Acquiring Language in a Montessori environment

Post date: Dec 2, 2014 8:46:43 AM

Tracing sandpaper letters

Children in a Montessori do not start writing with pencil or pen or any other writing instruments. Instead, they trace the letters made of sand paper with their sensitive fingers. This builds muscle memory of the curves of the alphabet for the children without writing "wrong" letters. It also allows them time to strengthen their pincer or pencil grip through the other interesting activities like cylinder blocks which they hold by the nob on top of the cylinders. But that does not mean that the children do not learn their spellings or do not write their sentences. For the spellings children use phonics and for forming words they arrange letters of the alphabet made of cardboard.When a child has garnered enough strength in their fingers to hold a writing instrument and has learnt to arrange the cardboard letters to form words and sentences, the child automatically explodes into writing. There is no stopping that child from writing at that point. Every scrap of paper becomes a place to write. All because the child was allowed to build, at their own pace, the prerequisite skills for writing.

The child has also learnt by this time the associations between the sounds in the words and the graphical representation of those sounds as glyph or letters as well as amassed quite a sizable vocabulary and learnt grammatical syntax.

No wonder that a child of three in a Montessori who cannot recite the alphabet or write them is composing poems and writing verbose prose by the time they are six.