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.
When learning a language, as a child or adult, understanding what is being said is the first step to learning a new language. Speaking fluently occurs next.
Babies and toddlers listening skills are much more developed than their speaking vocabulary
This means you can read books that exceed your child’s ability to speak. I read simple chapter books to my children when they were 4 or 5 years old.
Encourage oral language by having your child tell you about their drawing, their toys, favorite food and anything else that interests them.
If you have a video camera, let them perform and speak before the camera.
Auditory language is an important experience for babies and young children. Keeping spoken language and music beautiful and positive is important during this phase when your child’s mind absorbs everything in the environment. Language and media in your home should be rated G for good.
Sing, read and talk with pleasure and love.
Here are some free books and suggestions for reading with your child.