Blog Archive

Montessori-inspired Atoms Printable Pack in Action with Free Bonus Printable

Dinomite has become passionate about chemistry thanks to our wonderful astronomy studies.  He personally requested that we make materials to feed his new obsession.  This has resulted in the creation of the NEW Montessori-inspired Chemistry Bundle.  

Part of the chemistry bundle is the Montessori-inspired Atoms Printable Pack.  I must admit it's one of my favorite parts of the bundle.  Today I'm excited to share with you what it looks like in action!

At the end of the post you'll also find a free bonus printable to add to this wonderful resource designed specifically for little ones.

Montessori-inspired Atoms Printable Pack in Action with Free Bonus Printable

The Montessori-inspired Atoms Printable Pack is a fabulous resource for children in Montessori preschool and elementary classrooms.  It can be used in so many ways depending on the needs of your children.

This printable pack:
  • Introduces 20 atoms by electrons, protons, and neutrons
  • Encourages children to create atoms using controls provided
  • Expands to allow for the creation of all atoms with templates
More than anything it's super fun to use in so many different ways!


For a limited time you can receive the Montessori-inspired Atoms Printable Pack as part of the Montessori-inspired Chemistry Bundle.

Montessori-inspired Chemistry Bundle

The Montessori-inspired Chemistry Bundle is 303 pages of chemistry resources for children in Montessori preschool and elementary classrooms.  

At regular price you will pay $60 for all of the resources included.  But for a limited time you can receive all of these resources for only $14.99.  That's 75% OFF!

Montessori-inspired Atoms Printable Pack in Action


Here are four ways our kiddos have been using the Montessori-inspired Atoms Printable Pack at home.

Creating Atoms using Pom Poms

Building Atoms with Pom Poms

Sunshine has fun building atoms with pom poms using tweezers to transfer them from the bowl to her mat.

Using the control provided she is able to place electrons, protons, and neutrons in the correct spots.

Painting Atoms

Painting Atoms

Dinomite enjoys using paint to create his atoms.  He uses one of the templates in the printable pack and fills in the information at the bottom using a pencil.

Creating Atoms with Play Dough

Creating Atoms with Play Dough

Bulldozer really likes using play dough to create his atoms.  It is great fine motor practice for him.  Just like his brother, he uses a template and fills in the bottom using a white board marker.  (His template is laminated.)

Drawing Atoms with Markers

Drawing Atoms

Princess prefers to use markers for her atom creations.  Using a control she fills in one of the templates and writes important information at the bottom.

Other Fun Ways to Use the Atoms Printable Pack

We don't have the materials on hand, but one could easily use Q-tips or do-a-dot markers to create atoms.  If you're feeling really ambitious you could use pipe cleaners and pony beads.  The sky is really the limit!

Montessori-inspired Atoms Bonus Freebie

For those who are looking for the perfect printable for younger preschool aged children, the Atoms Bonus Freebie is perfect!  It includes do-a-dot templates for electrons and a space to place protons and neutrons.  Printables focus on numbers 1-10 and no higher.

Montessori-inspired Atoms Bonus Freebie

Directions on How to Obtain Subscriber Only Freebies

1. Click on the Subscriber's link at the bottom of this post.

2. Subscribe to our free newsletter.

3. Open the thank you message you receive after subscribing. (Be sure to check your spam folder, as sometimes it ends up there.)

4. You will be sent a confirmation e-mail. Be sure to click the link to confirm your subscription.

5. Once confirmed you will receive a "Thank You" Message.

6. The link to our Subscriber Only Freebies page as well as password to access it is in the "Thank You" message.

7. Click on link and type in password.

8. Find the printable pack you are looking for listed in alphabetical order, click on it, and viola!

We hope you enjoy your free printable.

Note: If you are already a newsletter subscriber, open your most recent newsletter. At the bottom you will find a link to the Subscriber Only Freebies page, along with the password in case you forgot it.

