Ethan hands me this piece of paper (shown above)
Ethan: Read the letter.
Me: Um, what does it say?
Ethan: (big sigh) It says, “Get me some cheese crackers.”
Me: I think it needs to say, “Please.”
Ethan: I can’t spell that word yet.
Me: Well, we will need to work on our letters then.
We are at a fun stage, developmentally speaking, with Ethan. He is taking an interest in writing and putting together words. I can see the beginning stages of reading in our future although the spelling of words can get pretty tedious as we have to write everything out together.
He really enjoys copying words off of boxes and in the books that he reads. The writing backwards thing is still working itself out, but he is doing so much better than he was. I think part of this still has to do with him being left-handed. Just a mommy theory though!
To help Ethan with his letters, we made a trip to the library and found a movie produced by the hooligans who take all my money (also known as the LeapFrog company). The movie is called, “The Letter Factory” and is all about teaching children their letters and their letter sounds.
I popped the movie in and watched the wonders of letters come to life with them. It was smartly written and reminded me of Richard Scarry and his tactics for teaching children their letters. It was so good that I made my husband sit down and watch it with us. We both were in amazement at how well it was written and the smart ways that they helped kids learn their letter sounds. The letter E for example was an old man who made the “Ehhhh” sound. The letter L licked a lollipop and made the “Llll” sound as he licked. In short, it was all the images and learning techniques that made the process of learning their letter sounds fun again.
Emily, at two, has been chanting all of her letter sounds to anyone who will listen. I went to Ethan’s parent teacher conference and had the teacher told me that out of all the children in the class, Ethan was the only one who knew all of his letter sounds. He learned all of those from that movie- I can’t even take credit for it.
The kids loved it and watched it for three weeks, until it had to be returned to the library. I applied a gift card and Easter money towards the entire five collection set from the company and am eagerly awaiting their arrival as much as my kids.
I thought I would share this experience because I always appreciate when other parents point out to me products that really work, especially when it comes to educating my children. We are just in the beginning stages though and I am sure others have some great recommendations.
Sound Off: As we venture into this new world of reading and spelling, I am interested in finding out what tools you used to help your children. Are there any sites that you frequent for printables? Do you have any book or movie recommendations? How do you foster a love for reading in your kids?