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Letter Recognition: Seeking Your Advice

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A Heart For Home: Letter Recognition: Seeking Your Advice

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Letter Recognition: Seeking Your Advice

Tim and I have been talking recently about being more intentional with teaching Emahry (age 3) the letters of the alphabet. She has expressed an interest in the sounds that letters make and how they are combined to make words.

While I have a degree in Elementary Education, my only experience teaching was in the fifth grade where, thankfully, my students had already grasped the fundamentals of reading.

We've already decided that we want to begin with lower case letters as they make up the large bulk of printed material. We are also thinking that it would be best to begin with a couple of vowels and a few consonants that can be combined to make several words. However, we have not determined which letters specifically or what activities we are going to use to teach the letters.

We would greatly appreciate any advice you can give us on how to go about beginning this process. Please, keep in mind that we are on a very limited income, so items that are free or can be used over and over would be best. Also, remember that we have three children three and under so activities need to be easy to prepare and execute. Oh, it would also be great if Jonathan (20 months) could participate as well.

Specifically:
~which letters to begin with,
~how to progress through the alphabet,
~books to read together (alphabet, specific letters, etc.),
~activities to teach and reinforce,
~and anything else you think would be helpful!
If you have a post on your blog or know of any good information available on the web, please leave a link. We'd love for the comments section of this post to become a library of wonderful ideas.

If we use your idea and post about it here, we'll be sure to give you credit and link to your blog :)
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4 Comments:

Blogger Kristin said...

All of my kids are in different stages of reading. Gavin can read, though it is still a challenge for him. Maddie knows all her letter sounds and is beginning to put them together into words. Owen knows all the letter names and sounds and has a large pile of sight words he is able to read and put into sentences. (We tried a different approach with him based on his learning style.) And then there is Benjamin who recognizes letters on the page (as opposed to scribbles or shapes) and calls all letters "ABs."

The thing I've learned most from teaching them is that each child latches on to different ideas and each child learns at a different pace. Seems obvious, but I was surprised to see how quickly Owen caught on, yet how much time the older two needed to grasp concepts.

I also believe that most learning can be done cheaply or free by teaching naturally. Point out letters in books. Write out words on paper or with refrigerator letters. (That's how Owen learned his letters at age 1!) Talk about the sounds in their names. Be creative.

If you want to use the phonics approach, we found that the short "a" sound was a good base. So many little fun words can be made around that...cat, hat, bat, car, star, tap, nap...

If you want to use the sight word approach, just start with 3-4 words (written on index cards) that the child loves and has a fondness for. Train, banana, and car were some of Owen's first reading words. Tell the child what they say and have them repeat them while looking at the card. Once the child can say those by looking, add more words. You will be amazed at the rapidity at which little children can remember the words...and how easily they find the words in other written sources.

May 23, 2010 at 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I found an interesting article by a developmental psychologist: When and how can I teach my toddler to read?

May 24, 2010 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

I've read some great posts on this at The Joy of Homemaking. http://godlyrose.blogspot.com/
I'm looking for the same thing right now. How old is Emahry?

May 24, 2010 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Me and Mine in a Small Town said...

What a great blog!! I'm following now!

http://meandmineinasmalltown.blogspot.com/

May 25, 2010 at 7:48 PM  

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