How This Free Grace & Courtesy Printable Pack Turns “Chores” into Games

How This Free Grace & Courtesy Printable Pack Turns “Chores” into Games


The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Courtesy as: “behavior marked by polished manners or respect for others : courteous behavior.” In the Montessori method, an emphasis is placed on Grace and Courtesy as part of a student’s education. What exactly does this mean?

Grace and Courtesy in the Montessori context is as we read in the definition above, helping our children develop habits and manners that allow them to show politeness and care. Grace and Courtesy is extended to ourselves, our loved ones, our environment, our pets, and our community. These skills help us to help others, contribute in meaningful ways to society and make the world a better place.  

 

In this month’s free pack, we have over a dozen activities designed to help your child gain an understanding of Grace and Courtesy, and to incorporate these principles into your home. We even made several “games” for your kids out of these lessons.

Who said manners have to be no-fun?

 

We have included some classic Montessori works such as “Walking the Line”, as well as a fun Grace and Courtesy board game. While some of these activities may seem like common sense, much of Grace and Courtesy consists of life skills that children do, in fact, need to be taught and practice. This pack may be used over an extended period of time and you will likely find yourself coming back to some of these activities time and time again.

 

It is our hope that little by little, these works will help your child see the world in a new way and look out for ways to care for others. These works can be used by all ages, although many of the activities are geared towards preschool and early Elementary. You may find that some of these activities are easier to use spontaneously when a need arises to work through conflict, frustration, or care in a different manner.  

 

These are perfect when you want to try a “new” approach. If your child has issues with specific rude behaviors, there are a few games they can try in this pack like the "Quiet Game" or "Preparing and Serving Food". These are great to start the conversation around manners in a “fun” way. However, discipline does have its place to help children understand their actions have consequences.

Some of these activities may be incorporated into role-play activities as well.  

 

Parents and adults in a child’s life are always the best examples. Our children are always watching and imitate the ways we interact with others as well. Grace and Courtesy skills are skills we work on all our lives and skills we can model.

 

More tips for parents to model Grace and Courtesy:

 

  • Avoid talking on your cell phone when at the store, bank, or other locations where you will be interacting with employees,

  • Demonstrate speaking with a calm, quiet, and clear voice,

  • Look people in the eye when speaking to them,

  • Ask before hugging or touching others,

  • Call cashiers, servers, librarians, etc. by their name when thanking them. This small step makes a dramatic difference to them and to your child in learning how to politely interact,

  • Demonstrate pushing in your chair, hanging up your coat, and careful care of your environment,

  • Communicate when you need some time alone, and when you have strong feelings that may mean you need a little extra space,

  • Speak in the positive during challenging situations and suggest positive solutions,

  • Ask your child if you can join them in watching them work, playing with them, or joining in an activity,

  • Use open communication with a lot of “I feel,” “Please,” “Thank you,” “I appreciate you,” “Excuse me,” “May I” phrases

  • Show how to take turns with another adult

  • Write a letter to someone with your child

  • Aid anyone you see in need while out and about, help the older woman carry her groceries, distract the crying baby, grab the item off the high shelf, etc. This can be a bit awkward to develop but sets a big example.

Songs and games children enjoy that enforce these concepts include:

 

  • Where is Thumbkin

  • Mother May I?

  • Polite Patty Says (Simon Says)

  • Getting To Know You

  • Telephone

  • Teddy Bear Picnic

 

We hope you enjoy this FREE pack, download your copy below   and please share with your friends on Facebook!

 



Want to See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits?

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Colorado. She loves Colorado’s outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at TreehouseDaily.com, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

The Treehouse Daily >

 

Leave a comment:

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Other articles:

Montessori Works Made from Craft Supplies

5 Montessori Works You Can Create With Materials From Your Craft Supplies


Montessori materials can be extremely expensive. The cost of materials is often off-putting to families looking to begin homeschooling, or a co-op.   I know when I began working in a Montessori school, I was amazed at the sheer amount of materials and works. Our head of school happened to be a frugal and financially-minded woman who had a lot of creative ideas to save on costs.   When I began homeschooling my son, I decided to look in my arts and crafts supplies to make my own Montessori Materials for our homeschool. These are some of my favorite works which you can easily create yourself at home!

