• Language skills are one of the most important in life.  Language is needed for comprehension and socialization.

     “Language ... grows with human thought.” 

    ~Maria Montessori


    Language Arts begin with oral communication.  Children learn language by listening to stories and poems, singing songs and finger plays and through conversation.  Oral language is the foundation for reading.  Rhyme is a very important skill in preparation for reading.


    “...children’s ability to discriminate and create rhyming words as well as their sense of rhythm are closely related to early reading ability.”

    ~Jane Healy


    Nursery rhymes help to increase listening skills and awareness of patterns.  When a child has the ability to rhyme, he also has the ability to discriminate sounds, which directly relates to reading skill.


    “Before using the visual skill to compose and read words, the child must develop an understanding of the auditory patterns and rhythm of language...”

    ~Carol Woods


    There are so many opportunities to increase language skills using the Montessori materials.  The lessons teach in a very exact way, leaving the children with no doubts that big doesn’t mean the same thing as long, for example.  Using nomenclature is a fabulous way to build vocabulary at the child’s own pace.  Using the three period lesson with new vocabulary a little at a time starts a domino effect of learning new words.  By the age of 6 children are able to learn thousands of words they hear, if given the opportunity and exposure.  Because children learn what they hear it is important to use the correct names for objects, etc..

    Another important step in learning to read is developing auditory discrimination of sounds.  Hearing and understanding the concept of rhyming is only one part of that.  Children must learn to discriminate individual sounds in different positions in words.  While they are learning to do this, they are introduced to letter symbols for sounds through the sandpaper letters, the sound chart and the moveable alphabet.  These materials use tactile, visual and auditory senses to learn.  


    “The Child who looks at, recognizes and touches the letters in the manner of writing is prepared for reading and writing simultaneously.”

    ~Maria Montessori


    By introducing the sandpaper letters and the sound chart, you are preparing for reading and writing.  Recognizing the sound for the symbol is preparation for reading.  Tracing the letters is preparation for writing.  

    “The two mechanical factors of writing are ... drawing, which gives the hand skill in handling the writing instrument: and touching the letters of the alphabet, which serves to extablish the motor memory together with the visual memory of the letters.”

    ~Maria Montessori


    These two skills are addressed with the lessons of the metal insets and the sandpaper letters.  Again three perceptions are at work, visual, tactile and muscular.  The children are able to reproduce the letters after tracing them many times through muscle memory. 

    “In this way the children succeeded in mastering the movements necessary for reproducing the forms of the graphic signs without writing.”

    ~Maria Montessori


    Once a child knows some sounds, he is able to compose words from the sounds.  Children are able to compose words before being able to read or write them by using the moveable alphabet.  Since the letters are moveable objects, it is easy to make corrections with little effort. 

    After learning to compose words by sounds with the moveable alphabet, puzzle words and phonemes are taught.  Soon the children are able to compose phrases and sentences.

    Writing is usually the next step that falls into place if enough preparation has occurred for writing with tools and sound/symbol recognition.  Once the child knows enough letter sounds and is writing words, reading is easy.  The children are able to use their sound knowledge to figure out what each word says.   Comprehension of what is read does not occur until the child realizes that  written words “transmit thought”.  Writing does not always occur before reading.  It depends on the individual.  Just follow the child.