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The Montessori-inspired Atoms Printable Pack that's included in the Montessori-inspired Chemistry Bundle is such a fun resource for kids trying to understand atoms.   We can't get enough of it!

Purchase your Montessori-inspired Chemistry Bundle today!


Montessori-inspired Atoms Printable Pack in Action with Free Bonus Printable

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Our Montessori School Schedule

There are seven students that attend our Montessori school.  Compared to just our own two boys that were with us at the beginning of the school year, this is a lot!

No more are the days when we begin and end learning whenever we'd like.

Five extra students means a lot more structure and planning.

Truth be told this has been very good for us and for our boys.

Here's what our Montessori school schedule looks like.

Our Montessori School Schedule

The Start of our School Day

Our school day starts at 10 AM.

Breakfast is ready when our students arrive.  They wash their hands.  We say a blessing on the food and everyone takes turns making their plates.

Originally we only planned on serving a morning snack offered half way through our work cycle, but I noticed that students, including my own children were hungry much sooner than that. Starting our day with breakfast was the perfect solution.

Once everyone is settled at the table eating their breakfast we begin our morning gathering time.  

Students are much more attentive when they have their hands busy and their mouths full.

Our morning gathering time consists of three components:
  • Emotions Check-in
  • Current Event Discussion
  • Songs

Emotions Check-in

"One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child." -Maria Montessori

We always start our day by going around the table and asking how everyone is feeling.  This helps our students make the transition from home to school It also helps us understand any other factors that may influence their ability to learn on any given day.

Our students are learning to express emotions freely and honestly.  They're learning that it's perfectly normal to feel more than one emotion at a time, even if they seem like complete opposites.  

When our students start their day expressing emotions,  the chances of behavioral issues while learning lessens.

Current Event Discussion

"If help and salvation are to come, they can only come from the children, for the children are the makers of men." -Maria Montessori

We encourage our students to be informed contributing United States and global citizens.  One way we are able to do this is by discussing current events.  

Each day I choose a headline to discuss in class.  Sometimes headlines involve religion.  Other times we talk about politics.  There are some days when we discuss weather.  On days when our country or the world is mouning, we discuss tragedies.

Our current event discussions follow the same sequence each day.

First I share the event, giving background issue and an explanation of sides, if there are any involved.

Second I ask my students their emotions and opinions related to the current event.  Our students know they are welcome to express opinions freely so long as they are kind and respectful towards others.  They know that each student is entitled to their own opinion and it's okay to disagree.  

Our goal in these discussions is to teach our children to take perspective and be open to all thoughts and ideas.  We want our students to develop their own beliefs and values based on a well rounded education and then find their own place in the world.

When we discuss heavy topics we often follow up with a "Take Action Plan."  

The question is always the same.

"What can you do to help this situation?"

It is after this question that our students discuss ways that they can take action.

Our Montessori School Schedule-Work Cycle

Sometimes it's as simple as saying a prayer or smiling and giving a compliment to someone who is being bullied or ridiculed.

Other times they may decide to learn about a different religion or custom to develop a better understanding of a group of people and rid themselves of fear.

When a extreme weather event has occurred they may decide to donate clothes, shoes, toys, books, or other items to the cause.

Songs

"There should be music in the child's environment, just as there does exist in the child's environment spoken speech. In the social environment the child should be considered and music should be provided." -Maria Montessori

We end our morning gathering time with song.  

Songs always change the mood, no matter how somber our discussion of current events may be.  

Songs are a great way to teach concepts that may be difficult to understand or remember, especially when they come with a music video for all to watch.

Our Montessori School Schedule-Team Work

For the past few months we've been enjoying songs about astronomy and chemistry from the album, Here Comes Science.  We've also been using songs to practice skip counting and introduce multiplication.

Our students dance, sing and thoroughly enjoy this time of the day.

I introduce one new song a week that we watch and sing to first.  Then I have one student select a song we've learned in the past from a jar of labeled Popsicle sticks.  We use an iPad to provide the visual presentation.

