You can help Haiti after this devastating earthquake by donating to the Mennonite Central Committee. They serve the needs of people around the world with their peaceful ways.
They already have their workers in Haiti. Even during Hurricane Katrina they were some of the first people on the ground to help. You can’t find a better organization that uses their money and resources for those they serve. You won’t find high paid CEO’s with this organization.
Counting is an important math skill. Montessori classrooms use the pink tower stacking blocks to teach the first concrete steps for counting. Here is a newsletter with free printouts and lesson ideas to use with your child. There is even a printout in Spanish.
If you don’t have a pink or natural tower you can use nesting blocks or other stacking blocks. You can find them at toy departments or stores.
Montessori classrooms don’t use lined paper for teaching early penmanship. In the beginning, it is more important to lean how to write the letter. Also, children are taught only cursive letters for writing. Teaching children how to write one way, and then another way is very confusing and frustrating for grade school children.
Here is a free printout of the Montessori sandpaper cursive letters we used for penmanship.
Miss Homfray has a great video lesson about teaching writing in the Montessori classroom.
The best time to introduce reading readiness is when your child is an infant and absorbing language. Just reading books and talking to your preschool children helps them understand vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure and the overall patterns of language.
We found that introducing the sounds of the alphabet and the moveable alphabet worked best at ages 3 1/2 to 4. Children who learn much earlier than this may get burned out before they have the maturity to read more advanced material. Young children, especially boys, who can read at a very young age, don’t always comprehend what they are reading. The worst thing we can do is force self-reading on children who are too young.
Miss Homfray shows in this video how to introduce the moveable alphabet activity to your child.
She also explains why Montessori schools don’t use lined paper for beginning writers. Students touch the sandpaper letters and write them unrestrained.
Miss Homfray has a wonderful lecture about the complexities of reading. It’s important for young children to have good sensorial and practical life skills in order to read later on. Pushing reading too early can actually turn your child off to reading.
She has great insight about when to introduce fantasy books to children.
Check out this Montessori lecture here.
I’ve been busy studying wildflowers this year. The fields of flowers were amazing this year after a very wet summer. Here is a newsletter with free nomenclature or 3 part cards of wildflowers. Life is beautiful.
Montessori World Blog has a great overview of Montessori phonics lessons. It is somewhat complicated in English compared to many other languages. Here is a Montessori word list for spelling, reading and writing.