Friday, July 30, 2010

Early Reading and Writing in Children

Dr. Montessori wrote about how children learn to read over a hundred years ago, and today brain research backs up her findings.

Published in Psychology Today:

As mentioned in the article, children write BEFORE reading. Writing is a way for them to communicate their ideas, which they are more interested in at first. When they realize, "Hey, I need to read what I wrote!" that is when reading happens. In the classroom, we begin with tracing metal insets. At home, any tracing or free drawing will build hand strength in preparation for writing. Also, activities such as play dough, using tongs and tweezers, pinching clothespins, using a pincher grasp to move materials from one bowl to another will all help build hand strength for writing. When writing doesn't happen, it is typically not a cognitive problem, but a strength issue. Imagine, in our computer world, if we as adults have to sit down and handwrite a ten page paper. Our hands would be tired! The same holds true for young children. Writing makes their hands tired. We can give them activities that they enjoy doing, that will strengthen their hands in preparation for writing. Then, the reading will come...