Students know that after songs are finished (10:30 AM), their work cycle begins.

Three Hour Montessori Work Cycle

"These long hours are necessary, if we are to follow a directed line of action which shall be helpful to the growth of the child." -Maria Montessori

Over the course of the last few months we have been working up to the recommended three hour Montessori work cycle.  All have proven successful with it.

Our Montessori School Schedule-Concentration

During this three hour block students choose their own work and complete individualized lessons with a teacher (myself or my husband).

Each student is permitted to take a five minute breakwhenever they feel they need it most. During this time they go to the peace corner where they can rest.  

Some of our students have various special needs where a break is a necessary part of their day.  It is only fair to allow all students this opportunity.

The three hour Montessori work cycle ends at 1:30 PM, when lunch is served and we gather once again.

Afternoon Gathering Time

Students fill their water bottles, gather at the table for prayer over lunch and then fix their plates.  I give announcements and reminders and then students settle in for read aloud time while eating.

Our Montessori School Schedule-Kitchen Tasks

We have found meal time to be the best for reading aloud. Students are busy eating and are able to focus on the story without outside distractions.

After lunch and read aloud are finished our students go outside to play until parents arrive at 2:00 PM.

Our students love our schedule and have come to look forward to it daily.  Many have developed their own routines during the three hour work cycle, while other change up their plans on a daily basis.

What does your Montessori school schedule look like?

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy the posts below.
The 5 Best Tips for Helping Children Become Independent at Mealtime A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room Four Prompts to Encourage Mindfulness in Children

Our Montessori School Schedule



Read More »

How to Help My Child Want to Try New Foods

In April we added another new student to our classroom.  This brings our class total to seven now! 

Hobbes is eleven years old and recently diagnosed as autistic.  

Just like Dinomite he really struggles in the food department.

Our school meal time food trial system that had been in place since January with our other new students was not going to work for Hobbes.

Knowing first hand how much Dinomite struggles with food, I wanted to make meal time as pleasant as possible, but also wanted to encourage all of my students to try new foods.

I took the time to ponder and then spoke with my students.  

How do I help each child want to try new foods?

The result has been a beautiful thing!

How to Help My Child Want to Try New Foods

Mealtime During the School Day

Previous to Hobbes' arrival, two options were always provided at meal time, to ensure I was accommodating everyone's food preferences, special dietary needs, and struggles.

At breakfast there would be a hot meal option as well as cereal and milk.

At lunch there would be a meal prepared as well as a sandwich prep station with peanut butter, jelly, and nutella.

If I prepared something new, our new students were asked to try a tiny bite.  If they didn't like it I'd mark it down as a no go for the future.

Meals they did enjoy I would add to our future meal plan.

Only Bulldog was ever hesitant about trying new foods, but with cheers of encouragement, he would try the tiniest bite and we'd celebrate his success. 

My own boys were exempt from this process, as they'd already tried everything I was introducing to our new students.

On Hobbes first day, I learned very quickly that this process would not work for him.

A Conversation About Food

I gathered all of my students together and we had a fantastic conversation about food.  I asked each of them what made trying new foods difficult.

Was it the smell?

Was it the sound?

Was it the look?

Was it the taste?

Was it the texture?

For many the first challenge was not the taste.

Dinomite struggles with the look, sound, and smell of foods in that order, so much that he never even makes it to the taste testing in most scenarios.  He can't make it past the other factors.

I then asked my students to think about trying a new food.

What was the worst thing that could happen?

Hands down they all said they worried they wouldn't like the food and wouldn't be able to get the taste out of their mouths and recover.

From there I asked my students what their food preferences were.

What did they like best?

Some of their answers were expected.  Favorite foods in our classroom include pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, and homemade macaroni and cheese.

But more than anything, all of them love candy of some kind or another.

The Candy Jars

I'm NOT a fan of candy.

