From our friends, Seemi and Rashidah at Trillium Montessori in Cary, we are treated to a young Montessori learner in the beginning stages of learning to read.
The Montessori reading curriculum has three essential components: A strong foundation in phonics, comprehension based on visualization, and whole language, or learning to read for meaning and using context clues. Montessori reading is based on a strong foundation of phonics. This multi-sensory approach is unique in that it has children building words (encoding) before actually reading them (decoding). Developmentally appropriate activities allow children to build their own understanding of how sounds are represented by symbols, and these symbols are joined together to form words. In the Montessori classroom, by the age of 4, children are developmentally ready and eager to begin the preparation for reading. Along with learning the sounds and tracing their symbols with the sandpaper letters, students simultaneously learn to hold a pencil and control its use with the insets for design.