Montessori Phonics and Home Reading Program

  • Do we really need so many Montessori reading materials?

  • Is it really necessary to memorize all those “puzzle words” (aka: sight words, high frequency words)?

  • How much time should we spend on spelling (and could spelling “tests” really be Montessori?)

  • If I’m doing this at home, do I really need 5 shelves of reading and pre-reading materials?

  • Is writing and reading really appropriate for 4 and 5-year olds?

  • If I never really understood phonics myself, how can I help my kids?

If you have any of these questions, this special Montessori phonics program may be just what you need! (Please note that the full set of bonuses at the bottom, including an additional full manual PDF and never before offered personal support from Souzzann, are available only through January 15. And the special pricing is only for a limited time! Make sure you’re on our list to get notice of all specials)

My Introduction to Phonics in Montessori – and Innovations

When I first took Montessori training over thirty years ago, I was little shocked. While I loved that the training included a phonetic reading system while most teachers were still using a confusing approach that I thought was misnamed “whole language,” the materials didn’t make sense to me.

Too much time was spent on the “easy” phonics (short vowel words) and the “hard” phonics, (words with vowel sounds other than the short or long ones) seemed to be taught in a jumble of something called green phonograms and “puzzle words.” Plus, when I started, you had to make most of the materials yourself (no such thing as PDFs in the 1980s!) and that meant spending a lot of time – and money if they were laminated to last. It felt like I was being asked to make a million cards – mostly overkill on the simplest concepts.

To make things worse, even my trainers didn’t seem to know the phonetic rules I learned in first grade. They didn’t know that one vowel at the end of a word usually says it’s name (long sound) and they never taught the schwa sound for most vowels. This may have been why they didn’t appear to realize that most of the “puzzle words” could be sounded out if children knew all the sounds of the vowels. I thought they were making the English language even more complicated than it really is. (Especially compared to Italian, the original Montessori language, and Spanish, English is complex. However, if you learn the whole code, very few words are truly “irregular” or “sight words.”)

This seemed like a huge gap to me. At that time, my own background included helping beginning readers for many years. In the small parochial schools I attended as a child, resources were scarce. Administrators got creative in meeting student’s needs. When I arrived at a new school in third grade, my reading skill was already very strong. I could read pretty much anything I picked up. My teacher didn’t really know what to do with me at reading time, so she asked the principal for advice.

The Catholic nun who headed our small school was also the first grade teacher in the mornings, so she had me sent down to her the next day. I read with her for a couple of minutes and then she called over a first grade student and asked me to help him read a simple book. After about 5 minutes, I was told to come to her room when reading time started for my class each day. For the next 2 years, I read with first graders while my classmates had reading class. (About 4 months into this arrangement, another boy from my class started doing the same thing. Sister Francis de Chantal, our principal, was a smart lady!) Over the following years I helped cousins, classmates, and kids in my first business – babysitting – with their reading. I’ve loved books all my life and I love sharing that passion.

So, with more than a decade of experience “teaching phonics” behind me, I saw clearly that this there was an easier way. Besides studying all the Montessori manuals and phonics books I could get my hands on, I studied personally with Char Lockhart, Sam Blumenfeld, and other phonics experts. Over time, I created a complete set of Montessori-based phonetic reading materials that included those complex phonics patterns. I updated the Pink – Blue – Green materials to include all the phonics kids need to sound out even complex words – including many words other educators say must be memorized.

Later, I discovered another Montessori approach that offered more advanced phonics patterns. However, the Dwyer, or phonetic dictionaries/phonograms first, systems also had big disadvantages. The materials they included were much harder for older children (who were past the sensitive period for writing and reading) to use independently – and they still had big gaps in the phonetic patterns they included.

Over the years, I incorporated the new things I was learning. I used my system, and new additions, to guide children of all ability levels to learn to read – including a 10-year-old student who entered my class a non-reader and left two years later reading simple chapter books. (Her previous teachers taught her to memorize 100 sight words, saying that was all she would ever be capable of doing, and her frustration at the start of our time together was breaking her mother’s heart – and mine.)

Now, with over 20 years experience in all kinds of Montessori classrooms behind me, I want to make a truly simple and effective system available to any educators or parents who want to guide their children to learn or improve reading skills. The original system, including PDFs of reading materials, has now been used by hundreds of educators on at least 4 continents for over 10 years. And I’m getting ready to make it better.

As I start to do more work with schools in parts of the world where even printing out reading cards can break the budget, I’m adding some resources to our already effective program. Most importantly for those struggling to find the time or materials budget (or both!) to create the reading program they need, I’m streamlining the materials so you can make what your particular children or students really need and nothing more. That’s how this updated program came to be.

