters (with phonograms)
6. Phonogram Cards
7. Metal Insets with paper and colored pencils
8. Three-lined writing paper
9. Pencils, erasers, and pencil holders
10. Basic picture and word books
11. Beginning reading books including fact books about interesting and stimulating topics such as bugs, animals, vehicles, places, people, and more.

Those of you who have purchased our Montessori Teaching Album for Prekindergarten to Kindergarten can follow along with all the lessons if you make most of the equipment at home.


Sara said...

Is it worth purchasing the total bead set with cabinet? It seems that the beads are a major component of the math portion. Would that be an item to really splurge on?

It seems that there is a lot of information on primary education, but I am having trouble finding more information on Montessori for older kids. I'm not sure what I will do after the third grade.

Is the majority of equipment that will need to be purchased for the early years? Will there be less required equipment for older kids?

I am trying to decide if I should go all out and spend the huge amount on most of the Montessori equipment for primary years, or if I should pick and choose because there will be many more pieces of equipment needed for my son when he is older.

(I recently received your first three albums - infant through the first primary year.)

Thanks for your help.

Montessori House said...

If your child is starting Montessori in the Primary years, it is definitely worthwhile to buy the key pieces of math equipment that you cannot make yourself. For the bead sets, you could hang them yourself (just look at the layout in the cabinet so you set it up accordingly), but I would suggest buying the beads. You could make the bead chains yourself -- I've seen it done, but it's a lot of work (if you need closeups of the chain, let me know).

The same goes for the Golden Bead material. At least the first set of unit, ten, hundred, and thousand bead display set should contain individual beads. For the Banker's Game (aka Long Addition to Division), you can make additional hundreds and thousands out of same-sized cardboard pieces (sometimes one finds them online fairly cheaply).

The Sensorial material is also pretty important because it sets a solid base of understanding for relative sizes and proportions. It is almost impossible to DIY -- we've had some really good woodworker parents try, but the measurements are super precise and metric. You could pick a handful of the material such as the rods and pink tower.

How old is your child now? Is he the one in the picture?

Yes, the majority of the equipment is for younger children. As children get older, they tend to work with less specialized material - for example, science experiment material is fairly generic (microscopes, slides, test tubes, etc) -- which is cheaper and easy to get.