My kiddos receive candy on Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween, and Christmas.  That's it.

I'm definitely NOT a fan of rewarding children with candy for preferred behaviors.

In our society with so many people struggling with weight, it seems so unwise to associate food with positive behaviors and rewards.

But...

I AM a fan of supporting a child who wants to work on something that's really hard.

I AM a fan of providing a child with whatever he or she needs to feel confident and be successful.

I  AM most definitely supportive of a child-led experiment to help my students better themselves.

This is what led to seven candy jars on the shelf above my kitchen sink, one for each of my students.

Each student in my classroom has their own jar filled with their favorite kind of candy.

How to Help My Child Want to Try New Foods

Our Mealtimes Now

I still offer two choices.

Meals are prepared so that my students can combine ingredients when they'd like to, and keep them separate and not touching if that's their preference.

When it comes to trying new foods it's a choice for everyone.

If a student decides to try a new food, they may immediately have one piece of candy after the trial is complete.

A food trial only requires the child to put the food item in their mouth for a couple of seconds.

Some trials go well and students finish chewing and swallowing their bites.  At times they even ask for more.

Other trials don't go so well and students spit out their food into the garbage.

Either way, they still get their piece of candy.

No matter how small, baby steps are still progress.

And the candy...

No matter how awful the new food might have tasted, the candy washes it away.

The candy also helps to regulate the students who struggle most with taste testing.

It's a win win situation!

Home versus School

Now I don't know what foods my students eat at home.  This exercise is only based on foods we serve at school.

If I make something new, but it's a food they're used to at home, they still get their piece of candy.

I do this to promote confidence. 

Not every pizza and homemade macaroni and cheese tastes the same right?

And let's be honest, they can only count something as a new food at school once, so it's really not that big of a deal if they test a food that they probably like already.

The Results

We've been using the candy jars for over a month now.

Every day at least one student asks if there is anything new to try on the menu.

When there are new foods, there's no more anxiety, only conversation and laughter over how wonderful or how horrible something tastes.

Each student decides for themselves if they're willing to try something new.

Instead of fearing a horrific taste that might be, my students know the taste will be replaced with a flavor they love.

It has been amazing to see how much my students have grown in this area all because of a simple candy jar.

If you are wondering how to help your child want to try new foods I highly recommend trying the candy jars.

Note: The only time I wouldn't recommend it is if you have a child who suffers from significant trauma and attachment issues, especially those where food was involved.  This does not work for Princess and Sunshine.

I purchased our candy jars at Walmart but you can find them on Amazon HERE.

I love this size because it fits one box of theater candy perfectly!  One box of theater candy lasts longer than you think!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy the posts below:
Montessori-inspired Self-Care: Kitchen Tasks Printable Pack My Body: Digestive System and Nutrition Unit When Food Is Your Child's Enemy The 5 Best Tips for Helping Children Become Independent at Mealtime

Read More »

The 5 Best Tips for Helping Children Become Independent at Mealtime

In January we added four children to our classroom ages five to eleven.

School begins at 10 AM, Monday through Thursday (so long as the girl's schools are in session).

At first we offered a morning snack halfway through the three period block followed by lunch at the end, but quickly observed that serving breakfast and lunch would best meet the needs of our new students.

Serving breakfast and lunch also provides opportunities to introduce more variety in Bulldozer and Dinomite's food repertoire, which is always a positive thing.

Breakfast and lunch have become a time that everyone looks forward to each day.

We have had so much fun introducing Montessori components to the serving process.  All of the kids LOVE that they are able to be so independent.

Here are our 5 best tips for helping children be independent while serving food.

The 5 Best Tips Helping Children Become Independent at Mealtime
A hamburger and hotdog bar for lunch!

The Opposite of Super Sizing

If you're like me, transferring peanut butter, jelly, and Nutella into smaller bowls for little hands every day can get a bit old.  This is especially true when it comes to transferring what's not used back into the jars. Don't even get me started on washing out bowls.  So much ends up being wasted.

