Monday, April 08, 2013

A, B, C and 1, 2, 3

At the end of January I decided Katie needed a bit of extra structure in her day, so we started learning her letters. My goal was a letter a week which would take 26 weeks. Well, Katie wasn't satisfied with one letter and kept asking for more. So we did more. In two weeks she could identify all her letters(some with a bit of coaching) and the sound(s) each makes. Even some double letter combinations like "ow", "sh", "th" etc.

We've been using these flashcards that my mom had. I know they say not to teach kids who haven't started to read yet, but I disagree. I read in another phonics book about teaching kids sounds and their argument was that kids can know the whole alphabet, but not know the sounds the letters make. And they only make the sounds of their name, 10% of the time. Follow me? Anyways, Katie has been learning the sounds and the names of all the letters.

She loves to find letters in words and will pick them off signs as we're driving too. She hasn't made the connection that the letters makes words which you can read, but ya.. she's only three, so we're not pushing that! Shes knows that her name starts with 'K' and Emma's starts with 'E' and other names with their appropriate letter.

I've been trying to have a bit of schedule, so that after Emma goes to bed in the morning around 10am, we have coffee break and spend 1/2 hour or 45 minutes on her letters and activities. I bought a cute tracing book from Costco full of activities to trace in preparation for writing letters. I also printed some letter colouring pages which she likes. I haven't been that faithful in the last few weeks and she's been missing it.

She usually asks every day to do her "tivities" and letters. She also been learning her numbers here and there. She can count to 10 and has just made the connection to actually count items. She used to just randomly point and count to 10 every time, but she's now actually pointing to each item and counting them off and stopping when she's counted them all.  Exciting to see the connection made!

I've learned that so so so many moments are teaching moments; whether it's letters, numbers, attitude, general skills and most importantly if it's about Jesus. She just soaks up information and wants to know all the information surrounding it. She's not very content with vague answers. She is however easy to distract, so if something is just too complicated to explain we can usually grab her attention pretty easily with something else.

Unfortunately it's also so so easy to brush off those teachable moments because something else is going on or I'm busy with something. There are too many times where I just tell her to be quiet instead of taking the time to explain what's happening in the picture; too many times I tell her to go and do something else because I'm busy and don't have time to explain every single ingredient that's going into my bread, too many times that I ask Ben to just read 10ish verses of the Bible or close the meal with prayer and skip the Bible reading because the kids are cranky and crying and no one is going to hear anything anyways. But those teaching moments are so valuable and SO important; I need to just relax sometimes and not get my bread done in record time; sometimes we should just move to the living room for a change of scenery and then close the meal in peace mostly peace and quiet. Sometimes, no, all the time we need to ask, "Lord, what would you have me teach and learn today and in this moment?"


  1. Good Job Katie! :-) Brian read me a quote the other day "We spend the first two years of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk, and the next 18 years telling them to be quiet and be still."!

  2. I found that box of flashcards at ScholarsChoice in London in the late 1980's, but didn't use them until one of our kids had trouble with the regular phonics program we were using while homeschooling. Little Man and Little Lady seemed to do the trick, and we were off to the races. Give kids the right tools to de-code words, and they will be reading with accuracy before you know it and have a much easier time with spelling as well!

  3. A girlfriend of mine learned to sign and then taught that to her youngest who was to young to speak but wanted to still communicate with mom, as her older brother and sister were already talking.... so, never too early in my books, as long as the child is willing (this, spoken from a non-mom but a precocious child at heart)