Custom made ACB posters by nixiepix

This week has been about getting back to normality after all the recent festivities, Christmas, New Year, Birthdays. Littlelish started back at preschool and we’ve been enjoying our afternoons together. She has been an incredibly well behaved, angelic child, it’s amazing! At 2 1/2 I’m starting to wonder (could it be true) if we have escaped the terrible two’s? (Do I hear a faint chorus of mummies laughing?) Ok, well you may be right but we are very much enjoying this little phase of angelic-ness.¬† Singing, rhyming, creating, imagining, melting my heart with “mummy I love you soooo much”. Long may it continue.

But of course, as every mother knows, our little people go through phases. This angelic phase has emerged after a slightly more difficult phase – a growth spurt. Littlelish seems to go through them every 2 months when she is acquiring new skills and learning more about the world.

Recently I see that she has come on leaps and bounds with her ABC’s! This week she has spent the entire week thinking of words and declaring what letter/sound they start with. She has astounded me with some crackers “r r radiator, l l leek, w w water, p p paint”. Throw almost any word at her and she will be able to tell you what letter it begins with. She now knows the sounds for all the letters which means we are well on the way to reading – so exciting!

I thought I’d share with you some of the things we have used to help promote literacy in our house as well as some tips from her Montessori school teacher.

Reading books has always been one of her favourite things to do from an early age and we have built up a super little library. We all know how important it is to expose our children to good books. Not only is it important for their literacy, vocabulary it is great for their imagination! Books don’t have to be expensive though. I bought her a whole set of alphabet books (from the 70’s) which looked at each letter separately and all the words beginning with that letter. I bought the whole set from a charity shop for 1 pound (I know ridiculous, right?). She has loved reading these and requests them over and over again.

– We bought her some beautiful magnetic letters. We played games with them (kept it light and fun and stopped whenever she got fed up) and through this she learned the shapes and the phonetic sounds.

– We made a very simple alphabet wall freeze. All 26 letters drawn on separate piece of card (about 4″ x 4″) and included the capital letter and the small letter. We hung these up in order on the play room wall. Sure you could get a fancy ABC chart but this was simple and easy to make and best of all FREE! We never drilled her to look at these rather just left them hanging there so she could get used to seeing the letters and shape of them.

– Someone told us about Jolly phonics. This has been particularly helpful as littlelish loves music and singing. So we watched this maybe 3 times until we learned them all (well until mummy learned them all) and then we sang them together over and over again. This is never boring for her as she loves singing.

Some tips we got from the Montessori preschool on learning ABC’s.

РSchool explained that you should never teach the alphabet as we say it or the alphabet song. Apparently this is confusing for them and pretty much  useless when it come it learning to read. Only problem was little D already knew all her alphabet (the letters not the sounds) AND the whole alphabet song. Oops. We rectified this by teaching her the sounds of the letters. E.g. saying A sound like aaah etc and then to only continue with the sounds. She pretty much left the old alphabet letters behind. Phew.

– You should never say a IS FOR apple. The for is confusing for children as they are also busy with learning numbers and confuse for with the number 4. Always say a a apple, b b ball so they get used to listening to the sounds.

Do you have any good tips for teaching little ones their ABC’s or to read? I’d love to hear them!