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How to Teach Kindergarten Reading Remotely or at Home – Montessori Style

Updated: Jul 8, 2020

You are probably here because you have watched our YouTube video on how Arborland teaches reading remotely to our preschool and kindergarten students (link: You may be a parent interested in homeschooling your child or a kindergarten teacher curious to find out how other teachers are doing remote teaching.

At Arborland, we have always believed in the traditional Montessori philosophy of “following the child” and as a result our preschool and kindergarten students (hereafter called primary students) have always enjoyed 1:1 personalized lessons from their Montessori trained teachers. That has not changed with our shift to remote learning!

In the YouTube video mentioned above, our Montessori teacher, Maestra Vallejo, engages her kindergarten student, Jaylen, in a 60 minute 1:1 lesson focused on reading. How does she do it? You are about to find out!


The sight words are a collection of words that a child should learn to recognize without sounding out the letters. Sight words build speed and fluency when reading.

Remote Teaching Tip

At Arborland, our curriculum includes 6 sets of about 20 sight words each. Teachers use the flashcard method of help the child memorize the words without sounding them out, as can be seen in the YouTube video. The child will work on the same set repeatedly until he/she can pass all the words with fluency. The child writes missed words on a separate sheet of paper while saying the words out loud to help in memorization of the word.

Homeschooling Tip

Google a list of “sight words” according to your child’s age. Write them out on index cards as flashcards. Have your child practice 10-20 at a time, depending on your child’s concentration. Your child can practice with an older sibling or even play a game of Memory. Have your child write down 3 that he/she missed on a piece of paper. Your child can independently copy the word 5-10 times while saying the word out loud to help in memorization of the word.


Montessorians teach beginning reading through phonics, using the sounds of letters to create words. Thus the word “cat” would be “kuh-a-tuh” instead of “see-ey-tee.”

Remote Teaching Tip

At Arborland, our curriculum includes a few different phonetic reading series, including the series that features the book from the YouTube video. The series starts from short vowel words, to long vowel words, to blends and diagraphs, all isolated to practice one specific phonetic skill at a time. “Here Comes the Bride” focuses on blending two letters together, like “fr” or “gr.” Our teachers scanned the books digitally and used screen share to read with the students.

Homeschooling Tip

There are a lot of book sets that claim to be phonics based for beginners. The reality is that truly breaking down books to isolate one phonetic skill at a time is very difficult. While Paw Patrol or Peppa the Pig phonics box sets may be great for readers who are already blending and working on diagraphs, if your child a truly a beginning reader, try the “Bob Books” to at least get a sense of how to break down reading phonetic books.


Reading comprehension is the ability to process text, understand its meaning, and to integrate with what the reader already knows. What is the point of reading if you don’t understand what the book was about?

Remote Teaching Tip

At Arborland, our curriculum includes reading comprehension worksheets that go along with the reading series. With remote teaching, the teacher will send home any materials needed once a week and this will often include a comprehension worksheet. The teacher will go over the directions with the child but the child is expected to complete the worksheet independently at home.

Homeschooling Tip

If you do not have access to pre-made worksheets, you can search the internet for related activities. One free source for the “Bob’s Books” is This Reading Mama. Or you can create your own. Remember that comprehension can even mean matching a word to a picture that can be easily printed from a computer. Don’t have a printer? Ask your child to draw what happened in the story and tell you about his/her picture!


Once a child can recognize words by reading, the next challenge is to produce words on his/her own. Spelling not only aids in reading but also helps cement the connection that is shared between sounds and letters.

Remote Teaching Tip

For remote teaching, Arborland teachers have continued to use the movable alphabet due to its familiarity for the students. Teachers present picture cards or actual objects and students spell by phonetically sounding out each letter. The teacher chooses the sound provided, sometimes purposely choosing an incorrect sound to make sure the child is paying attention, and places it in camera view as completed in the YouTube video.

Homeschooling Tip

Don’t have a moveable alphabet at home? No problem! Print and cut lower case letters at home from a template or use red/blue markers to write letters on quartered index cards. The goal is to have movable letters for the child to put together like a puzzle and matching picture cards of phonetic words. Your child will have fun doing this independently! After the words are all spelled correctly, have your child write the words on a separate sheet of paper.


The fifth way the YouTube video showcases reading strategies is through a hands-on activity we like to do called “Cut & Paste.” It is another great way to engage children to read words, check their understanding, and even learn some new vocabulary as well.

Remote Teaching Tip

This is another material that needs to be sent home prior to the actual lesson. Arborland teachers have templates of pictures and their corresponding words based again on the level of the child. The beginning cut and paste use the short vowel “a” with words and pictures for “cat,” “hat,” “sat,” etc. In the YouTube video, Jaylen is working on compound words that again blend letters like “lk” and “tr.” Once the child cuts out the words and pictures, he/she glues the matching ones together on a separate sheet of paper.

Homeschooling Tip

Once again, the internet has a bunch of printable materials that can be used for this work. If you don’t find something appropriate for you child, you can always find pictures online and type matching words to print as well. Once your child gets the hang of this activity, he/she can generally do it independently. Your child can also do the same words and pictures multiple times until he/she masters them independently. Make sure to use child-safe scissors and prepare a surface that glue can easily be cleaned up off of. Add another layer of fun? See if your child wants to color the picture after or even draw his/her own pictures!

We hope this helps you understand how to help your preschool or kindergarten child read more at home or even apply this to your own remote teaching! Happy reading!!

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