Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Apr1_Spelling

This post is for tomorrow's discussion at ABC and 123 Picnic. At her ripe old age of 2 years and 7 months Anna knows her ABC pretty well. In fact, her preschool teachers (she goes to the class that has kids age 2-5) has commented to us several times with surprise that she consistently trumps her older classmates in ABC activities. That's why we don't really do any targeted "letter-of-the-week" activities outside of occasional discussion of the letters we encounter and the sounds they make. She sort of understands letter-sound correspondence, but it didn't move her any closer to actual sounding words out yet - when she is not interested in something, she wouldn't budge. But what we did we do to encourage her interest earlier? Well, here is the short list:

Very early exposure to letter shapes -our nursery decor was based on ABCs. My husband personally selected the fabrics and sewn pillowcases and curtains (I mentioned before that he is the crafty one in our family).

A lot of ABC and word books before she was one - I have described our favorites for that age in my earlier post.

Computer Time - while I don't believe in educational TV programming (because it's not interactive), computer is different in my mind, because we play on it together. Even though, all forms of electronic entertainment combined are limited to max of 30 min a day in our house. I cannot say enough about Starfall - we started doing "letter of the day" there (for about 10 min a day) when Anna was about 9 months. I also tried various games with her - the only one that we both liked for a while was Reader Rabbit Playtime.

Tactile activities - playing with foam letters, sticker letters, magnetic letters (we intentionally bought only lowercase, because many parents focus too much on uppercase alphabet) making letters out of play-doh, out of sticks, etc.

As our daughter got older, we progressed to more story-like ABC books like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Dr Seuss's ABC. However, our favorite ABC book turned out to be this one. I believe firmly that emotional intelligence is as important to young children (and to adults) as knowing their ABCs or learning to read.

13 comments:

Crystal said...

Great ideas! I really like your tactile activities and have tried many of them. I am excited to try starfall with both of my girls-I think they will really like. Also thanks for your nice comments on my blog.

Raising Smart Girls. said...

I used the foam letters in the bath along with measuring cups and plastic serving spoons and would make "alphabet soup" in the tub with the kids. They ate it up!

Kristi said...

Your favorite book looks really cute. My youngest would love it! Thanks for the recommendation.

Diana said...

Thanks for the good ideas. I used to teach kindergarten, and we taught only the lower case letters first, then quickly reviewed the upper case letters after learning the whole alphabet. It really helped get them confident to write and read independently earlier.

Katie said...

Thanks for the valuable post! I was interested in your comments about computer time vs. tv time. I've been struggling with the computer issue lately, trying to decide how I feel about it. It is still "screen" time, which I feel should be limited...but it is more interactive.

Kristiana said...

I put that book on our wish list to get soon! Thanks for the recommendation!
What I love about your blog is I ALWAYS learn something!

Mama King said...

Hi stopping by from the picnic! I agree early exposure is wonderful!

DairyQueen said...

we love starfall too! I'm going to have to try some of the other ideas :)

Kristal said...

I love starfall too!

Thanks for visiting my blog!

MaryAnne said...

I definitely agree with you on the importance of emotional intelligence!

I keep hearing great things about Starfall, I really need to check it out.

Keri said...

that ABC book looks really fun and personable- i am going to have to see if i can find one!

Eva said...

Thanks for sharing these ideas! I think my daughter will love starfall :) and I will try doing tactile activities too :)

Katie said...

I had a hard time deciding about using the computer, but we make it a point to make it very interactive and we do everything with her. So she is not sitting in front of the screen without us, that makes me feel better about the computer time.