A little background first. Bella was tongue tied at birth, meaning that the little tissue that holds our tongue down to the bottom of our mouth went all the way to the tip of her tongue. This made it hard for her to feed when she was a baby, so we took her to an ENT and had that tissue snipped so her tongue could move. She was only 5 days old at the time, so it was fixed pretty quickly, but it still added some complications to her development.
When she was around 2, we felt her language wasn't developing at the same speed as her peers, so we had her evaluated by early intervention. She started speech therapy, and we had her hearing evaluated. That was when we found out she had significant hearing loss due to fluid in her inner ears. She had to have tubes placed, and her hearing tested out normally after just a few months. But, given her physical limitations during her 2nd year, her speech is still lagging. She's catching up quick, and is now doing speech therapy with the school department in our town.
Many of the activities we do in the Montessori curriculum we coordinate based on what we're working on in speech therapy. Our first big challenge was the hard 'C' or 'K' sound. Therefore, the first Object boxes we worked with a lot were those letters. They included carrot, cup, comb, cow, cone, kazoo, and kangaroo. In the past 2 weeks, she's finally nailed that sound, and we're SUPER excited about it. But, no rest for the weary. We're moving on to the 'S' sound.
Our S object box includes a spoon, spatula, starfish, strawberry, and soap. First, I go through and name each object for her, let her hold it, let her try saying it, help her correct her pronunciations, and then I put everything away, giving her a chance to do it by herself.
|The starfish is her favorite, one from my personal Swarovski crystal collection- using this instead of plastic allows her to learn to be gentle with beautiful and fragile objects|
It's tough to film my part of the presentation, but here is Bella tackling it by herself.
Notice she keeps looking at me. She's a little unsure of whether she's saying it right, so she's looking for me to smile or nod to give her the reassurance. Ideally, I want her to find satisfaction from her own pursuits, a key Montessori concept. So, ideally she'd be working on her own without much input from me. But sometimes I have to be more involved. As she gains confidence in an activity, I slowly back off. It's wonderful to see her taking pride in her own work, and awesome to be able to combine her speech therapy with her Montessori work. Any new angle to work on sounds is welcome.
The boxes are still a work in progress, and I may still break down and buy a set once we're settled at the new house. Anyone know of a place where they sell just certain sounds separately instead of as a big set?