Montessori Elementary Homeschool Blog - with documentation of our infant Montessori, toddler Montessori, and primary Montessori experiences; as well as preparation for the upcoming adolescent Montessori homeschool years.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Small Home Montessori: Impressionistic Charts

I am asked from time to time how we store our charts. This has changed over the years - and the caveat is that I have the FULL-SIZE mat-board charts from AMI elementary training. These are intended for a full classroom and I would not have purchased from specifically for homeschooling; however, for what I purchased, they were much less expensive than any of the options available for purchase anywhere else (even now), they were a complete set that coordinated with the albums I was creating in training - and, well, they were required for training.

Thus I use what I have, though it is not ideal for a homeschool setting.

For a while, I had a Montessori co-op set up in a rented room at our local church school building, stored in a shelf purchased from a closing Joann Fabric. We just brought home the charts we needed. We were in the building enough times during the week to access the charts for follow-up work, but it still wasn't good to have them separate from us.

The shelf up top holds the smaller supplies.
Charts are organized in the two sections (left and right)
with some timelines rolled up in the front (a box on the bottom holds them in place)

Now, I have brought all the charts home. WHAT a relief!!!

Our living room closet looks so innocent:

The right-hand side is normal enough: coats, shoes....

The left-hand side though.... AH!!!!
   The hanging shelf on the left holds many of the supplies needed for the charts; other supplies are now stored with our regular science materials.
   The charts themselves are organized by their subjects with wooden boards - each board is labeled with the subject and the numbering system for the included charts. I didn't end up cutting enough boards and just wanted the project DONE, so I kept the U and GW charts with the first set of Geography charts (that tab is partially covered: it says 1a-28a - then lists the numbers for the U and GW charts); and I grouped geometry and mathematics.
   The blue binder in the lower left contains master copies of various copyable stuff - mostly from primary, but there are a few elementary. I use that less these days since I can print directly from the computer, but it was handy in the school-rented co-op.
    Notice the box? Yep. Straight from an Alison's Montessori order. Perfect!

top-down view
I added tabs for art and music - no impressionistic charts for those, but we can keep some of our poster-prints and the like in here as well; I also have a section in the back for blank posterboard, and I have the pegboards in here for now - that plastic lid in the back is just to hold things more securely in place for the time being.

You can see the geometry corkboard plane to the left in the image above - I made it too big to fit in the box and don't feel like cutting it down ;)

If ever needed, I'll find a narrower box for the rolled timelines, so that they fit in a row towards the front and provide more room for the charts themselves.

I use a similar idea for our Communal Prayer materials in our atrium - much smaller charts, but the same concept - so this file system applies to any size if you have stiffer charts. The available cloth charts would need to be mounted for this system to work; I would love to see storage ideas on those because it seems that rolling them all would take up so much more space. Maybe?


  1. The line from Forest Gump keeps coming to my mind, "Sometimes there just aren't enough rocks."

    ..."sometimes the school room can just never be BIG enough."

    Really want to store my larger charts like this, don't have a spare inch. Am realizing I should be making all of my charts on felt from now on so they can be rolled with impunity. Am instead mounting everything to foam board so I can slide them partly behind the couch and partly behind the rug basket.


    1. Your comment reminds me I need to update this post - I actually took a rack we previously had in the bathroom that fits around and above the toilet - it fits perfectly inside this box, so that now the charts are inside/under it and the I have shelving above it - it's great!

    2. My timelines take up so much space rolled up - it seems that the flat storage takes up less space. Just the issue of "where". ;) Hm. It would be great to find a printer for the KOTU albums that are homeschool size friendly... hmm...