The Top 5 DIY Montessori Materials

Montessori Color Matching

 

This work can be created with tissue paper, colored paper or cardstock. You have a couple options for variations.

 

Beginning color matching- Clip out two 2 inch x 2 inch squares of 6 different colors of paper. Use the same type of paper in each color for very young children (2 and under), for older children try using different types of paper. The child will then match the correct sets of colors to one another.

 

More advanced color matching- Use the squares of paper from above and cut one into smaller squares. Start with 3 colors at a time. Place 3 of the larger squares at the top of the work area and all the smaller squares into a bowl. Allow the student to place the smaller squares on the proper corresponding larger square. This also works well with beads, buttons, or other small items in the corresponding colors. You can also choose to cut our circles, hearts, or any other shape you desire for the child to use for matching.

Math Counters

 

Counters are a huge part of Montessori Math. These are extremely easy to create yourself from beads or buttons. It is fun to change out the counters based on the month, using hearts in February and pumpkins in the Fall, for example. You may also want to cut out counters into the desired shapes from paper. Wrapping paper can also be fun to use and cut out the little shapes found on the pattern.

Fabric Textures

 

Texture matching with different fabrics is a classic Montessori material. Raid that basket of unused fabric for 4-6 different textures of fabric. Cut them into equal sized squares (usually somewhere between 4 inch x 4 inch to 6 inch x 6 inch). Younger students match the fabrics by touch and sight. Older students can be blindfolded to match the fabric textures by feeling only. It’s also fun to put the fabric scraps into a bag or pillow case and have the child find a match by feel. This also works well with different grits of sandpaper.

Lacing Cards

 

Save your old greeting cards for this one! Or, use scrapbooking paper, or cardstock. Use a hole punch to punch around the outside of the card. Provide the child with a child-safe needle and some string or thread. Then allow them to lace around the card. This is also a pretty activity to create holiday decorations when laced by hand with ribbon. Older students can work on different types of stitches and even different patterns.

Pouring, Spooning and Scooping

 

Gather up all those cute little things in your arts and crafts supplies. You know what I mean, all those cute buttons, marbles, small trinkets, and beads in the $1 bins that you just can’t resist and then never do anything with (or is that only me?). These, along with basic dried beans and rice, make the perfect materials for Practical Life works. Use them in the ShillerLearning pouring cups to practice pouring back and forth or pouring into cups and bowls. Place them into a bowl and allow kids to practice spooning them back and forth between bowls. Give students a small child-sized ladle and watch as they ladle the materials. The possibilities are endless.

 

Hope you enjoy these easy to create Montessori works. Go raid your arts and crafts supplies and see what you can come up with, we’d love to see your DIY works!


Want more tips and tricks to improve your homeschool? Take the quiz below to find out what kind of learner your child is! Then download our FREE Montessori activity guide customized for their favorite learning style.

Loading...

Want to See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits?

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Colorado. She loves Colorado’s outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at TreehouseDaily.com, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

The Treehouse Daily >

 

Free Montessori Homeschool Printable Planner

This Planner Created By Moms for Moms Will Help Set Your Best Homeschool Routine Yet


I’m coming into my second year of “official” homeschooling. We have a list for our back to school supplies and I have a fairly good idea of what our homeschool routine looks like. I’m no expert by any means but I feel better equipped for at home schooling than I did last year. Having a solid plan and being prepared for whatever may come your way is an important part of choosing home education.  

ShillerLearning’s FREE Montessori Homeschool Printable Planner

Our kids are quick, if we’re not prepared they’ll know it. The team here at ShillerLearning decided to put together our dream planner. We hope it will help you in preparing for a new school year, or launching into your first year of home education. It is full of useful pages to help you get set up for success. It’s included below in the free printable pack. You’ll also find handy information on Practical Life and Sensorial works, self-care ideas, and a plan for a mini-getaway to prepare yourself for the coming year.  
 


