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Pickings from the First Parent-Teacher Conference in 2019
Pickings from the First Parent-Teacher Conference in 2019

Pickings from the First Parent-Teacher Conference in 2019

Speech development and learning to write: laying the foundations here at Kinderhaus MOKIWE.

This was the topic of the first pedagogical parents teachers conference of the new Kinderhaus season 2019/20. The pedagogues helped us - the parents - gain a deeper understanding of these processes both in theory and practice.

The ability to speak is very important for human beings: it helps us to voice our opinions and emotions and to connect with others more easily. It even enables us to talk about incorporeal or imaginary things such as imagination, god, the past and the future. Learning to communicate effectively happens very early on in a child’s life. Within the first days after being born, a preverbal dialogue starts to form, as body language and sounds are a key part of human communication. Children are only able to extract meaning from language when they can directly relate it to the person or subject in question. This is what makes direct interaction with others so very important for them. When children reach the end of the first year in their life, the so called “explosion of words” happens. Up until the age of 6 or 7 children are able to learn a new word every two hours, while awake.

This is precisely the reason why Maria Montessori used so much of her time and energy on getting the children acquainted with the facts and nomenclatures of our world. She saw language as the “key to the world” for children up to the age 6 and as the “key to the universe” for children up to the age of 12.

Shortly after the “explosion of words” the children start to grasp the concept of grammar. At around four years of age they have completely yet intuitively learned the syntax of their mother tongue. Once they have understood a specific grammar rule, they start to use it i.e. “I don´t cant do that”. We are very happy that our children are given a strong foundation for a command of language proficiency here at our Kinderhaus. With the help of Montessori materials, intrinsic motivation and support from the pedagogues many of them actually learn to read and write before it is time for them to go to school. When a child expresses an interest in wiriting and starts to connect sounds with letters, thenthe writing process starts. These illustrations of sound have not yet anything to do with correct spelling. It is important for adults to voice the letters phonetically accurate (e.g. M instead of EM and B instead of BE). This aids children greatly with their first attempts at reading.

Speaking of Montessori materials - as part of the conference we had the chance to use sandpaper letters), the moveable alphabet and the initial sound table. At three different stations Steffi, Suni, Sabine and Christa showed us, how our children use these tools, thus providing a deeper level of understanding and a new perspective of the day to day life.

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