LEM phonics and Montessori and how we are doing it. Part 2

As I mentioned in Part 1, I had to think about how to incorporate Montessori self-directed techniques into our LEM programme.

This is how I’ve started to achieve this for our homeschool. Initially, when working with a new Lesson, this is something we need to work on together.

LEM Main Lesson

Lesson cards

The first thing I did was to put the lessons onto these cards in cursive, our font of choice.  I didn’t do all the words from the Word List book, only those that I needed to explain rules, as simple words would just bore Izaac.

LEM divides the Word List books in Sections and Lessons/Days. We’re in Section A, Lesson 5, which I put at the top of the card.


To add self-direction, for this lesson, I get Izaac to build the words using our two small moveable alphabet.  I love this part, because I can add letters, remove letters and generally show the rules.

Just to explain a bit about these lessons, for example the word ‘school’, LEM gets you to break the words into syllables.  And you put the dash between. Izaac and I broke down the word.  We looked at the phonogram ‘ch’ and tried to work out which number it was.  So for ‘ch’ it’s, ch-k-sh – this one is ‘k’, number 2 (oops we have the wrong number).  Then we look at the ‘oo’ sound.  The previous lesson (4) was explaining how you have a double ‘l’ after a short vowel.  So here, I put a double ‘l’ at the end of school and we worked out why this was not accepted, because the ‘oo’ phonogram is 2 vowels.

When we worked with the ‘wor’ phonogram, it was good to be able to remove the ‘w’ and explain the rule or ‘w’ in-front of the ‘or’ phonogram, makes the ‘wer’ sound.  I love how the Moveable alphabet cements this work.

So this is a lesson, that is very hands on, called ‘Lesson time’ – so Izaac should know to call me to do this lesson.

Rule cards

Rules card front

Rule card backEach of the rules I’ve made into Rule cards, so that we can review them as we go through the lessons.  At the back of each Word List book is a list of the rules and which Section/Day these rules are in.  So it was easy for me to work these out.

Self work

After a lesson, Izaac then works through the different lessons.

In this lesson, he reviews the Rule cards, he will need to ask me for the Dictation he needs to build.  I just look in the Word List book, as I’ve basically put these lessons onto these cards.  Then he goes to the BOB time (Back of Book) that I got from ‘Back to Basics’ and he self checks his work – just a card at the end of the work with the answers on.


I haven’t got this perfect yet. We still need to work out how to practice these word’s and then writing them into his Word List book. But at least for the new term we have something to go with that he can feel independent to work on.



And this is where it is all stored, with the Phonogram cards at the back.  I love how neatly this turned out.


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