Montessori Language: Speaking, Writing, and Reading – Birth to Age 12+
This Michael Olaf Montessori newsletter for parents and teachers contains excerpts from the 0-3 book The Joyful Child: Montessori, Global Wisdom for Birth to Three Years and the 3-12+ book Child of the World: Montessori, Global Education for 3-12+.
Excerpts from the book The Joyful Child: Montessori, Global Wisdom for Birth to Three, with permission of the author
The First Year: the Senses
We can feed the child’s intense interest in language and prepare for later spoken language, by speaking clearly, by not raising our voice to the unnatural pitch often reserved for speaking to pets, and not oversimplifying language in the presence of the child. We can tell funny and interesting stories of our lives, recite favorite poems, talk about what we are doing, “Now I am washing your feet, rubbing each toe to get it really clean” and enjoy ourselves in this important communication. And we can listen: to music, to silence, and to each other. (Page 9)
An adult can engage in a conversation with even the youngest child in the following way: when the child makes a sound, imitate it—the pitch and the length of the sound: baby “maaaa ga” adult “maaaa ga,” etc. One often gets an amazing response from the child the first time this happens, as if he is saying, “At last, someone understands and speaks my language!” After several of these exchanges many children will purposefully begin to make sounds for you to imitate, and eventually will try to imitate the adult’s sound. This is a very exciting first communication for both parties. It is not baby talk; it is real communication. (Page 10)
The books, and the shell collection and matching cards in the illustration can be found at the Michael Olaf Montessori website: http://michaelolaf.com/store/