Montessori Math: A Simple Homeschool Material List

Montessori Math: A Simple Homeschool Material List

Hey Homeschoolers! Feeling overwhelmed about which materials you actually need to teach Montessori Math at home? I’m here to help!

Here is my list (with convenient links, some which are affiliate links) containing all the materials we used in our home to complete the three-year primary work cycle. Keep in mind that you absolutely do not need to buy this all at one time. Observe your child and let that guide you to which materials you should purchase, and when.

Also, this list consolidates all the bead materials needed to save you space and money. If you buy these items, you should have everything you need for all the bead work without redundancy, but you won’t be able to have every work available at once on the shelves. I have found this to work perfectly for homeschooling my two.

Did I leave something out that your family loves? Feel free to tell me about it in the comments!

Learning to understand place value using the Golden Bead Material and a Branch to Bloom Introduction Mat.

Homeschool Montessori math list for primary children ages
3-6, and those who are working at this level

Number Rods and cards

Sandpaper Numbers

Spindle boxes (you could also use a cardboard box or fabric version–check Etsy– and wooden dowels)

Number cards (use these cards with the number rods rods also) and counters.

Hundred board –this link is the traditional wooden material for those who are looking for it. Some children really love this, mine did not. I recommend buying this printable pack instead with fun extensions to make it more interesting. I ended up buying both after my children snubbed the wooden version because it wasn’t their thing.

Decanomial Bead Bar Box –buy this and you will have all the beads you need for the bead work with the colored beads in primary–all in one box and for less money. And as a bonus, later you can buy the number tiles to use this as your checkerboard box for early elementary work.

Elementary Negative Snake game (make sure it’s not the primary version, you need all these elements for the addition and subtraction snakes in primary, and later, negative snake games in elementary.)

Complete Bead Material (this is the short and long chains with squares and cubes). We chose to forgo the bead cabinet to save money, but it’s a nice extra if you can afford it and have space! You’ll also want arrows, which you can easily DIY if you’re inclined or check on Etsy, I bet someone has made them for you already.

Golden Bead Material You’ll use this material to teach a concrete understanding of place value in our decimal system (based on 10). These are used for a very long time, alongside other work, to do addition, subtraction, multiplication and division even into elementary. It’s a staple.

35 additional wooden or paper 1,000 cubes–you’ll need these if you want to do the birds-eye/45-layout–which my children did over and over and LOVED. (I chose to use just plain wooden craft blocks from a craft supply store for my extra 35 cubes–measure your cubes and find some to match at your local shop.)

Stamp game

Fraction skittles  (optional, IMHO, we used them but not very much.)

Large bead frame

Teen/Tens boards (Can DIY or use a printable version or just write the numbers on tagboard yourself with a sharpie.)

Addition and subtraction strip boards (can use printable version–see below)

Addition and subtraction work charts (can use printable version–see below)

Racks and Tubes (this set includes the multiplication and division board and is used later in elementary work, so if you’re planning to continue after primary, you may as well buy it this way) or if you’re not sure, just buy the Multiplication and Division boards (it’s less of a commitment and you can always sell them later!)

Multiplication and division charts (can use printable versions–see below)

Work mats/rugs for bead layouts are not absolutely essential, but they are wonderful for keeping all of your manipulatives in order.

Printable work tables and charts for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division from Montessori Kiwi come in this great bundled pack with some other engaging extension materials.

Your Children Need This Grammar Lesson!

Is it time to teach your child about verbs? If so, you might be feeling a little anxious about where to start–but don’t worry because I’m here to help!
Watch my video to discover the easiest and most memorable way to teach your children all about this important part of speech.

And if you’re looking for the materials featured in the video, here’s your list!
Montessori Verb Lesson PDF
Montessori Adjective Lesson PDF
Montessori Article Lesson PDF
Montessori Noun Lesson PDF
Complete Grammar Box Set
Printable Grammar Cards and Printable Mats (budget version of the Complete Grammar Box set)
Command Envelopes Only
Montessori Noun and Verb symbols (3D)
Wooden Grammar Symbols (2D)
Grammar Stencil from Branch to Bloom (coming soon!)

Montessori Grammar Boxes: What they are and how to use them!

