Montessori4Austim is a helpful site for parents who seek a wonderful and positive way to educate their children with special needs. Montessori’s main thrust is self- mastery and self-confidence for each child. The Montessori program adapts to the needs of the child and not the needs of the educational program.
The moveable alphbet is the building block for spelling, writing and reading. Introduce penmanship at the same time you are introducing the sounds of the alphabet. Write letters that your child has already been spelling or reading with the moveable alphabet. When your child is able to read the moveable alphabet words, introduce simple phonetic books. With a little help with your word processor and printouts you can make interesting and easy to read books..
Also, 3-part cards help with reading skills for your students. Create a book using your 3-part card material for added success for your student.
When a child has been able to trace and draw lines with the metal insets and has good pencil control, writing is introduced while learning the sandpaper letters.
Take a sandpaper letter that your child knows well with an unlined piece of paper and pencil. Make sure your child is seated at a table that is the correct height for writing. Your child feels the letter a few times. Afterwards, you write the letter on the paper in the correct form. I write a larger letter than normal because younger children usually write bigger letters than adults. Give the child the pencil and show how to feel the letter again. Let the child write the letter, feel the letter again and write the letter a second time. Many times children will repeat this until they have mastered writing the letter.
It is much easier to learn how to write correctly from the beginning. Montessori teaches cursive writing and not manuscript. This way a child can master one way of writing without having to change writing styles.
When your child is able to write with a standard pencil correctly, the Montessori method introduces the metal insets. These are various geometric shapes that are traced by an older preschool child, usually age four.
If you don’t have the metal insets you can use basic stencil shapes, such as a circle, square, triangle and rectangle to trace on paper.. Also, many wooden shape puzzles can be traced. Check your cupboard for pot lids, they make great circles for tracing, square and rectangular pans work well too!
The equipment doesn’t matter as much as the opportunity to learn about shapes and tracing them.
Montessori uses plasticine clay to develop muscles for writing, modern dough clay works well too. Some other activities you can use are sand and water play, finger painting, pouring activities and kneading bread.
Children need to use large pencils, chalk, washable markers and crayons for free drawing. Young children can use large paint brushes for painting too.
Provide different types of writing material, such as a chalk board and different types of paper With practice your child will develop dexterity, coordination and strength for writing skills.
Children sometimes can spell words, but are unable to read the same words they spell. When they can begin to sound out these 3 lettered words they spell, it is time to introduce reading. Many Montessori practitioners use the Pink Reading Scheme. A wonderful treasure and resource for the Pink Reading Scheme is The Helpful Garden. Check it out for a very organized and easy to use program. Many of the printouts are free!
After providing an enriching environment with reading readiness materials, handwork and art supplies, nomenclature cards and books, most children are ready to learn the sounds of the alphabet.
Since the Montessori method is based on phonetics first, and exceptions to the rule later, letters are introduced phonetically using fine grade sandpaper letters. This tactile approach uses sight, touch and verbal clues to reinforce the sounds of the alphabet.
After learning several letter sounds make a game by placing objects or pictures next to the corresponding letter. This game helps child categorize the beginning sounds of words to a particular letter.
After learning at least one vowel and some basic constants you can start building some simple 3 lettered words. As more letters are learned, children can begin using the moveable alphabet.
Young child learn how to recognize patterns, sizes and shapes visually. The sequence of sizes, shapes and patterns in a series is important, not only for reading skills, but mathematical skills. Some work that helps develop visual language are matching pictures according to size and pattern, memory matching games, stringing beads, hand work, painting and drawing. As in most Montessori lessons, it is important to work from left to right, or according to the pattern of reading in your culture.