Montessori uses a three-stage approach to help children learn new words and enrich their vocabulary. It’s a hands-on approach, often using real, tactile objects (as opposed to flashcards) that the child can hold and manipulate. This is important in order for the child to associate the new word with something real and relevant in their world.
Sarah loves books. She will choose a book over any other play thing. I’ll often find her kicking back on the floor cushions with a book in hand. That is of course until I enter the room, whereby she firmly plants herself on my lap and insists I read her a book.
I was reading with Sarah the other day. This is when I noticed something; I was giving Sarah a three-stage lesson without realising it. When I thought about it more, I realised that I do this all the time. When we are in the kitchen and she is watching me cook, I’ll talk to her about the vegetables, when we are outside in the garden, we’ll talk about what we see. This step-by-step process flows so naturally that I think we probably all do it at some stage.
We were reading the book and our conversation went something like this:
‘This is a shoe.’ ‘This is a sock.’ (stage one)
‘Can you show me the shoe?’ (Sarah points to the shoe) (stage two)
‘What’s this?’ (pointing to the object – stage three) Sarah says, ‘shoe’.
So natural, just a part of the everyday.