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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? '

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Reading

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

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Comments

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

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