We have some young alphabet loving learners in our house! It started early for my oldest girl and I think she passed it down to her sister and her brother. G was able to sing the alphabet (with some little stumbles) at 18 months. And just a couple months later, she had the whole thing. Then she started working on learning the letter sounds. By the time she was 4 she had just started reading (through a combination of phonics and sight words) without me “teaching her to read.”
To a lesser extent, W (5 years-old) is interested in the alphabet. She has known all the letters for a long time and is proficient at writing them, too. But she is less interested in finding out what sounds they make. Teaching her to read has been an extended process which requires much patience.
And on her heels is AG (2 years-old). In love with all things letters and books, he is well on his way to becoming a reader. His most requested picture books are alphabet related. And he spends much of his time identifying letters. And he loves to match the “big” letters to the little letters.
I share this as an awed observer because kids (in general) amaze me. They are seriously little sponges that make learning look completely natural and fun! The way learning should look! I did very little to help my kids fall in love with the alphabet.
But as I sit back and wonder at my kids and their learning to read without me, I try to evaluate. I think, “What made this possible?” And I come up with two specific things over and over: (more…)