In Montessori Schools, most children learn to write before they learn to read. They may not know how to spell, but they write phonetically. After the child has worked with the Metal Insets and the Sandpaper Letters for a while, forming the letters and numbers come easily. When writing begins in this spontaneous way, the child is spared many tedious hours of forced effort. Writing is fun.
A child’s vocabulary increases from 100 words at 2, to several thousand at 6 years old. Vocabulary increases naturally without any teaching.
In the Early Childhood program, the child learns the phonetic sounds of the letters before he learns the alphabetical names in sequences. The phonetic sounds are given first because these are the sounds he hears in words.
- The phonetic approach to reading begins with sandpaper letters.
- Children learn to associate the sound with the shape of the letter.
- Tracing the letter, develops dexterity, motion, and muscle memory need for writing.
Children continue to explore their fascination for words by using the Movable Alphabet (cut out letters in a box) to construct words, phrases, sentences and stories.