When it comes to Montessori Elementary language work, nothing feels quite as overwhelming to homeschooling parents as the Grammar Box Materials! That’s why I am dedicated to showing you that this amazing resource is really not as complicated as it seems! Before you get started with any material for your children ages 6-12, I recommend reading a good theory album like the one from Keys of the Universe. This will give you a good understanding of the method so that you can better decide which materials will best suit your individual children.

This post is long and detailed because I wanted to make sure I explained everything for those who have asked me to! But if you feel too overwhelmed by all this information, head over to YouTube to watch my latest video where I explain these materials in depth, using the version that I created for our home environment. I’ll also be giving you just a quick look at our homeschool space to show you how we display these materials at our house.

Grammar Boxes: What are they exactly?

The Montessori Elementary Grammar Boxes are a series of…well, boxes, which are used to house and sort the Grammar Card Materials. The idea is that once a child has a lesson (often called a Key Experience) to teach a part of speech, the Grammar Boxes are used to give the child more practice with the concept by building phrases or sentences using the parts of speech they have learned. The series begins with box 2, which houses two parts of speech–article and noun. There are three types of boxes in the Grammar Boxes set, so let’s talk about the role of each.

The first are called the Grammar Filling Boxes. These are 36 wooden boxes which are color coded according to the part of speech that the child will focus on. Each box has a progressively more complex set of phrases and sentences and individual word cards, which are used to rebuild the sentences (more about that later).

The set that I make is a little different. Instead of all those wooden boxes, I make 8 organic canvas envelopes, each with an embroidered number on the front, which tells you the number of parts of speech studied in that set. Each Envelope is like a small folder with labeled pockets inside. So for example, instead of 4 wooden boxes for the noun-article set (Box 2), I created one envelope with four pockets. I also make a canvas bin for these to neatly sit inside on your shelf.

Instead of four wooden Filling Boxes, I make one organic envelope with four pockets.

The second type are the Sorting Boxes, these are used by the child to sort out the card material when using the materials found in one of the Filling Boxes. There are 8 of these boxes, each one adds a new part of speech. The first Sorting Box has two parts of speech (noun and article) and so it’s commonly called Box 2. There is no Box 1, because if there were, it would be the study of nouns and we can’t make phrases/sentences with only one part of speech.

Instead of large and bulky boxes, I created a set of Grammar Box Mats, which are made with organic cotton. These are just as beautiful as the wooden version, but can be stacked on the shelf, and take up much less space! I also make a printable version of the Grammar Box Mats for those who are on a tight budget.

Grammar Box mats are beautiful and stackable!

The third type are the Command Boxes. These boxes are open on the top and hold Command Cards and Exercises, which are fun activities/actions for the child to do to practice each part of speech through commands/actions. In other words, they tell the child to act out a part of speech in some way. There are typically nine of these boxes, one for each part of speech, and two each for the adjectives and verbs.

Instead of wooden boxes, I made Command Box Envelopes. I left these open on the top to mimic the original box design, and used the traditional colors in vibrant organic wool felt. I also make a small canvas bin for these envelopes so that they are easy to display on your shelf. My children LOVE these.

All the Grammar Box Filling Envelopes and Command Box Envelopes fit inside one small Ikea cube shelf.

Grammar Card Material: What does it include?

Now that we understand all the boxes, let’s talk about what goes inside of them! Each Filling Box contains a set of phrase/sentence cards AND cards which have the individual words contained in those phrases/sentences. The word cards each have a different color depending on which part of speech they are.

As I said above, after a child has had a Key Experience Lesson (this is a creative introductory lesson) on a part of speech, they use the Grammar Box materials to practice building sentences and phrases using the parts of speech that they know about. As they progress through the series of boxes, the exercises get more complex and include more parts of speech.

Need help teaching the key experience lessons? Check out my grammar tutorials! I show you exactly how I taught them to my children to give you an idea of what might work for yours.

My Grammar Card Material is a little different from the traditional set in two ways.

The first is that although I based the cards on what is included in The Advanced Montessori Method, I modernized the language and changed all the references to Montessori Materials to common objects so that they are useable by everyone–not just fully equipped Montessori schools. So for example, if a Command Card asks a child to do something like move a part of the Pink Tower or Brown Stair, I changed the noun to be something else that everyone will have on hand, like a wooden block.