If you’d like to get the original system, and the new update, as well as time with me getting your questions answered personally (which is probably a one-time deal), you can buy the program now.

Souzzann

Montessori For Everybody

Another Way School

“Over the years, I incorporated the new things I was learning. I used my system, and new additions, to guide children of all ability levels to learn to read – including a 10-year-old student who entered my class a non-reader and left two years later reading simple chapter books. (Her previous teachers taught her to memorize 100 sight words, saying that was all she would ever be capable of doing, and her frustration at the start of our time together was breaking her mother’s heart – and mine.)”

Montessori Phonics and Home Reading Program

 

Reading well and spelling well require two very different learning strategies. With a strong visual memory foundation, children can learn to spell well much as they learn to ride a bike. Learn it once and you never need to learn it again. If they learn the set of behaviors that allow them to accurately remember words they see, those words are automatically stored whenever they read. Using the strategy, they accurately recall correct spellings when they write and to know when they need to double check a word.

You don’t need a spelling program or spelling materials. You only need a simple spelling strategy, taught in this program, and the skills and materials to guide children to become strong readers.

Reading with ease and understanding is a more complex skill but one that can be learned quickly. Children need to be taught the complete phonetic code of English, and good reading habits, in order to become good readers. When given these tools, children easily learn to master reading material classified as well above their grade level.

This manual walks you through a systematic approach to the entire phonetic code as well as the most effective spelling strategy. It gives you an organized, easy to master alternative to teaching dozens of high frequency, irregular words as “sight words.” Learn to teach your children essential sounding out skills and give them practice with words that will let them master the phonetic code.

Give children the building blocks of strong reading and spelling skills and books and writing become joyful ways to explore and express. Spare them from tiresome grade-
leveled reading material by giving them phonics skills that allow them to enjoy any book they choose.

What you get:

  • Overview chart of phonics sequence
  • Complete phonics program
  • Digital files with full set of exercises to print out
  • Letter sounds to reading mastery
  • Updated Pink, Blue, & Green system
  • Beginning grammar exercises
  • Works together with Montessori Language module
  • Over 2 1/2 hours of MP4 video instruction
  • Concise 50 page PDF manual
Phonics and Spelling for Everybody 1

Phonics and Spelling for Everybody Video and Manual Highlights

  • Phonics Principles for Everybody
  • Priniciples for Teachers, Tutors, and Mentors
  • Spelling Principles
  • Tricks and Pneumonics
  • Phonics Rules
  • Charts
  • The Process
  • Visual Spelling Strategy
  • Phonogram Charts & their use
  • Children’s Charts
  • Word Lists  Structure

Word Lists Activities

  • Word List A – Pink
  • Word List A – Blue
  • Word List A – Green
  • Phonetic Readers List A Supplement
  • Magic E Word List A Supplement
  • Top 12 Key Words & Top 20 Key Words Charts
  • High Frequency Words List A Supplement
  • Vowel Rules with Example Lists
  • Consonant Rules with Example Lists

Learning Materials for Students in Digital Format (PDF’s)

  • Phonogram Charts – 8
  • Secrets exercise – Pink, Blue & Green sets
  • Little Books (phonogram booklets)
  • Short Vowel Sounds
  • Long Vowel Sounds
  • Consonant Digraphs
  • Vowel Diagraphs
  • Collective Nouns Exercises
  • Sentence Completion Exercises
  • Word Label Cards for Objects – 600+
  • Word Label Cards for Pictures – 250
  • (matches Lakeshore set)
  • Compound Word Labels
  • First Keys to Books, Booklets – 3
  • Consonant Digraph Object Sorting Labels
  • Word Lists Activities Cards – 10
  • Word List Chests Labels
  • Word Lists
  • Pink with Cued Key Word and Illustration – 18
  • Pink Little Lists – 40
  • Blue with Cued Key Word and Illustration – 30
  • Blue Little Lists – 40
  • Green with Cued Key Word and Illustration – 30
  • Green Little Lists – 30
  • Key Words – 9
  • Magic E and 2 Vowels Lists – 18
  • Bingo Games – 9
  • Go Fish card sets – 3
  • Pink Flashcards set – Phonograms I, basic set
  • Blue Flashcards set – Phonograms I, full set
  • Green Flashcards set – Phonograms II
  • Pink Word Study – 4
  • White Word Study Little Lists – 20
  • White Word Study Big Lists – 20
  • Phonogram Sorting Pocket Cards – 18
  • Phonogram Sorting List Cards – 80
  • Grammar materials
  • Classroom Pink Nouns – 30
  • Classroom Verbs: Pink, Blue & Green – 90
  • Miniature Environment Labels – 350+
  • Pictures and Labels – Blue only
  • Cued Key Words and Illustrations Cards
  • Sorting Header Label Cards – Phonics and Grammar