What is Phonics? Phonics is way to teach alphabets (i.e.) closely matching the sounds it represents. For e.g.: Starting with vowels: ‘a ‘ as in apple , ‘e‘ as in egg and so on, later on continues with ‘ch’ as in child, ‘ph’ as in phone. Most kids start to learn to read at preparatory school but they are also learning lots of other things to do along with communication.
They are still increasing their speaking vocabulary, which is very important. As the more words a child can say the more they should understand when you read to them. There is no relationship between the alphabet sounds and phonic sounds. They only help to confuse the child. In Montessori way: It combines listening, feeling and speaking. The kids love it.
Montessori takes advantage of the fact that children around this age love to feel. Maria Montessori uses sandpaper letters and the kids love to trace these letters. First you start off saying the phonic sound then the children trace the letter while saying the sound with their 2 fingers: index and middle finger. After tracing a number of sounds the children start to make up words. For example, the word ‘bag’- place ‘b’ as in balloon, ’a’ as in apple. Together they make ‘ba’ then add ‘g’ as in gate. Complete the word. After the children can say all the phonic sounds place all the letters on the table and say one word ‘bag’ and see if the child picks the correct letters in the correct order. This continues to complex words like ‘cucumber’, ‘phlox’, ‘elicit’.
A very simple system and one that works really well. This is the Montessori Method in a nutshell. Reading and writing fluency are related skills. Students learn to write and read efficiently with automatically, which is essential for fluency. Without fluency, students will have difficulty comprehending text, which is one of the main goals of reading. The advantage with this method is the children learn to write while tracing the letters. It is been observed that children learning alphabets in the Montessori way have better control of their spellings and seldom make mistakes. It is also observed that an adult can trace and improve his handwriting.