Where to start with reading and writing? - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-23-2007, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, we are trying to do Montessori at home (as best as I can.)

We have done a lot of practical life. I think my son is ready for some reading and writing. We have done a little bit with sandpaper letters and matching them to (beginning sounds) to objects.

I'm not sure what would be the right progression from here. I have some alphabet book pages about dinosaurs that I know would get his attention because he is absolutely fascinated by dinosaurs right now and I wanted to take advantage of that.

I was also thinking about starting the three-part cards? Or making an ABC scrapbook with pictures that we have taken?

Do we need to do the whole alphabet with the sandpaper letters? What would you suggest we try next?
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Old 09-23-2007, 10:14 PM
 
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The sandpaper letters are usually presented 2 at a time using the three part lesson format; basically there are 2 sandpaper letter tablets that look and sound very different from each other.

Part one of the lesson:
you trace the sandpaper letter, and then direct the childs fingers over the letter, saying the sound ("this is MMMMMMMMMMMM", or this is "SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS")

Part two of the lesson:
with both tablets on the rug, ask the child, show me the "MMMMMMMMMMM" and show me the "SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS"

Part three of the lesson:
point to a tablet and ask, what sound is this?
poitn to the other tablet and say , what sound is this?

If a child makes a mistake at any part of the 3 part lessson, go back to the beginning!

After a few months, a child will learn all the sounds and will be ready for more advanced lessons, but in addition to the sandpaper letters, in the Montessori classroom children are also introduced to writing the individual sounds in a sand tray and later on a chalkboard, and still later on special Montessori writing paper, and they play the I Spy game to identify objects with sounds at the beginning, middle, and end of words. It is pretty effortless and fun/interesting for a child who is ready, and most directresses back off for a while if a kid puts up a fuss.

There is a really Awesome book that we got from the library called "Montessori Read and Write" that helped us understand what was happening in our daughters' classrooms; I would imagine it would be a good resource for homeschooling Montessorians as well!

Most importantly, make sure you are reading excellent fiction AND non-fiction about 3 years above your child's age so that they are constantly aquiring new vocabulary and information, as well as a love for literature! Reading "Henry and Mudge" books to a 3 or 4 year old is MUCH more inspiring to them to learn to read than having them read "Bob" books (which are imporatant when they are learning to blend sounds, but offer little literary inspiration)!!
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Old 09-23-2007, 11:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the reply! I will continue doing sandpaper letters. We have only done 6 or 8. I just figured out a new way to make them--by gluing actual sand onto cardstock--so I can make them in the D'nealion font.

We've also done writing the letters in sand and shaving cream, and we read tons every day.

He also knows how to write his name.
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Old 09-28-2007, 12:05 AM
 
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The "montessori read and write" book is a great reference. The language training is quite in depth.
I'm going to try to do this succintly. It's hard to single out any one lesson, since they are all connected. For Montessori, there are 3 branches of learning language:
1. Spoken language - includes oral stories, songs, fingerplays, conversations, question games, word play and vocabulary lessons. We prepare the for writing and reading exercises with spoken language activities. The child builds upon the spoken language lessons when moving on to the other two areas which are:
2. Writing
and
3. Reading
Montessori breaks every skill down into the component parts, introduces one skill at a time and builds in complexity. For writing and for reading there are indirect preparations in the practical life and sensorial materials. The Metal Insets are a direct preparation for writing.
The Sound Games are first in the progression. First the child learns that words are made up of sounds, and learns to "dissect" a word into the component sounds. Next, you unite the sound and the symbol with the sandpaper letters (given in 3 period lesson w/ 3 letters). Once the child knows about a 3rd of the letters, you can move on to the moveable alphabet. This progresses from words, to phrases, to sentences to stories and there are 3 different sizes. The child is not necessarily ready to write with paper and pencil. Nor is he ready to read. Usually about 6 months after work with sandpaper letters, moveable alphabet, sand tray and chalkboards - the child will begin to read back what he has written. This is the beginning of the reading exercises which progress from simple phonetic activities to phonogram and puzzle word work to functions of words and sentence analysis. It is commonly referred to as a "Total Reading" program because through work with these materials the child becomes fluent in these different aspects of reading (sounds, spelling, word placement and function) in the 3rd year.
Writing continues with the child using the phonogram sandpaper letters and the chalkboards, this teaches connections. The child is never asked to write on paper until he himself initiates it. Once, he does, we start with one word books, labels and short phrases on large strips of paper. The paper size begins to decrease and lines are added as the child begins to show more control.
Well I guess that wasn't too short. To answer your question, I would move to the moveable alphabet next. It is a parallel activity to continued work with the sandpaper letters and also the chalkboards.

My sweetie and I have a lovely little lady 07/02 and 3 cats
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Old 09-28-2007, 01:15 AM
 
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Agree with all of the above!

Another thing that can be helpful is to start a "journal" where at first your wonderful child can maybe draw a "picture" and dictate to you what to write as words underneath; as soon as they are phonetically "writing", it seems they mostly want to "write" in their very precious way their own text, and dd1 LOVED to "read" these journals to us after bath time; dd2 refuses to, saying "It's my diary!" (influence of sister who is 14!)
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Old 09-28-2007, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! I tried to do more sandpaper letters and numbers but he wasn't all that interested. I think we will go back to the basics: geometric inserts, rough and smooth boards, and always lots of reading.
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Old 09-29-2007, 12:43 AM
 
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It's funny, because I had the sandpaper letters at home last summer and my daughter didn't want a single lesson. When the child is in the Children's House they are really enticed to do alot of the lessons because of observing other children using the materials. They give many many SP Letter lessons to one another after the initial presentation. There are some games you can play with a small group involving passing the letters around and thinking up words and of course all the work with the chalkboards they love to do together.

My sweetie and I have a lovely little lady 07/02 and 3 cats
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