Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Gracie Learns the Alphabet

Gracie has decided she wants to learn the alphabet. I don't mean the song - with the exception of her off-key singing of 'H-I-K-Bay-L-M-N-O-P,' she knows the song well. But recently, Gracie has made the connection between the letters in the song and the writing on the pages of books, and wants to know everything there is to know about letters, including the sounds and how to write them.

For the most part, I'm an excited and proud mother. I love when Gracie shows interest in learning things. But I'm also frustrated because Gracie shuts down easily and often decides that she wants to do things her own way -- when she doesn't have a clue what she is doing.

We have, so far, made it through the letters A, a, B, and G. I was worried the other day, that some of the letters would be too hard for her and her 3-year-old fine motor skills, so I asked around the Etsy forums about which letters are easiest to teach preschool-aged children... and learned to start her with O, S, M, P, and T as they are easier to write and make sound connections with.

Gracie also helped me make double-sided alphabet flashcards so she can make the connections between the letters of the alphabet and the sounds of things she's familiar with.

They are kind of silly, but she loves them, and whatever works is a-okay.

Yesterday, the two of us ran some errands and while we were waiting in line, Gracie stared intently at the sign in front of us.

"I see a letter A, Mom," she said. I took a look and sure enough, Gracie was pointing to capital A. One of the proudest moments in my parenting to date.

Though we have a LONG way to go - and, as Gracie gets frustrated very easily, I don't want to pressure her one bit - I'm just so excited that my little girl wants to do more than just play Barbies all day. I have always had such a love for reading and I really hope that Gracie can love words and reading just as much as I do. Hopefully before long, she will be reading bedtime stories to me every night. I can't wait!

Moms out there, feel free to share your own alphabet teaching stories and reading suggestions with me, as I'm always eager to hear about what worked for other parents and their children.



Leah said...

so cute! I'm sure before too long I'll be reading about how Gracie is reading out loud to you :)

Mia Of Mia's Graphic Designs said...

Awww, that's too cute! Hope it continues to go well! :)
Love your blog, btw! :)

Whimsical Creations said...

how cute!! It is a very proud moment when your child actually sees letters and words in the world around them.

Elaine said...

Way to go you guys! I, too, was an early reader (around 4 I was reading regular school books and chapter books by the start of school).

Imagine my frustration when my daughter, who loved to have stories read to her, showed a complete inability to read the simplest words! Right until third grade we struggled with reading the simplest, one syllable words in either language we speak.

Then, one day, she decided as she did with many milestones that she would read and she struggled through one book, then another, and another. These days she's exactly on par for her grade level.

She's in fifth grade now and we're working on the writing part of the struggle!

Sewinggranny - Mona said...

It is so much fun with they are learning....grandson loved to try and read before school now we are struggling to get him to read! He also tries to do it his way!

Renee toeNja said...

Cute story. We started with the letter t.

Oh Mandie! said...

Yay Gracie! I bet you are one proud Momma right now!

We did homemade flash cards too! And she'll have such a jump when she starts school!

Congrats to your little learner!

Janna said...

We started with Zach when he was around 20 months. We bought a set of foam letters to play with in the bath. Every night, we played with the same 5 letters until he could point to the ones we named and also name the ones we showed him. By the time he turned 2, he knew them all. I have attempted to start the same technique with Lane, who is now 20 months, but Zach is usually in the bath and won't let Lane have a turn. So, now that Zach is in kindergarten, I have a puzzle with wooden letters and I am showing Lane A,B,C,D, and E right now. He seems to know A, but not the rest yet. We've been at it for 3 days. I only spend about 5-10 minutes a day on it.

Amber Dawn said...

How sweet! My little guy, 3 also, is doing very well learning the alphabet but he wants no part of writing yet. He loves his magnetic letters though and the new TAG reading pen is helping a lot too. In the first book we got there are pages with just the aphabet and the pen will ask him to point to various letters. If he gets it wrong it will give a hint, if he gets it wrong again it just says "lets move on" so no frustration. We just had a sign reading moment too. Going to PETsmart. The PET is in red and SMART is in blue. He now recites P-E-T spells pet and makes the connection that the alphabet is used in real life situations. Good luck!

kim* said... has some great books that come with songs. we used that at the preschool and also i like jean warrens books growing up i think thats her name! no it isnt... but is fun anyway

Indigo MoonDream said...

Awwwww, too cute! Being a witness to that kind of adorableness is so special!

Anonymous said...

How exciting is THAT?!!

I wouldn't worry too much about her shutting down quickly. A mind can only absorb so much information at one time, so as long as she's still interested each day to practice and learn more, let her little mind work it's magic... how cool!!!

casserole said...

WOW, she's GOOD at writing her letters!!!! No reading suggestions from this mama, cause you're already doing so much better than I ever did. Not that I didn't try - Liv just tended to shut down.

We loved the Dr. Seuss ABC book if you don't have it already. Big D, little D, David Donald Doo dreamed a dozen [Olivia chimes in with] "DONUTS" and a duck dog too!

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