Luckily these products along with many others are sold in several different sizes.  We've found that when we use the smallest sized food containers available, little hands can easily handle them and there is less waste and clean up.

Use child sized containers and knives
A Nutella sandwich is always an option for lunch.

This is also true with cereal.  My husband and I quickly noticed all of the children struggled pouring cereal in super sized boxes.  It spilled everywhere.  This meant we had to pour everything.  When we switched to purchasing the smaller boxes, all of the children could be independent.  Such a win win for everyone!

Little Servers

Adult sized serving utensils can be quite frustrating for little hands.  They are heavy, awkward and often tip over when handled inappropriately spilling food everywhere.

When we decided to replace large serving utensils with smaller ones, children can easily and confidently make their own plates without worry.

Here are some of our favorites!
The 5 Best Tips for Helping Children Be Independent While Serving Food: The Perfect Serving Utensils for Little Hands


This silicone ladle is a safe way to allow children to transfer soups and stews as it doesn't heat up when in a heated pot and is smaller than your typical ladle.

These wooden spoons grow with your child.

If you are not a fan of wooden spoons or are looking for something a little bit deeper this small mixing spoon is perfect.

Whether serving mini burgers or brownies this spatula does the trick.

Tongs are useful for serving many foods!  We use ours almost every day.

Children being independent while making their plates.
A waffle bar for breakfast!


Last but not least these cheese spreaders work fabulously well as knives when spreading peanut butter and jelly until a child is ready for an adult sized knife.

I have introduced child sized knives in the past, but my children still prefer these.  They can scoop up far more of their favorite spreads much quicker.

The Presentation


Just like large serving utensils, large serving bowls can provide significant challenges for children.

They're heavy.

At times they can be too deep, making it difficult for children to reach food.

If serving bowls are not see through, children can't observe their hand movements while transferring food.

We have found the best results when we use clear serving dishes that are small and shallow.

Use small and shallow serving dishes.

Hands down our favorite serving dishes are part of the Pyrex 10-Piece Set.  I especially love the rectangle shaped dishes.  They provide children more room for scooping.

When we're finished with a meal and there are still left overs, the Pyrex lids make it so easy to put left overs away.

Use child-sized pitchers, serving utensils and more!
Yogurt parfaits for breakfast!

Pouring Liquids

Pouring liquids at meal time seems to be the most challenging for children in our classroom.  Even a full quart of milk from the store is too difficult for some to pour on their own.  This is why we've taken the time to invest in and use smaller liquid containers.

The Best Pitchers for Little Hands


The 5'' mini glass pitcher works perfectly for pouring syrups and sauces.

We can't live without this pitcher that comes with a lid.  Four are used on a daily basis for juices and milk.

A Designated Serving Space

I grew up in a home where food was served at the table.  Dishes were passed around by adults and children were served along the way.  This prevented little hands from being burned and food from spilling everywhere.  But is also prevented children from being independent during this process.

In our home food is placed on the small island in our kitchen, where children can reach and make their own plates.  Whether they're scooping out macaroni and cheese, pouring cereal, or making their sandwiches, all is done in this designated space with child friendly sized serving dishes and utensils.

When we provide an easily accessible place for children to serve themselves without worry we are allowing them to take control of the mealtime process.

The food serving process in our home has improved so much with these tips.  Serving food up may seem like a simple thing to us adults, but it is huge to children who are desperately seeking out ways to become more independent and providing service for others.

If a child can fix their own plate, they can also fix yours.  What a wonderful way for your child to provide service and show love!

If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy the resources below.

How to Help My Child Want Try New Foods Montessori-inspired Self-Care: Kitchen Tasks Printable Pack My Body: Digestive System and Nutrition Unit When Food Is Your Child's Enemy

The 5 Best Tips for helping Children Become Independent at Mealtime

Read More »

Montessori Summer Mega Bundle for Natalie the Brave

Are you looking for summer themed printables for your kiddos?  Boy oh boy do I have a solution for you!

