Saturday, October 18, 2008
A School Term Later - A Child's Reading and Writing
Last January, I wrote a post titled "Traced, Chalked and Penciled Notations" which included a photo of a child's first notations, her first ledgible writing. The word cat was written on a chalk board and then on a mat using the moveable alphabet. Now, ten months later, that same child sat with me yesterday and easily read every word in the phonetic object box, wrote her own labels, pasted the labels onto a sheet of paper and drew a matching image. It was very impressive work for a four year old.
(click picture to see close up)
However, this is a four year old that has done much work in the Practical Life area. She has washed many, many polishing cloths. She has washed many, many tables. She has filled vases with flowers, rolled socks, spread jam, cut pickles, washed, peeled and cut carrots. She has made metal inset booklets, traced the botany and geometry cabinets' insets. She has worked with most of the sensorial materials, several math materials and has created much art.
All of that work prepared the small hand of a young child for handwriting. Beautiful and controlled handwriting. And while she did use upper case, she looked at each letter and said softly for each something like, "P, I will write P like I know how." She recognized the letter and its sound and then wrote it using her handwriting style. (Note: print is used at my school - I would prefer cursive)
Seeing the results of all of the lessons I have given this child and having witnessed the progression of her work re-affirms for me Maria Montessori's method. Well, I confess I have been sold on her ideas for years and years now.