Skip to main content

Supporting Letter Learning at Home

Nora is right in the middle of learning letter sounds at school, but that learning doesn't stop and start at the doors of her classroom. In fact, she's in the middle of an explosion of sorts where her whole day is letters and sounds. That's the thing about waiting until that perfect lightbulb-ish time. Then, it just clicks for them. If you've been around awhile you know that I'm a huge proponent for waiting to introduce letters until after toddler-hood. And, this is why. Once they are ready, they are ready! 

Supporting Montessori letter learning at home - ideas for how to practice letters

While Nora's guide in her Montessori Children's House determined exactly when to introduce Nora to sandpaper letters and letter sounds, we have done things here at home to support that learning. I also want to make it clear that Nora's guide recommended practicing with sandpaper letters at home (she just tells parents to DIY them, but we already had a set from our homeschoooling days so we are using those). So what are we doing? '

This post includes affiliate links at no cost to you. 


We are still doing tons and tons of reading here at home. Just like when she was a toddler, we want to create a culture around reading in our home. It's an everyday part of our lives and completely ingrained in our routine at home. 

Supporting Montessori letter learning at home - ideas for how to practice letters
Supporting Montessori letter learning at home - ideas for how to practice letters

Sandpaper Letters 

Like I said, we happened to have a set of sandpaper letters at home, so we are using those. But you could easily DIY a set. We use these for a lot of different things including: 
  • practicing them in a traditional way 
  • highlighting a specific letter with a small container of language objects {stand here}
  • hide and seek with the sandpaper letters 
  • sorting language objects with the letters
  • lining them up to "spell" words 
  • playing I-spy with them and gathering things from around the house that match the letter 
  • finding and reading books that have the same letter on the front cover 
Basically, we just have fun with them. They become not something tedious, but something fun and engaging. Something we want to constantly be using. It's play. I'm sure there are tons of ideas on how to use them in this way. And, mostly I just follow Nora's lead. 

Supporting Montessori letter learning at home - ideas for how to practice letters

Letter Books

I've also incorporated a couple of letter books into our reading routines. They include:
  • Around the World from A to Z: This one is fantastic because it is truly made for Montessorians. It highlights different activities and places from around the world, using a Montessori globe! Plus CURSIVE! It's so hard to find materials featuring cursive. Each letter has a texture as well, making it a perfect sandpaper letter compliment. 
  • The Red Letter Alphabet Book: Another fantastic tactile book, but this time in print. I do want to make sure we are connecting the print letters to the letter sounds. This is a great Montessori friendly way to do that! 
One thing I'm still on the hunt for is a letter puzzle that I love. I'm not sure what I'm looking for exists, so I may just have to compromise and get something else. But I can envision a lot of playing with a puzzle to start to internalize the order of the alphabet (something that will also happen as she works with the moveable alphabet in her classroom). I'll keep up updated if I find something I super love! 

How do you support letter learning at home with your preschooler? Have you seen an explosion into this interest? 

Supporting Montessori letter learning at home - ideas for how to practice letters



Lauren said…
If you can't find a puzzle you like, you could always make one with a service like shutterfly or walmart photos.

Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2020

When you are interested in Montessori, it can be difficult to know exactly what types of products you should get for your home. Or which types of "Montessori" materials are really worth the price. There are no rules about types of products can use the name Montessori which can add to the confusion. Not to mention, every toy manufacturer slaps the word "educational" on the package for good measure! 2020 UPDATE: This list is updated for another year! Enjoy a variety of Montessori friendly finds from both major retailers and smaller shops!  So, with this post, I'm going to try to help with this confusion! Here's a list of Montessori-friendly toys and materials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.  First, let's clarify that there is no such thing as a "Montessori toy." Montessori never created toys, but only works for classroom settings. While there are many works that I recommend for home school use, you won't find these

Sensitive Periods from Birth to 6 - A Chart and Guide

Dr. Maria Montessori spent her life observing, studying, and writing about children. During her lifetime of work she discovered that young children move through a series of special times when they are particularly attracted to specific developmental needs and interests. She called these times, sensitive periods. During the sensitive period, children learn skills related to the sensitive period with ease. They don't tire of that work, but seek it, crave it and need it. When the sensitive period passes, this intense desire is gone, never to return.  That doesn't mean the skill is lost forever once the sensitive period is over. Instead, it just means that it will take a more conscious effort to learn. As Dr. Montessori explains,  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. "A child learns to adjust himself and make acquisitions in his sensitive periods. These are like a beam that lights interiorly a battery that furnishes energy. It is this sensibility which enables

Working from Home with Kids - A Montessori Schedule

One part of my life that I haven't talked a ton about here on The Kavanaugh Report is how I'm a work-from-home parent. Eight years ago I started to work at home while parenting full time. For the first several years, I worked as a legal writer while maintaining this space on the side. When Gus was born, I moved into working on sharing our Montessori life full time. It has blossomed into a full time career sharing content here, teaching courses, and now the podcast! Through it all, my kids have been home with me.  This all seems more relevant to so many of us now that Covid-19 has closed schools and forced parents to stay at home and work while caring for children. I'm not going to lie - it's tough. It's hard to balance work and kids, especially when children are used to a completely different routine. But, it's not impossible! And, it can even be enjoyable.  As I talk about in my podcast Shelf Help , we block our days into 3 hours groups. It helps