My Montessori Hub and I are joining forces this month with several amazing bloggers to bring you the Montessori Summer Mega Bundle. 

It is going to be magnificent!  

I can't begin to describe how amazing and how HUGE this bundle is.

Even better it is coming to you at an INCREDIBLE discount.

Have I piqued your interest yet?

But wait, there's more...

Montessori Summer Mega Bundle

To build excitement and to show you a preview of the quality and diversity of the printables in the Summer Mega Bundle, we have put together a Summer Freebies opportunity for you!

Just look at what's inside!


Summer Freebies

  • 30 Days to Montessori at Home (E-course) - Carrots Are Orange
  • Pollinators (3-part Cards) - Chickie & Roo
  • Roll. Add. Write. Count. (Math Printable) - Darby Hawley
  • Sun Printable Pack (Printable Bundle) - Every Star Is Different
  • British Butterflies, Moths & Leaves (Posters) - Fiddlesticks Kids
  • Ladybug Pack (Printable Bundle) - Living Montessori Now
  • Flowers (3-part Cards) - I Believe In Montessori
  • Gentle And Classical Nature (Printable Bundle) - Life Abundantly
  • Summer Rhyme Match (Printable) - Montessori Kiwi
  • Lifecycle of a Honeybee (Printable) - Montessori Nature
  • Ocean Animals & Ocean Zones (3-part Cards) - Natural Beach Living
  • Going to the Beach Packing List (Printable) - Plenty of Trays
  • Sandcastle (Beginning Sounds Printable) - Preschool Activities Nook
  • Form Drawing Chart (Printable) - Tackle Box Montessori
  • Paper Cutting Strips (Printable) - Tackle Box Montessori
  • Pond Life (Printable Bundle) - Mama's Happy Hives
  • Types of Bees (3-part Cards) - My Montessori Hub
  • Ocean Animals (Scissor Strips) - Welcome to Mommyhood
If you haven't already signed up for these fabulous freebies, be sure to do so now!

Grab your Summer Freebies today!


Now there is a reason so many bloggers are coming together to create such a fantastic bundle and freebie offer.

It's a reason very near and dear to my heart.

My niece...

Natalie the Brave.



My sister Marci, is Natalie's mother. 

Marci gave birth to Natalie's baby brother, Kyler, in March. 

Only two weeks later it was discovered that Natalie has leukemia. 

As you can imagine, this was a devastating blow to the family. 

The day of diagnosis, Natalie was immediately sent to the nearest Children's hospital, 90 miles from her home, to start treatment.

Matt, Marci, Chase, Natalie and Kyler's world was turned upside down in an instant.

A treatment plan is now in place.

Natalie has started chemotherapy and lost all of her beautiful hair. 

Marci and Matt take turns staying with Natalie at the hospital when she needs to be there while other relatives and friends take turns watching Chase and baby Kyler. 

The headache that comes with transportation to and from a hospital an hour and a half away is enough to cause financial distress.

Food for whichever parent is staying with Natalie is another challenge.

This is just the beginning of the financial burdens this trial will bring, as one parent will need to remain home while Natalie is undergoing treatment.

Previous to Natalie's cancer both Matt and Marci worked.

Marci is a special education teacher.

The goal of the Montessori Summer Mega Bundle is to earn $10,000 for Natalie the Brave.

We want to lighten the load on this family, so they can focus on Natalie without the worry of finances.

Whether you're planning to purchase the Montessori Summer Mega Bundle soon, or just want to take advantage of the fantastic freebies, we'd love it if you could spare just a little to donate to Natalie the Brave.

Contributions can be sent through our Go Fund Me Page.


Thank you in advance for all of your love, prayers and donations.

They mean so much to us!

