I finished unpacking the rest of the materials tonight, but I haven't pulled the pictures off my camera. Hopefully I'll have them up tomorrow night.
A few people have asked what my background in Montessori is. I'm self-taught and focused on Montessori in the home, not the classroom. When Nugget started to approach preschool age, I started paying attention to the different options that are available (play-based, Montessori, Waldorf, etc). I was initially drawn to Montessori and Waldorf, but found that my geeky and scientific nature really didn't mesh well with the fairies and gnomes and delayed academics of Waldorf. Montessori, however, sounded better and better to me.
So I started reading books about Montessori and my husband and I began to talk about Montessori preschool versus keeping Nugget home. Even though an open house at a local Montessori school sorely tempted me, we just can't swing the tuition for one child, let alone two. Plus, the further I dove into the homeschooling community and culture, the more sense it made to me. So we decided to commit to keeping Nugget home for the foreseeable future.
To that end, I took the NAMC training course for 3-6. I feel that the best thing to come out of the course is the manuals -- they're well-organized and complete. I don't love the Language Arts one, though, because it focuses heavily on the Insta-Learn Language Board, which seems gimmicky to me.
The course and certification didn't feel worth the extra $1000 (you can buy the manuals separately for $1000) -- the "course" consisted of pages of short-answer questions that simply verified that you'd read the material. There was really no analysis or deeper thought required. If you're a self-motivated person and are sure you won't have need of a certification down the line, I'd go with just the manuals.
Since the certification course, I've continued to read -- both books and blogs. There's a ton of information out there, and I've found that the toughest job is finding a way to put all of it to good use!