Literacy is one of the most important things a child will ever learn in their life and it is best mastered during the elementary years. It is a skillset that enables one to understand the loftiest ideas of humanity’s greatest thinkers and aids in the daily practical work of performing virtually any complex task. In our elementary program, students learn to read and write- to analyze and understand a wide array of written works and to express themselves clearly.
For a child to be prepared for every opportunity adulthood has to offer, they must become literate, and we take this charge very seriously. At Rhyme and Reason Academy, we work to ensure that every child, no matter the challenge, becomes literate.
The Montessori Method for teaching reading has been well established for over 100 years and is now backed by modern research on the science of reading. This is an explicit phonics program that children progress through at their own pace. Children receive one-on-one lessons and regular informal assessments to ensure the child is learning to read correctly, without guessing.
Emily Counts is a published author on Montessori and the science of reading and a paid speaker on the subject of evidence-based reading instruction.
Writing is an essential way to organize, clarify, develop, and communicate information and ideas. As children work to refine their writing and communicate increasingly complex ideas, they are also clarifying their own thoughts.
We teach that writing is not just a final product, but a process. Both small group lessons and individual instruction are given on brainstorming, outlining, drafting, revising, and editing. By the end of their elementary career, children can produce consistent high quality writing.
Children write everyday, across all areas of the curriculum. There are formal writing projects such as biographies, play scripts, persuasive essays, and research reports, and there is an abundance of informal everyday writing, such as taking notes, writing observations for a science experiment, managing a work journal, and so on.
A robust understanding of grammar allows students to express themselves clearly and creatively. When children explicitly learn grammar, they can apply this knowledge to the writing process. The study of grammar also aids reading comprehension, enabling students to analyze the complex thoughts of others.
Our grammar curriculum begins with a multi-sensory, hands-on approach with the grammar boxes, sentence analysis and verb study materials. Children physically manipulate words and symbols to playfully explore the importance of grammar.
In upper elementary, children are able to move beyond the manipulative materials and use the more abstract tool of sentence diagramming, unlocking language puzzles of unlimited length and complexity.
Vocabulary & Word Study
Having an extensive, rich vocabulary improves language comprehension for both writing and speaking. The more words a child is able to effectively use, the more they will be able to understand in all areas of the curriculum.
Vocabulary is taught through the word study material where children analyze prefixes, suffixes, and greek and latin roots. Technical and scientific words are taught during geometry, arithmetic and science lessons. so that ideas can be expressed with precision .
Although we live in an age where keyboarding is an indispensable skill, there will always be a need to write by hand. Handwriting can be done anywhere at any time- to only teach keyboarding would tragically limit the child to communicating through a machine only.
We aim for legible handwriting that is quick and economical. Cursive script is taught to children at all levels because the fluid motion is less painful and easier to form, letter reversals (such as b and d) are eliminated, and the continuous stroke creates clear distinctions between words for young children, which aids reading, writing, and spelling.