We hope you enjoy your freebies and are looking forward to the Montessori Summer Mega Bundle launch as much as we are.
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A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a minimalist family that embraces Montessori at the same time?

We're a Montessori family of six living in a space that is only about 1300 square feet where we also run a school with seven elementary aged students.

For some our home may seem large, but seeing as we moved from a home twice this size and have several special needs to accommodate, requiring two of our children to have their own rooms, this is as small as it can get for us.

Over the last year we've worked extremely hard to make this house a home.  I'm absolutely delighted to kick off a Minimalist Montessori Home Tour, starting with The Dining Room!

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room

Originally our dining room was a back porch, turned into a sun room by previous owners.  Knowing we wanted to have a homeschool classroom and were limited on space, we turned the sun room into a dining room.  It is by far one of the favorite and most used rooms in our home.

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room Main View at Entrance

The dining room is not very large at all as you can see, measuring only about seven feet wide by eleven feet in length.

This does not count the full size bed that works as a reading nook/peace corner/guest bedroom depending on our family's needs at the time.

Home Decor

When it comes to home decor, I feel very strongly that items must have a purpose and bring joy whenever looked upon.

The two pictures hanging on the back wall of our dining room are from our daughters' adoption celebrations when we became a forever family.

The pictures also include a representation of our Savior Jesus Christ and a Latter-day Saint Temple where our girls were sealed to us.  I try to have a picture of Christ and a temple in each room of our home to remind us of our faith and belief system.

Lastly you can see a plant hanging on the wall.  There is very limited space for plants where my kiddos won't destroy them or tip them over. The walls work best.  I feel very strongly that there should be a plant in every room, hence why it's included.

Holiday Decor

Two out of four of my children are obsessed with holiday decor.  It's very important to them, to the point that they're devastated if we don't have any and are constantly begging for more.

I on the other hand become very overwhelmed with lots of stuff, especially meaningless holiday decor.

We compromise by changing out pillows, table linens, and tableware for each holiday season in our dining room.  Depending on the season we also may add holiday themed garland around the windows.

This is the extent of holiday decor in our home with the exception of Christmas.  I love that it's so simple.

Table linens and tableware are necessary items, so it's fun to rotate different themes out each season for the kids.

Rotating these items out is especially helpful as we teach seven children and are constantly going through table linens and tableware.

A tablecloth is on the table 99% of the time to protect it from being scratched.

Here are a just a few holiday changes we make throughout the year.  The picture at the top of this post shows our Spring seasonal decor minus our Easter table linens and tableware.

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room-Patriotic Decor
Patriotic Decor

We pull out our Patriotic decor at the beginning of May through end of July and then replace it with a fall themed nautical motif through the end of September.

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room-Halloween Decor
Our Halloween Party Table Decor

Halloween decor comes out at the end of September and is enjoyed through the month of October, followed by our fall themed decor that goes that stays out through Thanksgiving.

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room-Christmas Decor
Christmas Eve Dinner by "Candlelight"

Christmas is especially fun and beautiful.  Sometimes we enjoy gorgeously lit garland.  Other times we opt for greenery filled with cardinals, pine cones and more.

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room-Christmas Decor Too
A Kid Friendly Christmas Dinner

You'll note that in the winter we have the guest bed fully made up for company and snuggling.  During the months of January and February we usually keep all of the red holiday decor out and use it for Valentine's Day.

Minimalist?

Now some may say that having so much holiday decor isn't minimalist at all, but here me out.

I don't wear jewelry.

I own maybe twenty books, five of which I was given for Christmas this past year and will give away once I'm finished.

I have only eight outfits for Spring and Summer, two being Sunday dresses. The same goes for Fall and Winter.

None of these things matter to me very much.

But, I LOVE to entertain.

I love to host company.

I love to prepare celebratory feasts for my family and company.

These things bring me immense joy.

Combine this joy and the joy of my children when it comes to holiday decor and it only makes sense that this would be a focus in our home.

Minimalism looks different for different people.

