XP: teaching sounds before letter names - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 08-01-2010, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I posted this in the homeschooling forum, but I'm pretty sure that this is a Montessori principle too (correct me if i'm wrong), so I thought I would post it here as well.

If you believe in teaching letter sounds before letter names, what do you do when your kids start asking you 'which one is that mommy?' i.e. my two year old has a stool with her name on it. she'll point to the letters and ask about each one.

obviously, if she points to M, I could just say "oh thats /m/" and make the mmm sound. But if she point to E...which E sound do I say it is? And at what point do you introduce letter names?

I hope this question made sense. Thanks!

student momma to two great girls

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#2 of 5 Old 08-02-2010, 08:45 AM
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I'm pretty sure Montessori does teach the letter sounds before the names, but I don't think you have to ONLY teach sounds. My daughter learned the letter names and some of the sounds before starting at Montessori, and had no trouble switching between the two at school. It's probably best to be consistent but not something to stress over IMO.

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#3 of 5 Old 08-02-2010, 09:45 AM
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While my son was learning, he was taught the soft sounds first (as in apple). Once he had a firm grasp on them, he was taught the hard sounds (as in ape), then letter sound combinations (as in out). It all happened alot faster than I expected!
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#4 of 5 Old 08-02-2010, 04:10 PM
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Ready to hear about a balancing act?

Yes...the most common sounds come first. This is because the whole point of letters is to write and read. If, for example, you have the word, "Cat," it makes more sense for the child to be able to identify

If the child has to translate everything:
"'C' says /c/, A says /a/, and T says /t/"
...well...you can see how confusing this can get. You're doing twice the work.

The NAMES of letters come later. How much later depends on many factors, but the biggest factor usually is the exposure to it outside the classroom. Most children do not need to be specifically taught this since they see and hear it so much outside of the classroom. Other students (especially from backgrounds with families of lower educational levels) might need more direct instruction of this.

For right now, I would stick to the basic sounds. Once your child has a grasp on that, move to blends. After a while, you'll know if you need to introduce the letter names. Some teachers do this specifically as they teach sight words (which there's no "official" Montessori way to do since Italian, Montessori's main language, does not require this as much as English).
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#5 of 5 Old 08-03-2010, 11:31 PM
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Basically, you won't ruin your kid if you sing the ABC song together, but when it comes to deliberately teaching you should stick to the /a/ /b/ /c/ s?
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