Here at Home Grown Books we’re committed to providing early literacy strategies that are effective and easy to incorporate into the home environment. Montessori methods of improving literacy seek to find the intersections of sensory play and engagement with letter sound and formation, storytelling, and vocabulary development.
Pyjama School has a number of activities to try out in your home that improve literacy- specifically letter sound and formation. The Pyjama School methods include tracing sandpaper letters, incorporating visual and tactile learning into sight recognition and muscle memory of letter tracing; painting over chalk letters with a watery paintbrush, working on muscle strength, dexterity, and muscle memory; and utilizing easy to find wipe-away workboards for your child to practice on. The methods laid out here are used in tandem but can be altered to work best for each individual child.
Incorporating a green Montessori board and a felt moveable alphabet into the home opens up many opportunities for learning. Making Montessori Ours walks the reader through the ways that her daughter uses to board, as well as ways of adjusting the lesson for different goals.
Letter sound and formation are important but thinking holistically about your child's literacy development is crucial- addressing vocabulary, auditory processing, sound discrimination, and developing the effective use of language can be addressed in a variety of ways.
Using baskets and other organizational tools to group physical items into phonetic and alphabetic categories is another easy and playful way to reinforce literacy. This strategy focuses on auditory processing skills and sound discrimination, perfect for younger children who are pre-writing or in the early stages of reading and writing. This rhyming basket from The Imagination Tree has a number of ideas for little toys and trinkets whose names rhyme and can be categorized as such- i.e. a rubber snake paired with a plastic cake.
The Imagination Tree also outlines the importance of creating and telling stories outside of books- including building bonds to storytelling, increasing vocabulary, introducing vocal variation and the use of tone, as well as encouraging greater eye contact. The fairytale storytelling basket can be put together using any of the little toys lying around the house, and can build off of or relate to you child’s favorite fairytale- allowing for connection with a pre-existing story and direct engagement with storytelling.
Check out these wonderful blogs for some inspiration on incorporating Montessori methods into the home or classroom to support literacy development!