Around two weeks ago Ibnat's classteacher advised me to reinforce the alphabet letters and sounds with her at home, because apparently she is lagging behind her class in this area. And so began my efforts in trying to help Ibnat recognize the letters in the the alphabets. It is not easy because the moment she realizes that it is "work" and not "play" she will just refuse to pursue the activity and move onto something else.
Therefore, I have to make learning fun for Ibnat. She loves finger painting and so I take print outs of the letters (from http://www.first-school.ws/) that I teach her and let her trace her finger , dipped in water color, over it. She sometimes colors the letters using wax crayons. Also when I associate the letters with something she likes she seems to remember the letter. For example she does not forget "z" as "zebra" begins with it. I also use flashcards which Ibnat loves playing around with.
All children are self-centred and so I use her name to teach her the letters. I also use the names of other family members and her friends and this captures her attention.She must be wondering how some letters can actually convey names.
In the montessori schools they make their own flashcards with construction paper and sandpaper. They cut out the letter in sandpaper and paste it on rectangular construction paper. When I asked why they use snadpaper, the teacher said that the montessori approach believes that learning is sensorial and so the child has to feel what she is learning with her hands. Wow! I never knew all this before!
So every evening after Ibnat comes from the playground we sit together with the alphabets. She loves music and movement and so we start with the nursery rhymes and then we move onto stories.This is when I sneak in the alphabets such as telling her the letters with which the names of her favorite characters start. I am also planning to buy alphabet blocks and magnetic letters to stick on the refrigerator.
Other mums......please do share your experiences with me and also give me ideas on creative ways to teach the alphabets.