Unit 4: Language
In this unit, we’re focusing on the reading and writing process. No “letter of the week” is needed here: these are real Montessori strategies that are much more effective in the long run.
Your Learning Journal / Workbook is both your guide to this week’s topic and a place for your reflections. Next, you’re going to want that checklist of materials and explanations of the activities on hand. You’ll also want to have these Essential Language Lessons at the ready for you to use to help you complete your assignments.
Lesson: Intro To Language
Lesson: A Social Gift
Lesson: Playing With Sounds
Lesson: How to Say the Letter Sounds
Lesson: Playing With Letters
Lesson: The Clue Game
Lesson: Playing With Words
Lesson: Playing With a Pencil
Here are some of the articles and videos I will be sharing with you in our community space for discussions to go along with this unit. You may be asked to reflect upon one or more of them in our group discussions.
1. Just for fun! Books that teach with humor can be a valuable part of your language curriculum. In this video (from when I had preschoolers myself!), I read the book Who Hops? and show you how you can very easily extend the learning experience into a book-making writing experience, even if your child is not yet writing. Modeling this creative process and scaffolding your child’s participation early on can lead to a genuine interest in creative writing later on.
2. Watch this short video for a guide to how the three period lesson might “look” in real life at home with a child. (Note that this video refers you to Montessori Mischief, which is now CDIR.) You can do this with sandpaper/tactile letters or even just letters written on index cards like in the DIY in the video.
3. Debating what you need to purchase? Objects and pictures from around the house are easily gathered.
4. Creating an original story or retelling a story you already know, even before learning to read or write, prepares the brain for sequential learning skills in other areas, as well as bolsters vocabulary and descriptive language.
5. Read this parent’s simple explanation of the I Spy Game - an easy version.
6. This post gives an overview of the reading program at a Montessori school. The tips should reinforce what you’ve been learning in this course.
7. Making letters “tactile” doesn’t need to be nearly as professionally done as this, but the tutorial here is easy to understand and might not be as hard to do once you have the supplies.
8. Want to watch a cute child actually use a sand tray to see what it looks like?
9. Why is the pincer grip important? Because strong fingers will be ready to learn to form letters and draw on paper someday. Spending time developing this strength is part of the language curriculum that is reflected across the curricular areas.
10. Great photo examples here of easy word-building activities with the moveable alphabet.
11. The moveable alphabet was meant to allow the child the freedom to “write” freely, without worrying about pencil grip and fine motor control. Take a look at what real phonetic writing looks like when the child has entered a period of creative exploration with words.
12. Bilingual/multilingual families, go here to read the survey from some former Homeschool of the Redwoods participants.
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