For us holiday decor in the form of table linens and tableware along with pillows is important.

Okay, moving on with our tour...

Homeschool Storage Space

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room-School Storage

Storage space is non existent in our early 1900s farm house.  We try to use what space we can find. Most often this is wall space.

This wall mounted bookshelf stores many of our school supplies.  You'll notice white boards, notebooks, folders, and more.

Our students use our dining room table when writing on a regular basis, so it makes sense to store these items in this room of the house. When school's not in session we tend to pack school items away and use this space for library book storage.

The bins below the shelves are filled with materials like paper, play dough, stamps, and fidgets.  All of these are easily accessible to our children for when they need or want to use them.

The fidget toys are used by all of our students when they choose to take a five minute break from their work each day.

Note: You may notice part of a window in this image.  This window separates our classroom from our dining room.

Art Supplies

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room-Art Supply Storage

My kiddos love art!  Our biggest issue in this home has been finding kid accessible storage for their favorite supplies.  Using one wall in our dining room has been the perfect solution.

The kiddos work on art projects at this table.  When they're finished, the bathroom is right through the door in the picture above where they're able to clean up.

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room-Coloring Book Storage

On the right side of the door, just before leaving the dining room and entering the kitchen, are the kiddos' coloring books.  My kiddos love to color.  It provides such stress relief for them when anxious or upset.

What I love about this storage space in particular is that it's very small.  Coloring book collections are minimized to only five or six books per child depending on their size.  

Each child has their own space so no one fights over coloring books. The tallest child's coloring books are at the top and the shortest child's coloring books are at the bottom.

I selected this family photo framed above the coloring book storage because it inspires me to reach new heights.

Still to this day I have no idea how we survived taking all four of our children at very young ages, (some lacking safety awareness) to the top of White Face Mountain in New York.  We took a risk and it paid off as a memory we'll never forget. 

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room-Art Supply Storage

On the left side of the bathroom door we store art supplies.  What you see here is all that we have minus what's in the bins I've already explained.

All materials are 100% washable/erasable so I don't have to worry if one of my kiddos or students has an accident or decides to be careless.

Art materials are placed on shelves based on who I want to have access to them.  I don't mind if my youngest uses glue, stamp pads, pencil sharpeners, and colored pencils without supervision.  She can't quite reach the paint materials without assistance from an older child or adult.

Glitter and scissors are on the top shelf as they require adult supervision at all times.

The View

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room View

The most appealing aspect of our dining room is the view!  Depending on the day you may see up to eighteen deer, nine wild turkeys, various species of birds (including humming birds), butterflies, hundreds of lightning bugs and gorgeous sunsets.  It never gets old.

We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful place with a million dollar view!

Where to Find Items in this Post

For those who may be wondering where to find items in this post here are the details:

Our dining room table, indoor/outdoor pillows, bedding, indoor/outdoor throw rug and some table linens were purchased at Pottery Barn.

Wall bookshelves, art supply book shelves, tableware, and some table linens were purchased at Pottery Barn Kids.

The coloring book storage rack was purchased at PB Teen.

Storage bins, picture frames, and the wall hanging plant were purchased at Walmart.

Art supplies, school supplies and coloring books were purchased through Amazon, at Walmart,or found at our local craft store.

Disclaimer: I am not an affiliate of Pottery Barn stores, nor was I given an free or discounted items in exchange for writing this post.

I am not a fan of shopping in general, so when I find a store that has quality items that I like, that children can't destroy, I become an instant loyal fan for the sake of not having to spend time going to look in other places.

A Multi-functioning Room

Our dining room functions as part of our classroom, an art room, a guest bedroom, reading nook, peace corner, and more, but it functions well!

It includes everything we need in a very small amount of space.

All art and learning materials are easy accessible to children.  Our dining room provides the ultimate orderly Montessori experience filled with independence and accomplishment.

Anyone who comes to our home can't bear to leave this room.

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A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room
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