Photo Credit: Picture Book
Being home, watching our sons grow every minute of the day, is my wish but reality is both mommy and daddy have to work. As such, both of our boys have been in child care since 3 months of age. I’ve discussed in the past how much I love our sons’ child care program. It’s so much more than just a “day care center.” The school has been a huge part of their lives and has played such a big role in their development as confident and happy kids. My 2 1/2 year old never stops learning new things. In the evenings, he is brimming with joyful stories about his friends, teachers, and what he has learned that day.
I’m particularly pleased with the program’s curriculum – challenging the babies and toddlers and providing activities and opportunities that both stimulate and enriches their eager, curious little minds. In my older sons’ classroom they are learning to identify the alphabet as well as identify numbers. Though I’m satisfied with what he is learning at school I realized that I need to also be following up with these teachings at home. So I recently decided I would help in teaching Chase to read. You see, I’ve been a pretty lazy parent up til now – reading a couple of bed time stories in the evening but doing little else beyond that. My mom and dad taught me and my sisters to read at age 3 years old, and my older sister’s son was reading before 4 as well. Both my parents and my sister worked with us/him, which is how it happened. I think I was hoping this would just magically happen for my son at around 3, based on what he is learning at school and a couple of books at night. But I realize it’s going to take a little more on my part if I want him to have a head start like the one I had. I realized I need to do more!
So now in the evenings, during our bedtime routine, we “do letters” (as he calls it.) Using our magnetic chalk board we’re practicing identifying his upper case letters. It’s something he was familiar with from school but as yet hadn’t mastered. Once he’s got that, we’ll move on to lower case letters… then phonemes. I am excited that he is taking to it so well! We’re in Week 3 of our “letter games” and he already knows letters A-D. Yeaaah!!! We’re having fun with it, and I’m trying hard to keep it light and pressure-free. We’re taking it slow, as I don’t want him to ever stop feeling like it’s “fun,” but I’m (secretly) hoping by his 3rd birthday in January that he’s got his upper and lower case letters down, and beginning to learn their associated sounds. He may or may not be reading before age 4, as I was, but I feel really good in knowing that I’m now being proactive about making sure his literacy skills are right where they need to be – and that he’s having a fun time along the way.
Has anyone else worked with their preschooler on pre-reading skills, and what advice do you have if any?