Montessori Home School Record Keeping
Before we officially started the 3-6 Montessori materials in our homeschool preschool I knew that I would need a spreadsheet to work from to track progress and lessons given. I was blessed to have a Montessori 3-6 Teacher share one with me but it quickly became apparent that I need more from my spreadsheet so over the last year I have worked on our tracking tool/digital portfolio. While I am sure that it will change over time, it is finally at a point where I feel ready to share it. I just turned in our first digital portfolio review this year for our Montessori Homeschool Preschool and I am ready to share this resource here! Feel free to save a copy to your Google Drive and use it. It has a tab for each of the five main subjects, all the lessons (AMI heavy; Info Montessori is our main Curriculum source but we have supplemented with books and other free websites – all of it is listed on the Overview Tab), a Tab mapping together Montessori Benchmarks with State Standards, a Sequence Overview Tab, Attendance Tab, and an Activities Tab. This has definitely been a labor of love. Let me give you a tour!
On our overview tab we have a brief synopsis of the Montessori 3-6 classroom, a few pictures that are from our first year in the 3-6 classroom, quick links to curriculum & lessons (Scope & Sequence, Curriculum Overview, Monthly Themes & Shelf Rotation with activities listed, Subject tabs: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics, and Cultural; Montessori Benchmarks and Correlation with State Standards; Overview of Sequence and End of Year Summary) and a quick video on how to use the digital portfolio for our portfolio reviewer.
We also have a School Year at a Glance Section that has quick links for our Academic Outline for the year and our Year in Review for Each year. We started the Montessori 3-6 Classroom in March of 2020 so I started our tracking then. At the very bottom of the overview tab is a summary of Assessment and Mastery in the Montessori Classroom. It’s quite different from the normal school assessment (at least in America!) so I wanted to highlight it.
The next tab is our attendance tab. We are not required in our state to take attendance in our homeschool but I do for my records. I personally think it is good to have. This tab is pretty straight forward. Each year after our portfolio review, I will add in the new year at the top and fix my formatting so that it auto-populates the totals accurately.
The next tab is our Monthly Themes/Shelf Rotation. This tab is a quick way to look at what went on that month unit wise or on the shelves. I link to pictures of our daughter working and links to my blog if we highlighted the unit. It’s nice to have a place to plan and look back and see what we have done PLUS I think it will be helpful for our portfolio reviewer.
The next few tabs are the Montessori Subject Tabs. On each tab, I have a brief summary of that subject at the top, then a place for each presentation, a check box for initial presentation, direct and indirect aims, date presented, date mastered, progress, observations, state subject covered. This is more for our tracking than for our portfolio reviewer, but it could be beneficial for them to look at as well!
After the subject tabs, I put together Montessori Benchmarks and State Standards. My goal was to map together the standards with what the state requires of the public school system in my state. Grades are somewhat irrelevant to homeschoolers and I do plan to homeschool through at least elementary school (if not longer!) SO I don’t necessarily need this but I was interested. Plus if we ever move or decide to attend a more traditional school it would be helpful (although I don’t see the later happening!)
On the benchmark tab I have a summary of my purpose in creating this, quick links, then I have a space for each subject. Under each subject I have the Montessori Benchmark, Associated Lesson(s), Samples of Work, Observations and Notes, State Standards Met, then I have a spot for each required subject in my state.
The last tab is the overview of the Montessori Sequence. This tab is broken into seven periods as described by David Gettman in his book, “Basic Montessori”. It is helpful to see what children are normally working on at the same time in different subjects plus it has been a game changer for helping me to look ahead at what I should have prepared in the entire scope and sequence so that I can be ready for the next steps in all five main subject areas. Sometimes our daughter does a deep dive on a topic and sometimes she is ready for the next thing much quicker. I have found looking at this instead of just the general scope and sequence quite helpful in being fully prepared.
I also have an end of the year summary on this tab just to orient myself (and maybe my portfolio reviewer if they are interested) on where we are and where we are going.
I think I may add a bullet journal or a check list to use in addition to this so that I am handwriting my observations and plans while the girls are working. I want to model handwriting as much as possible (plus practice it!) plus I think having something in print will be helpful as well.