Tuesday, October 2, 2012

You'll Thank Me When You're Literate

I've been debating for a while about when I should more formally introduce the alphabet to Doug. In my b.c. life (before children) I used to teach children to read.  Additionally, I love to read myself, so literacy is something that is near and dear to me. I put it off for a while to get potty training off the ground (still very much a work in progress). But Doug is now very interested in letters and mostly can sing the ABC song.*

Last week I was inspired by Jeff's cousin's blog. Alli is doing a theme every month and starting the theme with a box with items in that theme. That really sounded like fun and got my creative juices flowing. I decided that I would introduce a letter by putting items that began with that letter in a box, along with a coloring page, courtesy of  Sesame Street printables and a large foam letter (left over from our large alphabet mat. What a pain in the butt that was).

I have various other actives and crafts planned to go along with this. After we looked in the 'A' box this morning, there was a letter 'A' hunt. I had printed out twelve large and differently colored 'A's and stuck them around the basement for Doug to hunt for. When he came down the stairs and saw the first one, he proclaimed, "That's letter A!" (thanks you, Sesame Street). I thought each day we'd do a 15-20 minute activity involving the letter and spend a week or two on each letter. He's grasped 'A' rather quickly, so I think we may only spend one week on it. In addition to learning the symbol (I'm only showing him the capital letter right now) we're also learning the short vowel sound for the vowels. If he only comes out of this with a knowledge of the letter names, however, I'll be happy. I mean, he's only two and a half. So far so good with the short 'A' sound though. I've also decided to use Sesame Street videos about various letter skits (today it's 'A's Anatomy'). It's actually letter 'A' week on their website!

Here's some pics of learning in action:

I decided, just for the first time, I'd gift wrap the box (I'm awful at wrapping. If you get something from us that's nicely wrapped, Jeff did it.). Initially, I thought Doug would be mighty pissed off unwrapping a box of his own toys, but he was quite excited.

 And yes, we're still totally in our pjs. It's a rainy Tuesday morning.

Here Doug is examining the contents of his 'A' box.

Doug has found his first letter 'A' on his 'A' hunt! He totally loved this activity. 

So far so good :)

*As an educator, one of my biggest pet peeves is when an adult proclaims a child "knows their ABCs", when what they actually know is the song, not the sound to symbol relationship, which is far, far more important.  End of rant.