Language – the key to self-expression – writing and reading

The Children’s House is a linguistically rich environment. Spoken language is a necessary tool so that children may communicate their thoughts, their feelings and their needs. As soon as children have a good grounding in oral language they are ready to further develop their linguistic abilities. Quite spontaneously, with confidence and joy they start developing their writing and reading skills.

In The Children’s House we offer children many possibilities for the development of their spoken language. Teachers as well as older children recount and read stories, recite and create poems, compose and sing songs. Children enjoy playing with riddles, tongue twisters and games with sounds and words. The teachers speak clearly, using rich and precise vocabulary, so that children quickly start to pick up all these words and learn to speak with clear enunciation.

Your children’s first contact with the letters of the alphabet will be sensorial. Once they have refined their sense of hearing and played a number of games enabling them to differentiate and enunciate clearly all the sounds that make up a word, they are introduced to the symbols of the sounds: the letters. Letters made out of sandpaper have been pasted on to small wooden boards. Children are able to trace the letters following the direction in which they are written, using their ‘writing fingers.’ Whilst they trace the letter, they say its sound. This combination of visual, tactile, auditory and motor stimuli responds directly to children’s interests and abilities at this age. For this reason they learn letters with ease and joy. Children soon discover that they can put their thoughts down on paper and read whatever kindles their interest.

Each step children take is accompanied by specific didactic material which prepares them for their next conquest! For example, in order to write we need to prepare the hand. We need hands and fingers which have been strengthened by use, so that they can hold a pencil and execute all those very fine movements required when forming our letters. The preparation of the hand began the very first day your children came to The Children’s House and were introduced to all the activities of Practical Life. When your children were cleaning a mirror or scrubbing a table, they were also preparing their hand for writing!