Apple Montessori Blog

How to Inspire Children to Read and Write by Age Six

How to Inspire Children to Read and Write by Age Six

“The development of language is part of the development of the personality, for words are the natural means of expressing thoughts and establishing understanding between people.” – Dr. Maria Montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori, founder of the Montessori philosophy for early childhood development and education, believed that children have the innate ability for learning to read and write as early as two and three years old because of the human desire to communicate, express thoughts, and bond with others.

There are explosive “sensitive periods” of growth and learning between birth and six years of age. During these periods, a child’s mind is absorbent and most adept at learning language, including speaking, reading, and writing. In fact, children can learn several languages simultaneously under the age of six.

We Start Early

At Apple Montessori Schools, we start building the foundation for language—the ability to speak, identify words, read and write—as early as six months old. One way that we do this is through our Baby Signs curriculum. Research shows that learning sign language at an early age enhances brain development. Using colorful props and symbols for words, our teachers demonstrate the meaning of words through sign language.

We also provide opportunities for language lessons that help our students develop the ability to:
  • understand words, recognize different sounds, and speak
  • discern shapes, patterns, spatial relations,
  • learn to handle books carefully,
  • socialize
  • develop and practice listening skills,
  • identify, organize, and name objects
  • and more!
Phonics Reading Method

As children progress, we introduce hands-on Montessori activities and Apple Montessori’s proprietary phonics reading program to create a fun, interactive experience that’s engaging and effective. Our three-prong phonics approach is based on 1) hearing and identifying the sounds of individual letters, 2) understanding words based on association with specific objects, and 3) reading unknown words through relevant visual clues. Research shows that the phonics approach is effective in accelerating language skills.

Multi-sensory Approach

Our multi-age classrooms use a variety of hands-on sensory materials and exercises to help children learn the letters of the alphabet by touching, seeing, feeling, and listening to the sounds of each letter. Children trace letters cut from sandpaper and then organize the letters into words. The words are matched with pictures, building blocks, and other objects to further reinforce the learning experience. The blending and encoding of sounds, letters, and words are fundamental for learning to read rather than memorizing lists of words. As the child progresses to building four or more letter words, short phrases and sentences are introduced. The key is to help children learn to build words (encoding) before reading words (decoding).

Each child learns and progresses at their own pace in our classroom through age- and developmentally appropriate activities to build perceptual-motor skills (ability to interact with their environment by combining the use of their senses with motor skills), pre-reading, and pre-writing abilities. We help children understand the connection between words and objects while developing the skills for writing, drawing, and coloring. Our goal is to make the learning experience truly individual, enjoyable, and gratifying. We inspire confidence and self-esteem in children, so they love coming to school and learning.

Benefits of Early Reading and Writing

The value of introducing language from birth cannot be underestimated. That’s why it is important to speak and read to your child in clear words and phrases, foregoing baby talk. Language engages, feeds, and nourishes a child’s brain and cognitive abilities. According to a Psychology Today article, children who get early literacy exposure with positive speech interaction have a 32-million-word advantage by age four over children who did not get the same exposure.

At Apple Montessori, we understand your child has immense sensitivity and infinite capacity to learn and understand the meaning of words for better reading comprehension, build vocabulary, and develop multisensory creative and social skills from infancy to six years of age. The benefits are immeasurable, helping your child pursue their natural curiosities and a love for learning that will last a lifetime.

Some benefits of early reading: