Motherhood

Alphabet Fun

Preschool homeschooling has been an adventure so far. Most days are really great, and we enjoy playing, reading, and completing workbook pages. The goal has been to do “Mommy & L” School for an hour in the mornings on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. We started in January and have probably actually done my full schedule on about half of the days.

I value the time we spend doing school together more than I thought. The intentional time spent with L has been great for both of us, and it’s thrilling to watch her grow and learn. L’s biggest strength so far has been letter recognition (mostly uppercase) and learning letter sounds. Her memory is baffling – she certainly did not get it from me. I’ve been trying to do occasional activities to build on what she knows and continue working on these skills. Here are some we’ve had fun doing.

Alphabet Books

I have to admit, even as a teacher mom, I didn’t read to L every day until she was 9 or 10 months old. She just didn’t care about books at all (except as chew toys), and I found the experience to be more frustrating than rewarding. As soon as she did like reading together, we read SO MANY alphabet books. We had a lot for some reason, and she couldn’t get enough.

These are some of our favorites:

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

The lowercase letters are my favorite part – there are not many that include them. L loves saying “skit scat scoodle doot, flip flop flee” and “o is twisted alley-oop.”

Touch Think Learn ABC

This book is part of our Timberdoodle curriculum, and has cut-out shapes and letters on every page, so L can feel every letter. Each page is simple, colorful, and engaging

Dr. Seuss’ ABC

We read this one twice a day for three months, and I can still recite it with my eyes closed. I think this is how L first learned letter names.

Tactile Letter Cards & Magic Wand Game

Tactile letters are great for remembering letter shapes and pre-writing. There is a book available here with sandpaper-like letters. Instead of using these, I made my own using index cards and glitter glue. They are not perfect or fancy, but they work well for so many activities. I put uppercase on one side and lowercase on the other. L traces the letters with her finger and says the letter name or sound.

We also use the cards for our magic wand game. I have a super fancy magic wand from my teaching days – it makes a satisfying “ding!” when it’s tapped. You could use a fly swatter, toy magic wand/scepter, or even a stick to play the game. We spread out a few of our alphabet cards on the floor or table, and L taps them with her wand when I call out the letter or letter sound.

Sign Language & ABC Song

We did limited baby signs before L started talking. Unfortunately, she never really used them until she was actually saying the word. She uses some signs during her Mom’s Day Out program, and loves learning new signs. I remember the alphabet from my days as Brownie, so we’ve started working on singing the ABC song while signing each letter. I got this chart here, and there are lots of other ideas on how to use the ASL alphabet with babies and toddlers.

We also recently found this book at the library. It doesn’t have signs for finger spelling, but it gives a common sign for each letter of the alphabet (b for blanket, o for outside, etc.). We love it!

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