Before a child can learn to read, she needs to grasp a few pre-reading skills. Montessori preschoolers are presented with the opportunity to discover pre-reading skills on a daily basis. These skills are her first acquaintance with stories, books, language, and more. They will allow her to understand the basic structure of sentences and how they exist in the printed form.
The Concept of Books
Before delving very far into reading, your daughter needs to understand the concept of books. This includes understanding that books contain stories and grasping the layout of book such as page ordering and orientation. This type of pre-reading skill is often picked up through observation and gentle instruction in your Montessori preschool classroom, but should also be practiced at home.
Learning the Alphabet
Once your little girl is familiar with how books work she can be introduced to getting information out of them. This includes learning to speak the alphabet, recognize and draw letters, and how combinations of letters form words. Spelling out words in a book by pointing to each letter is a great way to help your child learn.
Language Arts Basics
The meaning of words and basic information about how they interact is the next key step in learning pre-reading skills. Recognizing sentences and the concept that each sentence conveys one primary subject is an important lesson, and will lead to higher fluency and vocabulary.
Storytelling and Time Awareness
Telling and listening to stories helps a child understand how things work in a logical order. This is not so much a matter of learning the tenses of words as it is learning that events should be listed in order of occurrence.
Rhyming and Word Association
The final pre-reading skill is one which may develop even as she is reading simple books on her own. Discovering the way words rhyme is mesmerizing for some children, and necessary for all. This improves phonetic recognition and pronunciation, strengthening the ability to read using word associations.
The best way to teach your child pre-reading skills is to encourage the use of books at home. Read to her often, and in such a way that she can see you are using words on the page to extract the stories you are telling. You are the best example for your child’s interest in reading.