Maria Montessori once said: “Never give to the mind more than you give to the hand.” She’s talking about teaching children, about the fact that you should teach them by placing an object in their hand and talking only about that object.
Let’s take a book, for example. Before you read a bedtime story to your little one, show them the cover. Ask: “What do you think the story is about?” A younger child will look for the clues in the pictures, an older one may find additional information in the title. Show the child how to hold a book properly and in which direction to turn the pages. If they try to bend the book so that the cover is folded inwards, or bend the pages, or try to tear them - explain why we don’t do it.
As you read, point out the illustrations. What you’re doing here is showing them how to build the bridge between words and pictures in your head.
It’s all right to abandon the text altogether and ask the child what they think the wind is whispering to the tree. This way, you’re teaching them creative thinking.
With older children, it’s important to teach them the difference between reading for pleasure and reading to glean information. Later on, when they are adults, they will learn the skill of speed-reading, with all its advantages and disadvantages.
But Maria Montessori was also talking about something even more important than teaching one thing at a time: she was talking about tactile learning. She understood how important multi-sensory input was for the learning success of our children. We will discuss that in our next blog.
Meanwhile, did you know that your child’s Learning Style Analysis (LSA) report on www.creativelearning.com can give you important insights into their Reading Style and what they need in order to learn to read effectively?