The second way that my Grammar Card Material is different is that it is not as extensive. I cover all the same topics of study, but there are fewer exercises for each concept. I think you’ll find that you will have plenty of material to work with (even this abridged version is 219 pages), and your children will love the blank forms I included for them to use to make up their own sentences and commands. (These were my children’s favorite part, they loved customizing their set with beloved stuffed animals and other special objects from our home.)

Whether you choose to buy the traditional wooden materials or my fabric set, I hope that this information helps you to feel more confident about teaching grammar to your children at home! If you have questions, please leave me a comment!

Montessori Math is Golden!

These Two BIG Bead Layouts Teach About Quantities and Symbols

In this video I’ll show you two layouts using the Golden Bead Material.

Hooray! I have just added another Montessori Math video to my YouTube channel! This is the next part in my series explaining how we taught place value, quantity and symbols (numerals) using the Golden Bead Material (my favorite) at our house!

In my previous videos, I explained how we taught quantity using the beads, and symbols using the number cards. In this video I show you how we put it all together in two big, exciting layouts. Your kids will LOVE building these big numbers and the whole decimal system will click for them when they see it all laid out.

My hope is that these videos will make Montessori Math feel more doable and less complicated for homeschooling families, because I think it is such an amazing way to give children a deep understanding of mathematical concepts. So check it out and let me know what you think!

Looking for the material list? Here it is!
Golden Bead Material
Low-cost Printable version (includes cards, beads and small place value mats)
45-Layout Mat
PDF of the lessons in detail

Awesome Adjectives and How to Teach About Them!

Teaching about grammar with worksheets is probably one of the most overwhelming and boring things homeschool parents face. It’s right up there with higher level math! (Which I also love teaching, because I’m a huge nerd.) But it doesn’t have to be all meltdowns and tantrums (by teachers or students), it can actually be fun and memorable and easy. Enter our grammar savior, the Montessori method! (I’m cheering, are you?)

Come see how I taught grammar to our children!

I started a grammar series on my new YouTube channel in March, and if you’re feeling overwhelmed by how important and significant and scary grammar is to teach, I invite you to come and take a look at how we taught it to our children. I think you’ll find that it’s very doable and that while the excitement you experience may not be roller-coaster- level, it can be enjoyable.

Here is the material list for the Adjective lessons:

Adjective PDF: This includes the lessons written out for future use and reference, as well as the blank cards, paper versions of the mat, and grammar symbols.

Grammar Box Set This is everything you need to teach all the parts of speech! It includes the Grammar Box Sorting Mats, Grammar Box Filling Envelopes, Command Box Envelopes and all the card materials. I also sell the Grammar Sorting mats and Grammar Card Material as printable downloads.

Detective Adjective Game from Samca Montessori

Montessori Math at Home: The Card Layout Lesson

Watch my YouTube Tutorial to see how we taught the Montessori Card Layout lesson

Place value lessons don’t get as much attention as they deserve. This super important foundational skill will save your child years of struggle down the road.

Materials you’ll need for this lesson:

Lesson PDF
Number Cards
Place Value Mat OR
Printable Version of the Mat, Golden beads and Cards

Anyone out there remember “carry the 1” and “borrowing” from when you learned math in traditional schooling? Instead of teaching mindless steps, give your child a concrete understanding of the foundations of math and set them up for a lifetime of success!

Watch my latest video showing the Montessori Card Layout lesson, and then you’ll be ready to teach your children all about place value. This is the second video in my Montessori Math at Home series. Next time I’ll show you how we use the beads and cards together, so be sure to subscribe!

More Montessori Grammar at Home: All About Articles

Want to feel more confident about teaching grammar lessons to your children at home? Head over to my YouTube Channel to check out my second video in my elementary grammar series. This video is all about articles, and I hope you love it!

In addition to the video lesson, I’ve created a handy PDF for you to download and use while teaching your children. The PDF goes through the lessons step-by-step, and includes a printable version of the grammar materials.

Looking for more grammar goodness?
Here’s a list to get you started:

Am I a Homeschooler? How to Work at Home and Homeschool

I’m getting a lot of questions about how we manage to work from home and also teach our children at home, so I decided to make a quick video for you all with my tips for making it all happen.

Head over to YouTube to watch and let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to help!

Also, I promised a quick outline of our daily schedule, so here it is. Keep in mind that this is what works for us! Watch my video for tips on discovering what will work best for you.