In this planner you will find:

 

- A beautiful cover page with a Maria Montessori quote
- Weekly menu planning page
- Space for you to set monthly goals- personal or school related
- Your weekly goals- use this for schooling, personal, work, spiritual, etc.
- Reading log to track all you read this year (link to mother culture blog), plus a book list of some of our favorite books
- Weekly spreads- we have two layouts for this one.
                One is our student planner to help you plan the schedule for your student(s), this is set up with the most common Montessori subjects along the top and days of the week down the side. We’ve provided you with a couple blank spaces to add in additional subjects.
                One is a planner for you. The spaces along the top are blank. Your possibilities are endless on this one. Use it for keeping track of chores, kids activities, work schedules, extracurriculars, co-ops, etc. Or use it in place of the student planner by listing your students names along the top and planning for your school year within these pages

- Field-trip plans sheet
- Habit tracker
- Highlight of the week- including a spot to glue a photograph or draw a picture of something you loved from the week
- Quote page- to collect your favorite inspirational quotes, verses, and other encouragements

  "The child should love everything he learns. Whatever is presented to him must be made beautiful and clear. Once this love has been kindled, all problems confronting the educationalist will disappear." - Maria Montessori

 

The weekly spreads you might want to laminate to use with dry-erase markers. Or perhaps print as many copies as you plan to have weeks of school. Then get them bound at the local office supply store, or put them into your favorite discbound or 3-ring binder. Last, give yourself time and space to go get your planning done.  

A current trend among at home schooling parents is to go for a kid-free night away at a motel to plan the upcoming school year. If you can’t swing that, head to your favorite coffee shop for a bit or even work at the library while the kids are in a class. Find some time you can sit down with all your materials to schedule and think about your homeschool routine for the year.

Planning ShillerLearning’s Materials

 

All of our Montessori lessons are open and go. There is no prep-work required on your end beyond making sure the proper materials are available. Each child has their own pace and we don’t designate a set schedule. In the front of each ShillerLearning lesson book, you’ll find helpful tips for working through the book with your student. In our math books, for example, we suggest 15 minutes per day for 4-year-olds, adding 5 more minutes per day for year of age.

 

How you choose to schedule our lessons is totally up to you. Students may want to repeat a lesson to gain competency and closure. We do suggest flexibility in your scheduling. Occasionally children will want to repeat the same lesson many times. In most cases, it will take one school year to get through each book. Make sure to also schedule in time to allow your student to create practice problems and use the flashcards.

 

Remember, sometimes a child is not ready for covering a certain subject or topic. If you find your student is really struggling with something, that’s ok. Pencil it in for a later date and skip onto the next concept. Use these planner pages to jot down notes and reflections as you work through the materials.

 

Set-up Your Homeschool Space After You’re All Planned

 

Now that you have your school year planned, get that classroom set up. Check out this video to see Aurie’s room tour with school supply list:

Loading...

Want to See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits?

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Colorado. She loves Colorado’s outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at TreehouseDaily.com, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

The Treehouse Daily >

 

FREE Montessori-style Summer Activity Pack for Homeschoolers

FREE Montessori Based Summer Activity Pack for Homeschoolers


Summertime is often when many of us take a break from homeschooling. Even if we school year-round, we usually go a bit lighter in the summer to enjoy those nice warm days while we’re able. It’s the perfect time to work on nailing down skills our students have previously struggled with and explore a new subject of interest. We are thrilled to bring you this free summer activity pack. It’s perfect for homeschoolers, or families looking for engaging activities for kids who are out of school.

Summer Activities For Kids

 

In this over 30 page activity pack, you’ll find gobs of easy to put together activities and the free printables you’ve come to know and love from ShillerLearning. In addition to the activities in this pack, here are more ideas to curb hearing “Mom, I’m bored!” this summer.

 

  • Create Your Own Lesson - Kids are constantly saying “if I was in charge I would..” Give them the chance to do it their way! Set them loose with materials and let them design their own dream homeschool or summer lesson plan. Take them to the library and let them grab a bunch of books on something they are interested in, encourage them to create their own learning, and see what they come up with! You might be pleasantly surprised as they come up with something to implement into your homeschool, create an awesome game or (shhhh, don’t tell them) learn a new skill.

  • You-Pick farms - This is always fun way to create family memories. Find a local you-pick farm and head out to pick your own food. Oftentimes these farms are growing berries and sometimes what you eat as you pick are free. Then bring them home and enjoy baking, canning, or freezing of your bounty. Check out fallingfruit.org to see free local you-pick options too!

