I have been working with my daughter Theia for the last few days. Theia is just approaching two years of age. We have been using most of the early Montessori materials. Theia tends to voluntarily go to the shelves to choose what she wants to work with. What has struck me is the level of understanding she has for language.Recent research suggest that babies are practicing in their heads over and over the words they want to say when they begin to speak. We have noticed this with Theia. She is desperately trying to speak and we can even hear the stress on syllables but no clear words come out other than mama, dada, etc. Theia has been learning the sounds of letters via flashcards, sandpaper letters and a computer programme. She already identifies the letter sounds, s, m, t, a, o and c. Theia is our fourth child. We worked with all of the children but Theia arrived as a surprise package in our mid life. We have more time and more patience and we have more experience. It is difficult to juggle everything and keep the various websites and blog pages updated. I am also writing a book 'Make Your Own Montessori Classroom' which should be available by Christmas.