Montessori Phonics Is Still Helping Children Learn To Read Even After 100 years

Phonics are the building blocks of learning to read. But lately they have taken a back seat to the Look See Method in some countries. Most students can learn to read, no matter what method they are being taught, but the struggling learners need phonics. It has been shown time and again, that phonics are a better way to learn to read, for struggling readers.

The Look See Method has the beautiful books with lots of pictures, while the phonic books are pretty drab, filled with rhyming text that don’t always make sense. But you need rhyming to learn to read. And students will learn to read using the Look See Method, but struggling students will have problems.

To be honest, I don’t know why some students learn to read easier than others, especially nowadays. But I think it has a lot to do with home life. Parents of reading kids help their kids. They don’t live in front of the tee vee, and they use the computer for knowledge, not to play games or watch videos. But that is not always the case. I had a brother and a sister in different classes, the sister was top of the class and the brother couldn’t even read. He left school to start a trade, and she went to uinversity.

In another extreme case, a girl was in the top of the class, every morning she could read the homework easily and perfectly. Then one day I asked her to read a different text in class, and she couldn’t read it. And I asked her why, and she said at night her daddy used to read the homework to her, and she would memorize it and spit it out the next day. I had serious problems with her, but with Montessori Phonics she finally learned to read. Montessori Phonics takes the student away from looking at the word to feeling the word, and that was the only way to get her to learn to read.

Back in my day when I went to school, we were taught synthetic phonics, where you learn the phonic sound then move onto words then sentences. Another method that has since become popular, is the phonics method where you start with sentences, and move back to words, then syllables, then right down to the phonic sound. Really it doesn’t matter which way your children learn to read, as long as they learn.

At the moment video and audio is taking over the internet, but to play around and work on the internet, you still have to be able to read and type. So to survive the future your children have to be able to read, write and type. Speed typing is a must for the future, as well as speed reading. There is so much information out there, that you need to process in work and everyday life, that you need to be able to process it very quickly. To survive the future you need these skills, and they all start with learning to read.

With the internet there are a number of online phonic sites, where you children can learn phonics and some are very good, I mean exceptional. But even with all the information on the internet some children do not learn by looking. Around sixty percent do, but reading starts in your ears, not with your eyes. You have to hear the phonic sound first, then match it with the written word. So if your children have problems learning to read, get their ears checked. There might be something mechanically wrong with their ears. Usually not the case. It is usually just a case of matching a learning method, with your child’s learning style.

I call this, the method of last resort, even though it has been around for over 100 years, and it started out teaching children with severe learning difficulties. This is the Montessori method of teaching reading, and if everything fails try this out. It is a hands on system of teaching reading. You just can’t plant your children in front of the computer, and expect the computer to do the teaching. You have to be there or an older sibling can help out. Basically you need to get hold of some sandpaper letters, whether block or cursive, depending on what you want to teach your children, then start teaching. You will also need a phonics chart, and some phonic sounds, which you can get of the internet for free. It is a very simple system, you make up a simple word, for example ‘cat’, in sandpaper letters. Then your child traces the sandpaper letters, while saying the word. You must emphasis the phonic sound, so your daughter can translate it to other words. Then repeat the system over and over again with many words that rhyme. A very effective system, it must be used when everything else has not worked. It is my last line of defense. If the Montessori system doesn’t work I’m lost. I don’t know if it works with dyslexic people, but it is worth a try.

Anyway for the future you need to be able to read, write, type and then learn to speed read. Probably in that order, except most students learn to read then go straight onto a keyboard, so writing gets left behind. Now it has been shown that people who write in longhand or cursive, write faster and they are also more creative. So if your children are aspiring to be creative writers, or into writing advertisements, then they should learn to write in cursive. Also at present when you sit an exam, you have to write in longhand not block letters. So until that changes, it might be an idea to bring in the cursive writing skills, to give your children the upper hand in exams.

To find out more about teaching reading using the Montessori method go to and click on the picture.

Peter Legrove spends most of his time in front of a mixed bunch of kids trying to instill in them some semblance of the road to survive the future.

This article is copyright © peter legrove.

You can use this article on your website or ezine but leave the resource box intact.

All the best teaching children

Teacher Peter


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