Thursday, January 14, 2016

Montessori Dust

I have a question for all of you today.  How do you deal with Montessori dust?  I've been busy applying Konmari in the school room to make room with some very neat new material, a collection of 12 Work, Force, and Energy Models.  As I dug through every box, loose paper, and specimen on the shelves I discovered that Montessori dust is just as gross as regular old dust but perhaps slightly more prolific.  

My house is very dusty.  Combine forced air heat with a lot of carpet and a cold climate and you have a problem on your hands (and your furniture).  My approach for years has been to dust half-heartedly around things every couple of weeks and about every two months become disgusted enough to pull things off the shelves and dust around them.  It just drives me nuts though when even the five kingdoms charts, lying flat on a shelf, are just coated.  I guess they are keeping the shelf clean.

My understanding is that this dusting, of shelves AND materials, is part of the weekly work in a real Montessori classroom.  I understand how this looks in primary but not so much in elementary.  Complicating matters is that we have all the same materials that a school would have but only two students to pitch in on the dusting.  I am hoping that some of you out there are better housekeeping homeschoolers and have a routine suggestion that might work for us?  If not, feel free to commiserate in the comments.

I had planned to use the lesson plans for in Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding, Vol. II, grades 3-5 for these.  However, each machine came with it's own lesson plan book and they are excellent.  I will study BFSU to get a framework and go from there.  Most people aren't going to buy these.  It's good then to know that the lesson plans in BFSU include making your own simple machine for all of the lessons.  The BFSU key experience for the lever is very impressive.  The students lift the teacher's desk, and potentially the teacher, using a long length of 2x4.  This book is very Montessori-inspired.

In other good news, I will be selling this when we are done with them.  The bad news is, I see potential use in these all the way through high school so it might be a while.

All this dusting and moving things around always inspires changes in the school room as I see what is nearly ready to come off the shelf and start to think about what needs to be introduced to the shelves.  I've had a few late nights revamping zoology and grammar (again).  I feel like I'm always revamping grammar, but the kids keep moving through the work and things need to change.  Kal-El is ready to start more advanced grammar work so I've been studying hard trying to figure out how to mesh the ETC cards I bought with the albums I have.  I haven't been digging into any particular album this deep for a while so it actually has been pretty enjoyable.


  1. Hello MBT!

    Thank you so much for the wonderful blog; the posts are so useful to me as I homeschool my children. They're all still in primary and infancy, though, and I've only started recently.

    I've been meaning to ask you, where you purchase your Montessori materials, mostly. I am aware of ETC, PinIt!, etc, but for the classic materials, where do you usually go? I love the quality of Nienhuis and Bruins, but the price is so steep! Your suggestions would be extremely helpful, as I'm lost on whether to spend the extra dollars or buy more for the same price from something like Kid Advance, Alison's, etc.

    I apologize if this question has been asked elsewhere, I'm just not sure where to find it. Still reading through the blog.

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hello :) I think I've purchased things from EVERYWHERE at this point. I don' t know how old your children are. Now that we are solidly in elementary I buy most things from Alisons. I buy from Neinhuis when it's the only place I can get something or it's the only place I can get something made correctly. The other discount suppliers don't often have the elementary materials I'm looking for. When the boys were in primary I used a lot of iFit and Adena until I discovered Kid Advance. Kid Advance has been fast and good quality. It was less work to use them than to have Adena resend things that were not up to par or give discounts. I did discover a problem with my Kid Advance volume cubes though last week. I'm hoping they'll let me return them. I consistently have problems with Montessori Outlet. Not a fan.

    2. Thank you so much for your reply! :) I have an infant, and 3 preschoolers (3, 4, and 5). I have some materials that a local private school gave away. However, apart from some major materials for primary, I have been getting some used materials, but these sometimes show wear, and I sort of can't ignore the chipping and stuff :) Yes, this is my impractical perfectionist speaking, but I figured, I'm already paying money, and not much less than that of discount stores, so why not just get new. But the Nienhuis materials are so beautiful, right? :)

      I was eyeing Adena, too, but the complaints have put me off from using them, so thanks for giving some insight into that. Is iFit similar, or does it fare slightly better?

      I guess now I'll just stick to Kid Advance and Alison's, and go Nienhuis for any other materials. Thank you so much! Will be following your log; your updates are always wonderful :)

  2. Nice post dear, Montessori materials are so helpful for kids. They can easily learn by help of these types of materials. A teacher can easily teach his students with help of these types of things. Now many types of Montessori materials are provided by a number of companies and a person can easily buy them ensure the progress in the skills of his child.