The Montessori approach to Language Arts appeals to the child and focuses on language development as efficiently as possible, transforming it from a tedious subject to a mesmerizing experience. The process by which a child learns how to read must and should be as simple as possible, following the process the child uses to learn how to speak.
Each child is different, learning in different ways and at different rates. Some understand quickly, while some need step by step instructions to work at their own pace. The Montessori method allows the child to explore and discover their own love for learning at their own pace, making it unique and efficient. Montessori educators act as guides, assisting children in their own learning, not boring children by dictating lessons.
This method is accomplished by placing the younger children along with older students who are already reading and writing in cursive. As a result, the younger children create a goal to learn what their elders are learning, making the older students’ work intriguing and luring the younger children to accomplish even greater achievements.
In the Montessori method, the process of learning to read and write comes naturally to the child, beginning with a child’s first interest. The process begins by introducing them to phonetic sounds of the alphabet, growing their knowledge to read and write increasingly complex words and sentences.
There is typically a quick jump from reading and writing single words to doing so with sentences and stories. At this point, they begin the systematic study of the English language: this includes vocabulary, spelling rules, and linguistics. We begin by teaching children, as young as the Primary age, the functions of grammar and sentence structure just as they are first learning how to put words together to express themselves. This ultimately leads them to master these vital skills during a time in their lives when it is a delight, rather than a chore. Before long, they learn to write naturally and well.
Montessori materials used for Language Arts lessons include:
- Sandpaper Letters, a key material used to introduce and teach the child the sounds of the alphabet by means of muscular and visual theory. The child is encouraged to trace the different alphabet symbols (Lowercase, Uppercase, and Cursive) over and over again, till the shape of the letter gets registered and becomes a part of the child’s muscle memory. In turn, this lays the groundwork for reading and writing. Once the child is comfortable with all 26 letters, this helps them with writing and reading short phonetic words.
- Montessori Language Cards are used to vastly improve the vocabulary of the child. Rather than words, these cards have photos of objects or items. They are also called Three-Part Matching Cards, dividing the cards into those which have the image of the object, those with the name of the object, and those with an image of the object and its name.