Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston, Texas. Child care Montessori provider in Champions, The Woodlands, Spring Texas Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston
Current Editorial
Our brains have no inherent knowledge of the alphabet. The beauty of phonics is that children can learn the parts of reading and writing before they put it all together. But like tennis, you can practice your backhand, forehand, and serve, but you don’t really know how to play the game until you use these skills in a match. So phonics is the word-decoding skills. The joyful, hands-on experience of reading great literature or for knowledge is provided by whole language.

Whole language seems to “click” for children who are visual or tactile learners. Visual learners can easily recall words they see repeatedly. Tactile learners benefit from writing because using their hands helps them understand and remember things. Phonics seems better to meet the needs of auditory and analytical learners. Auditory learners hear and remember sounds easily. Analytical learners enjoy taking words apart, following rules, and finding out how words are spelled and how to pronounce them. The logic of phonics makes sense to these children, and they find it more satisfying than the guessing techniques that are often used in whole language. What can you do? Try these suggestions:

• Read aloud and often, stopping occasionally to talk about what you’ve read or to ask questions like “What could happen next?” Leaving out an obvious word in a story or rhyme helps your child learn to decode it based on context. Leaving out an obvious beginning or ending sound in a word (The popcorn went “-op!”) spurs letter/sound awareness.

• Play the name game. A child’s name is a great place to start teaching the alphabet. See, say, and write each letter together. Explore other letters by naming things around the house and the neighborhood.

• Show that reading is useful. Read labels at the mar-ket, billboards, and a recipe when you’re cooking. A child is more motivated when reading has a purpose and meaning.

• Have fun with words. Call out, “I spy something that starts with “m”. (Say the sound, not the letter. If you want a guide for which sound goes with letters, ask your teacher for our flyer.) Draw letters on each other’s back. The more playful and involved you are in these games, the more the child will learn.

• Publish your young author. Invite your little reader to talk about, and then write about, a drawing she’s made. Don’t correct spelling or grammar at this stage. The more important goal now is to get ideas down and enjoy writing and reading. Share these books with grandparents or neighbors where you can brag in front of your child.