Montessori Materials #4: Introduction to Language Activities
This may sound like bragging a little bit, but I can't tell you how often I am complimented on how well my kids speak. People are always surprised at how articulate they are and that they speak full sentences and use vocabulary usually reserved for much older children. My own sister was amazed that she had a 5-minute conversation with my 3-year-old about how she got a bump on her head. I don't do anything special, I just talk to them the way I want them to learn to talk. I spoke to them in full sentences from the day they were born. We also have a very language-rich environment at home and at school. We read a LOT. And my husband says we also talk a LOT.
In a Montessori classroom, language lessons happen all day, every day, and in every area of the Montessori curriculum. There are specific lessons to develop both writing and reading skills, but remember that children also absorb every word you speak. (Sometimes that's unfortunate, right?!)
For the young child, each day is filled with opportunities for learning language. Through observation, Dr. Montessori found that the child from birth to six years old has an absorbent mind which plays a very critical role in allowing her to absorb the language of her specific environment. One of the main foundations of the Montessori philosophy is the importance of a rich language environment for children, especially during the sensitive period for language development between the ages of birth to six.
Popular Examples of language materials:
In the coming weeks, I will present to you the activities specific to language development, both written and spoken. I will also be sure to discuss how language is incorporated in other non-language activities (practical life, math, sensorial, and cultural) when I write articles about those materials.