  • Progressive Game Night (or afternoon) - Some participation and help coordinating might be needed on the part of parents for this one, but it is so fun! (Plus, of course, parental supervision). Get together with neighbors and nearby friends. Have each family pick a lawn game, board game or outdoor activity (like sidewalk chalk or sprinklers). The kids can work together to decide who will do which activity, make a master map ahead of time and set the schedule. Each home can host something different for a fun afternoon, or evening, of time together and exercise as you bike, or walk, between houses. Make sure to invite lots of friends, have plenty of healthy snacks & water, and have a blast! This is a fun activity around 4th of July weekend

  • Amazing Race - Let the kids come up with their own version of the Amazing Race. Have them create activities and pit stops to do around your house, the block or your town. Then let them get together with friends and play out their show. Older kids might even enjoy filming and making their own episode.

How to Use this Free Activity Pack

 

There’s no right or wrong way to implement this pack. We’ve provided you with an extensive book list covering all reading abilities. It is our hope that you’ll grab some of these books for your students to enjoy this summer. The rest of the pack is pretty open-ended. You can work through it in order, pick and choose the activities you’d like to do, let the kids pick, do one a day or do them all in a week. It’s really up to you! Most require little to no prep-work and only a few need materials. It’s good to peek ahead and see what you might need to pre-purchase or borrow from a friend.

 

What’s Inside?

 

You'll find over a dozen activities. We have Montessori-inspired works like Nomenclature cards, map work, and even a matching game. Then we’ve included a couple easy summer crafts followed by nature activities. Many of these nature activities would be awesome to do on a camping trip but can easily be done in your own yard or at a local park. Lastly we end the pack with a couple delicious recipes of some ice-cold treats to enjoy on these hot summer days!

 

We hope you’ll enjoy this pack and have the best summer yet.

 


Want more tips and tricks to improve your homeschool? Take the quiz below to find out what kind of learner your child is! Then download our FREE Montessori activity guide customized for their favorite learning style.

Loading...

Want to See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits?

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Colorado. She loves Colorado’s outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at TreehouseDaily.com, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

The Treehouse Daily >

 

Our 12 Favorite Free Activities for Homeschoolers in Need of Late Spring Crafts for Preschoolers

Our 12 Favorite Free Activities for Homeschoolers in Need of Late Spring Crafts for Preschoolers


For a lot of us our homeschool year is starting to wind down. Many homeschoolers school year-round and are looking for fun, engaging activities to incorporate in late Spring and early summer. Summer fun for kids is important to keep boredom from creeping in. Here are some of our top ideas to inspire a love of learning all year long.
 

FREE & Cheap Ideas for Spring and Summer Homeschoolers

 

  • Nature Journal- grab a plain notebook, some high quality colored pencils and head to a beautiful spot to let your children lose to study. You’ll be amazed at how much they enjoy studying the world around them.

 

  • A Phrenology Wheel- we’ll look more at this in a few weeks. This is a great way to document milestones, moon phases, or the change in the trees and plants in your area.

 

  • Water- What kid doesn’t love to play in water?!? Set up a few five-gallon buckets and let them make predictions about if items will sink or float.

 

  • Flower color walks- Grab paint sample strips of each color and head on a walk or to the local botanic gardens. Encourage children to try to match the colors of the flowers to a color on their paint strip.

 

  • Farmer’s Market- A trip to the farmer’s market is a great place to work on social skills, learn about farming, see new foods, and work on counting money.

 

  • Garage sale- Speaking of counting money- holding a garage sale or lemonade stand is an incredibly educational experience! From advertising to organizing, payment and everything in between- a yard sale is a great learning opportunity.

 

  • Free events at the library- The local library usually has all kinds of great opportunities, especially once the local public schools start to let out. Check them out!

 

  • Summer camp at a local school- This one isn’t free but it’s worth noting. Sometimes the local schools will allow homeschoolers to participate in summer camp or sports.

 

  • Create a nature sensory basket- Sensory baskets are a classic part of a Montessori education. Give your homeschooler(s) a basket or bag and let them fill it with items from nature they find interesting. Keep it available at home so they can look at it whenever they’d like.
     