Family Rhythm
Parents wake and have personal time/showers
Kids wake and read/relax for a bit
Kids empty the dishwasher
7:30 Breakfast and morning meeting
Kids personal hygiene
Kids exercise time (walk dog, bike trainer, treadmill, play outside)
Chores for adults and kids
School work and music practice (parent available to teach and oversee)
12 Lunch prep, eating and clean up
Parents work and children work/play independently on projects (also scheduled lessons/playdates at this time)
5 dinner prep, eating and clean up
Family time
8:30 Kids bedtime
Adult work/relax time
10 Adult bedtime

And here is the list of my favorite resources for helping you get through this time!

Teaching at Home Resources:
Get organized–my Balance Planner
Awesome video and blog for even more resources and ideas
Corona Virus: A Realistic Guide to Coping, Communicating and Keeping Calm
For extra math and language practice Preschool phonics at home For worksheets and projects
For free Bible lessons
Science lessons
Earth sciences, rocks minerals and fossils
Piano lessons
Art lessons

If your school isn’t providing anything and you want a curriculum
Timberdoodle sells awesome grade-level kits
Easy Peasy All in One schooling is a free, complete curriculum for Christian families
K12 is the online public school option

Montessori-specific Homeschool Resources:
Parenting with Kristen also facebook groups and
Trillium Montessori Groups:
Infant/toddler group
Primary 3-6 group
Elementary group
DIY Montessori—Teaching from a Tackle box also a facebook group
Free printable from Montessori Tube Academy
Free downloads from TPT
Free albums for 3-6
Great toddler activities
Printables for toddlers
Montessori apps
Montessori Math kits with teaching instruction for 3-6
Montessori printables for 3-12
Fun Montessori-style trays to keep little ones busy and cooking resource…/the-independent-kid-ecookbook/

Fun extras
Nature Journaling
All-in-one woodworking and engineering program from Hands 4 Building
Waldorf craft kits and other fun ideas from HeartFelt
Pacific Science Center at home
Berliner Philharmoniker for free symphony concerts
Virtual museums tours
Kiddle is a kids safe online encyclopedia
A TON of enrichment ideas on this spreadsheet

Montessori Math at Home: Introduction to the Decimal

If your child can count 0-10, understands the number symbols for these qualities, and can match the quantities to their symbol, they are ready to use my FAVORITE Montessori Math material–the Golden Bead Material.

Head on over to YouTube to watch my tutorial for this foundational lesson and let me know if you have any questions!

Linked Material List:
Golden Bead Material this will be used for a long while but if you’re not sure about if you’ll continue on the journey of Montessori Math you could start with one of each or use Base Ten Blocks
Introduction to the Decimal Mat
PDF of the lesson plan with step-by-step instruction for later use

Not-Boring Grammar: Nouns are Names

Not-Boring Grammar:   Nouns are Names

Hey Homeschoolers! Head over to my Youtube channel to watch my tutorial on how to introduce nouns to your children the Montessori way! This is the first tutorial in my continuing series, featuring videos that explain exactly how we taught our children all about the parts of speech.

Montessori grammar work is simple,
hands-on and memorable.

I love the Montessori approach to grammar because the concise, simple and sensory-rich lessons really stick in a child’s mind. So get ready for a hands-on, not-boring, easy-to-understand, simple-to-teach grammar lesson that’s based on the scientific research of Dr. Maria Montessori. After watching my tutorial, I hope you’ll feel confident about how to present the materials to your children, and great about helping them to have a concrete understanding of grammar from a young age.

You can also find the written instructions for my tutorials via digital download in my shops on Teachers Pay Teachers and Etsy.

And here’s your handy, linked material list for the noun lessons:

Material List, Noun Lessons

Black Pyramid (or make your own with black paper)
Black Pen I like this type for grammar work because the outside matches the inside.
Black coal
Pictures of the Great Pyramids
Collection of objects from around the house in varying quantities 1-4
Complete Grammar Box Material This is everything you need to practice all the parts of speech.
Doll figures from your child’s toy box, one male and one female or use paper dolls
Recycled Card stock for printing all those cards–skip the lamination and let your child feel the paper

Building article and noun combinations helps the child to remember the purpose for each of the parts of speech.