When my boys were young, we had a full Montessori elementary curriculum and classroom with very hands-on materials to assist with their learning of abstract ideas. Now that they are abstract thinkers, our middle school classroom has morphed along with them. As you will see, Montessori Middle School and High School classrooms look VERY different. Once your students have passed the need for those beautiful works (see my post about when I fully mourned the passing of this fabulous stage), it’s time to move to a more traditional curriculum and classroom. It still has the Montessori educational philosophy at its core with lots of hands-on experiments and exploration, but all grown up!
Montessori and the Outdoor Classroom
One aspect the older classrooms have in common with the younger classrooms is that our classrooms are everywhere. Wherever there is a teachable moment THAT is the classroom. This is foundational for the Montessori curriculum. Montessori starts teaching botany at the age of three in the early childhood classroom and with the customary Montessori approach of being very hands-on. So we have always spent a vast amount of time outdoors, on our farm and in our community exploring not only botany, but astronomy, zoology, physics, chemistry, geography, photography, art, and the list goes on and on. So the outdoor classroom has always been intricate to a functioning Montessori environment.
Montessori Inside Middle School Classroom
The inside classroom is where you will see the most dramatic changes taking place. Our classrooms look more like a library or study now. The boys are at the age where they are doing a lot of research, so we have a ton of books! We still spend a lot of time in the kitchen conducting experiments, studying geography via cooking regional dishes and using the kitchen table to spread out on.
Must Haves for a Middle School Classroom
Some of the pieces we could not live without in our Middle School classroom are:
- Computers and Printers (I still require about half of their research to be done in books);
- Research Books with lots of biographies, World Books, How to books, etc;
- Comfortable chairs to spend hours reading;
- Kindles for the vast amount of books;
- An animal to love and have full responsibility of its care — we have two red-eared slider turtles, one in each classroom and lots of cats. Gage has started a business raising chickens (Deluxe Clucks). This is very much a piece of the Montessori middle school curriculum. Teaching them, via the farm environment, how to earn a living, run a business and care for animals.
- Science equipment — microscopes, prepared and clean slides, dissection equipment, measurement equipment;
- Storage areas for all the materials, reports, art works, etc. they are creating!
- Games, games and more games — educational games, thinking games, strategy games, we love to play games!
The Rest of the Story and Pictures
If you are interested in seeing how a Montessori Middle School works and what we use for curriculum, be sure to read my post here.
I created two slide shows, one for each environment! I hope you enjoy seeing how a Montessori Middle School Classroom works.
Here are a few pictures from our outdoor space, where so much of our time is spent!
Here are a few pictures from our indoor spaces. You will see, we use the whole house!
I hope you have enjoyed getting a peek into our middle school classroom! If you have any questions about how we do something, please leave a comment! If you are interested in seeing other classrooms, be sure to visit Hip Homeschool Moms the week of September 16th for more classroom pictures from the team and our readers! There will even be a linkup where you can share your own classroom!
Remember to walk your faith and not just talk about it… be a blessing to somebody today! James 2:14-26
Until next time….