A lot of people ask us how we teach children to be such good readers? We tell them that we don’t necessarily “teach” them to be good readers; rather, we give them the foundation they need in order to become great readers. Norbeck begins teaching children how to read the very first day they start with us. Our youngest learners are introduced to Practical Life and Sensorial lessons which start on the left and move to the right- just like the text on a page. Using the Montessori Methodology, we continuously build upon this with the other didactic material. From the sandpaper letters (which is their first introduction to the sounds the letters make) to the Leaf Cabinet on the science shelf, the material has a constant left to right and up to down flow.
Contrary to other methods of learning, our process is not by rote memorization. We teach our students how to comprehend what they are doing. Rather than teaching the letter “Aa”, in Montessori we focus on the sound pronunciation, A is “ah”, B is “bu”, etc. When the children understand the sounds each letter makes, we can teach them how to build words by sounding them out. We engage our parents in this process so the learning continues outside of the classroom. Studies have shown that when learning is reinforced at home, and not just in the classroom, children comprehend much more. Once a student has shown they are ready, we will send books home with them so that they can read with their families. At Norbeck we begin with simple two and three letter word books and as the child develops, we move onto more complex books. To us, what is important is that we work with our students to make sure they actually comprehend, not just memorize, what they are reading! This way they are able to decode more complex tasks as they progress with more ease.
Norbeck can’t make a child a great reader. We use the proven Montessori Method to take an eager child and allow them to become the reader they want to be. We do this by ensuring our students have the foundation to become great readers. Using the Montessori Methodology, we work with each child at their level, and give them the tools they need to be prepared to take on these tasks. Perhaps our greatest pride is that our students develop a love for learning.