5) SENSITIVE PERIODS:
Through her observations, Dr. Montessori labeled two modes of early learning: unconscious (0-3) and conscious (3-6) learning, within which sensitivity for certain aspects of learning can be seen. For instance, waiting until age five or six to assist young children to read is too late. By waiting until late in their formative period (0-6) to begin preparation for reading, the child’s crucial years of keen hearing and great interest in sounds and letters have passed by. She found that young children, at ages 3 and 4, who play games with phonetic sounds are usually reading by 4 ½ or 5 years and have taught themselves to read. They step into the wonderful world of books and never leave it.