Montessori Elementary Homeschool Blog - with documentation of our infant Montessori, toddler Montessori, and primary Montessori experiences; as well as preparation for the upcoming adolescent Montessori homeschool years.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Learning to Read - Montessori

I've been asked a lot lately about learning to read the Montessori way.

Well, there are two lines you could follow (and could partly overlap) - I tried both and ended up sticking with just one. It was easier to choose one or the other ;) Besides, with Montessori, you provide the keys, the main tools, and then there is the rest of the world to explore based on particular needs, interests and temperaments, using whatever individual components of anything else that make sense, fit and enhance the provided keys.

We officially tried:
  • AMI (similar, not identical to Muriel-Dwyer)
  • Pink/Blue/Green/Purple
and dabbled in others, including non-Montessori (this was a partial requirement, ie for my tutoring children).

Short post: We do not use the pink/blue/green (now purple too) series; my son never used it, though my daycare/tutoring children were my experiment with it. We used the AMI approach, which is more similar to Muriel-Dwyer but NOT identical, and we used the pink/blue/green cards in other ways.

The AMI way is a combination phonics/whole language that gets the children reading for real, very naturally. The lack of emphasis on 3 letter CVC words is FANTASTIC - as, if a child can read phonetically, he can read 10 letter phonetic words with the same ease as a 3-letter word. And once he knows some puzzle words - he is off and running!

I just could not wrap myself around the pink/blue/green/purple series. I do have some album pages now (thank you to the kind soul who shared them with me :) ), but I've not had a chance to really comb through them as carefully as I would like.

Now, I want to be clear - I am SURE it works for others. I think it is SO widely known because of AMS and other Montessori groups utilizing and promoting it. I am SURE it works! It just didn't fit for us, specifically me ;)  For ME, I have to agree with my trainer on this one, now that I'm further down the line (see tomorrow's post!).

Ginni Sacket has a GREAT series of YouTube videos that lead from the beginning activities for language into the first activity with the phonetic object box when the child makes the realization that he can read. I wish it went further than that, but I LOVE the content of these videos.


  1. I've not heard of the purple????

  2. Just to follow-up with this:

    I have seen some (not all) providers of materials adding a purple level to the pink/blue/green series, hence I note it here. It's not as prevalent yet though.