One of the questions I get asked about a lot is “How to help my child learn to read?”
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I have years of teaching under my belt and I have taught hundreds of kids to read and write in English but when I discovered Montessori I found out that the traditional way of reading first wasn’t necessarily the best way to help the child.
In a traditional setting, we learn the names of the letters then move on to the sounds (phonics) and when we have mastered all that we start to write.
Why Does Writing Before Reading Work?
When you are writing words you are constructing. That is to say, you are building the letters togather to make the word. You have a “c” now what do you need next? “a” now you have “ca” what is next? “t” adding t to the end make cat. As a beginner, learning to put the sounds together it is much easier to build the letter together.
For reading, we have to deconstruct the word. This gets difficult because each time you have to go back to the start and remember each sound in the process.

Here are the resources for helping your child learn to read

child and parent reading childrens book

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How to make Montessori Style Sandpaper Letters

Clever Critters – great books to start with, each page adds a word so you build the sentence as you read the book, plus the stories are silly so the kids love them
StarfallAmazon has paper books here. The site has changed since I used it and it looks like they now have an app too.
Oxford Reading Tree books – also graded and there are little workbooks that go with them, Ebi-kun liked these up to mid-level then he got bored, I don’t think they were stretching him enough.

The first chapter book he read was Fantastic Mr Fox by the wonderful Roald Dahl and then he started on the Magic Tree House books. He got to book 24 before they became too easy and again I looked for other books to stretch him. The great thing about Magic Tree House is the guide you can get to go with them, we didn’t get them for every book, just the ones he really got into like Egyptians. I found this to be a great springboard for project-based learning too.

By the time he had finished with Magic Tree House, he was pretty much able to read anything. He still loves books that are in a series and he has quite a broad taste as far as subjects and authors go.

mom patiently teach her child learn to read

How Do I Choose The Right Book Level For My Child

It can be hard right? Reading level wasn’t such a problem here but appropriate content was, as I child my reading age was way above average and my mom had the same problem. Content meant for teens often isn’t suitable for 6 and 7-year-olds! Recommendations from trusted friends are my best tip. If you ever get stuck, come and ask in Moms That Rock (my free community) and we will help you out.

If you’re not sure if the book is the right reading level for your little reader then THIS POST will help, go through it together with your child.

If you enjoyed this post, you will love my book. To grab a copy of my book Montessori Inspired Activities For pre-Schoolers, you can get it on Amazon or any good book store.
Montessori-Inspired-Activities
If you have any questions, pop them in the comments section!

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