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The Montessori Three Period Lesson is a great place to start when you are keen to commence early learning with your child at home.

In previous blogs I cautioned about teaching young children in a direct way, as this will likely cause resistance.

The Three Period Lesson proceeds sequentially, avoiding any testing of the child’s ability until you are sure you are asking him something he has already grasped.

Important – Before starting with your child, read the lesson below and practise it yourself, so that you are ready to use it as the best teaching tool for children aged 21/2 to 5 years.

The Three Period Lesson

This technique for naming is divided into three periods.

Period #1

We give the name, for example –

This is “s” showing the card with “s” and saying the sound phonetically.

This is done with any three cards.

For example – “e”, “m” and “t”.

Period #2

This period is designed for continuous interaction between the name and the symbol or sound.

The child associates the name with the appropriate experience.

We work hardest in this period. After naming the sound we ask for them by name.

For example –

“Can you show me “t”?

“Can you give me “m”?

Much repetition is worked in by changing the position of the cards, such as from “e”, “m”, “t” to “m”, “t’, “a” and then ask again, “Show me…….”

This is the period where we have to sustain the child’s interest in the lesson.

After sufficient experience in the second period we go to the next.

Period #3

This period is a kind of test

We could ask, “Remember what we called this?”

We ask the child to say the sound, the phonetic sound, and even if he mispronounces it we don’t correct him.

If he gives an incorrect response we go back to the previous periods. We don’t say he is incorrect.

We try to do all three periods in the initial lesson.

You can also use the Three Period Lesson to teach young children the names of numbers, colours, and objects.

I  encourage you to learn with your child in an enjoyable way and following their enquiry.

If you suggest something and they are not interested, this is an indication that the child is not yet fertile ground for that information.

It is best to work sequentially. There is no gain in being ambitious because the child will learn effortlessly if the work is presented as described and at the right time in his development.

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