  • Foraging walks- Herb foraging, and urban foraging, are gaining popularity. Local herbal apothecaries often offer free or cheap herb walks where you can learn about local edible plants and how to prepare them.
     

  • Sidewalk chalk- practice your handwriting and math facts under the sun!
     

  • Learn about the water cycle- Spring showers are the perfect way to start studying the water cycle with your homeschoolers. Grab that rain gear and head out to learn.
     

  • Stargaze- Send the kids to bed early and then surprise them with a star watching trip by waking them up and loading up the car to head out. You can even download an app to help you know what you’re viewing.
     

  • Visit a petting zoo or local farm- Spring is the perfect time to learn about animals and see baby animals and plants in bloom.  

 

What are some of your favorite activities for Spring? We’d love to see what you’re doing to bring spring into your homeschool routine. Share pictures on Instagram and make sure to tag us with your favorite activities!

 


Want more tips and tricks to improve your homeschool? Take the quiz below to find out what kind of learner your child is! Then download our FREE Montessori activity guide customized for their favorite learning style.

Loading...

Want to See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits?

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Colorado. She loves Colorado’s outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at TreehouseDaily.com, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

The Treehouse Daily >

 

Free Montessori Based Spring Activities For Kids

FREE Montessori Based Spring Activities For Kids


Simply because the homeschool year is wrapping up, that doesn’t mean your children’s education has to. We’re proud to bring you these free Montessori based activities for kids to work on reading, language, math and more this month.  

 

"Mary, Mary, quite contrary,

How does the May activity pack help your child grow?

With Montessori works and reading great books

And flower crafts all in a row!"

Educational Activities For Kids To Help Your Child Bloom

 

Here at ShillerLearning, we want for nothing more than to see kids love learning. Many of our families homeschool year round, or have a special summer school. If you’ve been looking for something free and fun to do, this pack is perfect for you. We’ve included some classic Montessori works, as well as a few fun arts and crafts. This pack is all about flowers, gardens, birds, and getting outside. We’re certain these activities will help your kids bloom right on into summer!  

 

  • Reading Comprehension

 

In this month’s pack, we’ve included two works based on The Gardener by Sarah Stewart. These are both designed to help with reading comprehension. Six additional books are included on a book list, these same works could be applied to each book. Or download a few audio books and enjoy listening to them while you work on making Washi tape flowers and arranging fresh-cut flowers. Reading comprehension is something children sometimes struggle with and is certainly a skill we hope these free activity packs will help with.

 

  • Scheduling This Pack

 

Figuring out how to schedule these packs, especially outside of “normal” school time can be tricky for some families. We have over 15 Montessori works in this pack. A couple of suggestions would be to have a “nature study” day one day a week this summer where your family takes a nature hike to find flowers for the pressed flower work, and completes a couple additional works afterward. Another option would be to have all of these works prepared and save them for rainy or hot afternoons. Several of these works would be great to use in the car on trips, or to have available to keep kids entertained while running errands or at a restaurant- especially the lacing cards! If you have a Montessori shelf set up, place these activities for your kids out along with the books on the booklist to enjoy seeing them reading and learning about flowers.

  • Additional Suggestions For Kids And Parents

 

Purchasing a local flower guide, or visiting a state park or agricultural center at a local university would be a great field trip this month. It would be a fun way to learn about local wildflowers and help your children identify them. Local herbal apothecaries and community groups often host foraging walks, where you can learn about local edible plants and how to prepare them.  

 

  • Parents might enjoy reading the following books:

 

Last Child in the Woods and Vitamin N by Richard Louv

The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs by Tristan Gooley

Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman

 

As Maria Montessori herself said,

 

“Let the children be free; encourage them; let them run outside when it is raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and when the grass of the meadows is wet with dew, let them run on it and trample it with their bare feet; let them rest peacefully when a tree invites them to sleep beneath its shade; let them shout and laugh when the sun wakes them in the morning.”

We hope this pack will encourage you to enjoy and learn more about the great outdoors. Plus this month’s pack is just as free as fresh air and sunshine! So download it now and start reading with your child before the summer passes you by!



Want to See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits?

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Colorado. She loves Colorado’s outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at TreehouseDaily.com, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

The Treehouse Daily >