298 THE MONTESSORI METHOD
furnishings of a doll's house, balls, dolls, trees, flocks of sheep, or various animals, tin soldiers, railways, and an infinite variety of simple figures.
If writing serves to correct, or better, to direct and perfect the mechanism of the articulate language of the child, reading serves to help the development of ideas, and relates them to the development of the language. Indeed, writing aids the physiological language and reading aids the social language.
We begin, then, as I have indicated, with the nomenclature, that is, with the reading of names of objects which are well known or present.
There is no question of beginning with words that are easy or difficult, for the child already knows how to read any word; that is, he knows how to read the sounds which compose it. I allow the little one to translate the written word slowly into sounds, and if the interpretation is exact, I limit myself to saying, " Easter." The child reads more quickly the second time, but still often without understanding. I then repeat, " Easter, faster." He reads faster each time, repeating the same accumulation of sounds, and finally the word bursts upon his consciousness. Then he looks upon it as if he recognised a friend, and assumes that air of satisfaction which so often radiates our little ones. This completes the exercise for reading. It is a lesson which goes very rapidly, since it is only presented to a child who is already prepared through writing. Truly, we have buried the tedious and stupid ABC primer side by side with the useless copybooks !
When the ehild has read the word, he places the explanatory card under the object whose name it bears, and the exercise is finished.