FUN (with Souns Cookies), Anyone?


Another great gathering with Souns families! Measurable progress is being made and critical learning for us in how to best prepare parents to implement the Souns program in the home. Watching children explore and learn letter-sound associations through play informs one of more natural paths to writing and reading.

One of the parents surprised us with a plate of homemade /o/m/s/t/ cookies. The children eagerly chose a sound, “I have an /o/,” giggling as they ate. What a fun way to engage children with letter-sounds.

Another family who could not attend this morning’s workshop sent us images or their child working with Souns at home. She spent the morning lining up her many stuffed animals to teach them Souns. It is interesting that this is an activity often engaged in by young Souns kids.

We viewed a video on music and movement for infants and toddlers, readying for a workshop where we will introduce simple creative ways to include music and movement into a child’s world.






Little animals all lined up for their Souns lesson! Guess who is doing the learning?

Pave Road To Literacy With Play!


Children are our teachers! Observing how they learn teaches us how learning happens best…for any age. To build literacy, play is the way for children to learn the fundamentals of print. We can shelve all the manuals, the quick fixes, the how-to’s, and the flash cards, and follow the child to what is needed. Intentional activities that are play-based, meandering by design with the exploring mind of the child, teach us how specifically the hand defines the brain. Every detail is measured and absorbed. Be still, watch, and you will see.

A playful day with one of the families:

We had such great weather last weekend, we were able to get outside a bit. My daughter loves to play with chalk, so my husband and I drew out her souns on the driveway. We asked her (and each other) to go stand, sit, hop, whatever we could think of on her souns. We all had a blast!

We will be exploring with the child as we get our hands into some play dough. The recipe link:

One parent’s approach to this recipe:

I used the regular recipe with 1/2 cup of cranberry juice and 1/2 cup of water (and no essential oils) and it came out a very pretty pink. I keep it in an airtight container; I made it over a month ago and it’s still fine. Like I mentioned in class, my husband and I have fun with it but my daughter really won’t touch it (yet).

Till next time:photo-196


T w i l i g h t – “It IS a poem!”


Be still, observe your child! Watch that little developing mind explore, examine, attend to every nuance in the world around it. You will be in awe at the attention to details. The extended gaze, the second glance, the questioning look, the twinkle of confirmed knowledge, the determination – all threaded by no more than a string, a crack, an ant,  a shadow, a drop of water, or a new face. Every piece of life matters in the construction of the brain. This building of a person offers no trailer, no quick view, no short cuts. There is no time when the brain is not learning (P. Wolf).  The senses are the tools that feed the brain, and they must be allowed to do their work. Gently watch your child, and he or she will show you who they are in their endless quest to become that unique bundle of talents they have unfolding within them.

The “poem” above is one mind telling us its story. Young children have SO much to say. Are we listening? Are we watching? Are we willing to be amazed?

The “poem” is from a Souns child that had just turned 5. 

It Is Through The Hands That We See


Another beautiful morning observing, discussing, and exploring “child” at Counterpane’s Free Early Literacy Workshops. Follow the hands and find learning. Information about “the hand and the brain” can be found in Lillard and Jessen’s Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three.


What Does Early Literacy Look Like?


Counterpane’s Early Literacy Workshop – a community outreach for families of children 0-36 months – brings Moms, Dads, and their little ones together to share stories about Souns and parenting. During our last get-together we watched a short video encouraging parents to foster independence for their children in the home environment. Today’s harvest included one family who avoids the before dinner chaos by having their young child set the table. She loves it! Another celebrated their new “dishwasher”  –  all that is needed is a stool and happiness prevails with, “I want to do ALL the dishes!” This story was shared by the mother that, after the previous meeting, emailed the following –

Yes!! We are really enjoying the program as well… I call Nicholas my “I’ll do it” child And I spend all day trying to stop him from doing it himself. So as a parent I feel refreshed and pressure free, by giving in to this idea of, if he wants to do it, then… Let Him Do It”!!! It is almost Liberating!! Lol 

Then there was the delightful onion story. One mom was fixing dinner and her little son saw the sliced onions on the counter and targeted one piece, taking it in his hands and exclaiming, “Ahhh! This is ahh!” He has indeed learned the most common sound for the “o.”  He refused to let his mom cook the ahhh.

Souns is an amazing program and seeing these children want to match the sounds they knew with the sounds I wrote on the board and wipe specific sounds off  the board brings smiles to all of us.  Little hands placing each Souns symbol in the basket during clean-up is proof that play is the best way to teach. Reading builds vocabulary and Souns builds letter-sound associations. The desire for independence came in these little packages of humanity. The same drive for independence that wants to sweep the floor, wash a dish, crack an egg can be experienced with the symbols of our print. Just give the real tool – letter- sounds! The most magic words are, “I can do it myself!”



I M A G I N E their future!


Counterpane’s Early Literacy Workshop is FREE to families in the community with infants/toddlers 0-36 months. Parents are introduced to the Souns program, play with their children, and share experiences with Souns and parenting.

This week’s meeting began at 9:30 A.M. and included a portion of a NAMTA video on the toddler community in the Montessori environment. The purpose was to discuss ways parents can support a child’s independence at home. Letting a toddler pour his own juice or remove eggs from a carton may result in a spill or a clean-up opportunity – a small price to pay for the self-worth attained by being allowed to do it him/herself. Provide the time, space, and conditions required for a little person to learn, “I can do it myself!” It may not come as words, but as a huge smile on that tiny face.

Our meetings have the added joy of Counterpane Interact Club students volunteering to engage with the little ones using Souns. We are enriching young lives and building parents of tomorrow.

The next meeting is Friday, February 8th, at 9:30 in the morning in Counterpane’s Souns room. We have a few openings, so share the idea, consider the possibilities, and email if you have interest in joining us or initiating a Souns Early Literacy Workshop, email

Here is a link of interest:

A must read for parents: Children the Challenge by Rudolf Dreikurs