Reading is an ability which develops during the Sensitive Period for Language, fro prenatal hearing to the ‘Explosion into Reading’, around the age of five. Reading is an extension of the development of Vocabulary, the child discovers how a known word looks in graphic form after she has become a fluent speaker and has benefited from indirect and direct Enrichment Activities, the Three Period Lesson, Language Training and Writing. It is impossible to read an unknown word meaningfully, in the Casa a child begins to read at around four years, some eight to ten months after beginning to write with the Moveable Alphabet, at around three to three and a half years. Children are never asked to read from the Moveable Alphabet and parents need to be discouraged from asking them to read, instead children should be left to arrive at reading on their own, with enjoyment, excitement and a love of reading.
Whilst writing is an analysis of one’s own ideas, reading is the analysis and synthesis; this requires a great deal more mental effort and a maturing knowledge of culture. In the Casa all reading is ‘Total Reading’, not simply the mechanical sounding out of graphemes, which is begun with the Sound Paper Letters, but involves the comprehension and enjoyment of the thoughts, sentiments and style of the author, an appreciation of vocabulary, word order, patterns and rhyme. Books should be offered to the very young child and she should be allow to follow her own interest in any subject to help her develop an appreciation of language as an artistic and cultural activity.
The Process of Reading
Reading begins with the unknown thought of another in graphic form. Firstly, the graphemes be recognisable, then the child relates the phonemes to the grapheme, then she fuses the phonemes and if the word is know to her the fused sounds are associated with the words meaning. Lastly the child needs to make the precise meaning of the word fit it’s...