Decoding & Encoding: Montessori Learn to Read

Today I was able to watch a friend work with their child and it reminded me of the importance of allowing a child the chance to use their own decoding skills when learning how to read.

My son is learning to read largely by using Montessori Three Part Cards and Classified Nomenclature cards.  The clues that the pictures on these cards give help a child to develop confidence in their ability to try to ‘solve,’ or decode a word.

Don’t get me wrong.  Picture books and easy readers are great.  We use them and will continue to.  And there are days when I simply “tell,” him what a word is that is set before him in a book or on a sign.

But what a great sense of accomplishment a child can feel when they are able to figure out what just one word might be relative to a picture on a card.

And how amazingly advanced the words can be when there is only one word and one picture.

The next time a word shows up in a child’s easy reader that they previously learned on their own, be sure that they will be thrilled to share that they “already know that word!”

Another Year of Life Experience

Well, tomorrow’s the day.

Our 1st, unofficial day of our Montessori Home Schooling year for 2010/2011.

It’s hard to believe it’s here already.

Since we home school “year ’round,” the concept of our unofficial first day of school isn’t as simple as my telling my kids, our friends and our family that “our first day of school is tomorrow.”

Since we never really stopped, we ease into it.

Tomorrow is the day we switch to our new 2010/2011 school year planners, and new 2010/2o11 Journals.  We’ll sit down together and the children will create our classroom rules and daily schedule.  After all, it’s a new year.  A new game.  Same players, but with another year of life experience under their belt.

I of course have some suggestions that I will share.  Options, really.  After all, Montessori is really about allowing the child to lead within a prepared environment.

Am I 100% prepared?  No, not by my standards.  But this is a new year for me too.  With another year of life experience under my belt.

I’m excited to see what it will bring for all of us.