Should you introduce letters to your preschooler in their order in the alphabet? Surprisingly, no. There are actually better ways to introduce the letters of the alphabet.
In Montessori education, letters are introduced by phonetic sounds rather than letter names. And they’re not introduced in their order within the alphabet. Instead, they’re introduced in an order that allows the child to make many words with the letters he or she has learned.
Images in the collage are from the following posts:
- Free Dinosaur Printables and Montessori-Inspired Dinosaur Language Activities
- Free Moon Printables and Montessori-Inspired Moon Activities
- Reinforcing Letter Sounds with Phonics Songs
- Montessori-Inspired Phonics Activities Using Wooden Cubes and Free Printables
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.
Here’s the order used in Montessori schools where I worked (introducing the letters 2, 3, or 4 at a time) as well as suggested in Montessori Matters by Sister Mary Ellen Carinato et al:
s m t a p f c
r b l i g n d
h j k w o u v
y z x q e
Here’s the order suggested in How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way by Tim Seldin:
First set: c m a t
Second set: s r i p
Third set: b f o g
Fourth set: h j u l
Fifth set: d w e n
Sixth set: k q v x y z
Here’s an order used in some other Montessori schools:
First set: m s a t
Second set: b f o x
Third set: w i g l j
Fourth set: c u p z
Fifth set: h e n r d
Sixth set: v k q y
And here’s another order used by some Montessori schools:
First set: r a m f
Second set: b i t g
Third set: p o n l
Fourth set: h u s c
Fifth set: d e x q y
Sixth set: z v w j k
This order was suggested in the post “Are Sandpaper Letters Enough?” by Cathie Perolman at the Trillium Montessori blog.
Red- s, m, a, t
Orange- c, r, i, p
Yellow- b,f,o, g
Some Montessorians use one of the above orders but first introduce the first letter of the child’s name. Of course, that works best if the child’s name starts with a simple phonetic sound rather than a phonogram like “ch.”
See my post and YouTube video “Teach Letter Sounds to Your Child Using Montessori Principles” for more about order of introduction and how to pronounce each letter sound.
You’ll find many ideas for buying or making as well as presenting sandpaper letters in my “Inexpensive and DIY Sandpaper Letters” post.
You’ll find a more thorough list of Montessori phonics activities in my “DIY Beginning Montessori Phonics for Preschoolers.”
Learn more about my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to. Teach Grace and Courtesy! I’m also one of the coauthors of the book Learn with Play – 150+ Activities for Year-round Fun & Learning!
If this is your first time visiting Living Montessori Now, welcome! If you haven’t already, please join us on our Living Montessori Now Facebook page where you’ll find a Free Printable of the Day and lots of inspiration and ideas for parenting and teaching! And please follow me on Pinterest (lots of Montessori-, holiday-, and theme-related boards), Twitter (blog posts by me and others along with the Parent/Teacher Daily and other interesting information), and Google+ (post updates). You can find me on bloglovin’, Instagram, and YouTube, too.
And don’t forget one of the best ways to follow me by signing up for my weekly newsletter. You’ll get two awesome freebies (and a monthly subscriber freebie) in the process!