Language development is a concern of the entire Montessori classroom. Many activities in other areas foster vocabulary development, communication skills, writing and reading readiness.
In the language area we will find a large variety of reading readiness materials, including materials for phonetic analysis, word attack skills and reading, as well as materials for the refinement of motor control for writing.
Cognitive skill development in children involves the progressive building of learning skills, such as attending, memory and thinking. These crucial skills enable children to process the sensory information they experience and eventually learn to evaluate, analyze, remember, make comparisons and understand cause and effect. Although some cognitive skill development is related to the child’s genetic makeup, most cognitive skills are learned. That means thinking and learning skills can be improved with practice and the right training.
In the Montessori Method, writing precedes reading, as the children explore with drawing and forming letters. The process of learning how to read should be as painless and simple as learning how to speak. The child begins by exploring the sounds that compose words and by relating them to the letters of the alphabet. He can soon produce words and sentences free of all other mechanical difficulties. In the meantime he trains his hand to become precise and sure for the writing movements. Reading is prepared indirectly from writing. The child starts from what he knows about the letters and the sounds. Then we give him the key to read all the words he can encounter. Reading skills normally develop so smoothly in Montessori classrooms that students tend to exhibit a sudden “reading explosion” which leaves the children and their families beaming with pride.