In Montessori education, letters are introduced by phonetic sounds rather than letter names. The children learn the sound each letter makes in preparation for reading and writing. We introduce a sound to pair with each letter symbol through sand paper letter lessons. First the child hears the sound the letter makes, she then visually sees the representation of the letter and finally feels the texture of the sandpaper as she traces it with her fingers.
There are many other letter sound games and activities we do to make learning letter sounds fun. Many of the children in the preschool classroom have recently become very excited about working on their letter sound books. As the children learn and acquire more letter sounds, they can add them to their booklet with a corresponding picture cue, such as “n” for “nest”. Some children have even chosen to illustrate their own pictures to go with each letter sound. Once they have added all 26 letters to their book, they can bring them home to share and practice with their families.
“The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s
own natural desire to learn.”