The Bean has begun to learn her letters. I really held out as long as I could on teaching her, but she’d started to teach herself how to spell, and I was worried that she’d get into bad habits thinking that letters made a sound that they didn’t. I’ve been very glad that we went ahead and started doing the letters, in the end.
We are going slowly – learning one letter each week. We started with L. Then we did M. Next came T. And this week we are working on N. And then people have asked… “Why L?”
I looked at many aspects of the letters and took a lot into consideration. Since I’m teaching an early 5 year old who doesn’t have a lot of drawing skill yet, I felt it would be best to start with letters that are all straight lines and are not complicated to write. The part I didn’t think through was that she can’t really pronounce the L sound very accurately yet. But, she can hear it well enough that she can pick it out in a word most of the time just fine!
Bearing the language barrier in mind, I chose M next, then T. I was afraid that M and N would be too similar, but when she began calling Ns M, I knew we needed to address it head on – and she has done just fine.
On letter day, which is Monday, I tell the Bean a story or verse, and draw a picture from the story with her. I have my copy and she has hers. For L we did, “There once was a Lovely Little Lady who Loved to Ladle Long Leaves on the Lawn.” Then we drew our lady, holding a big ladle which was actually the letter L, and all of the leaves fallen on the lawn. I write the verse at the top of our pages with all of the Ls in a different color than the rest of the text. Then we get a clean sheet of paper and write a big L in the middle. We go around and around the L in different colors until we’ve filled the entire page. Last, Beanie likes to practice writing the new letter on lined paper until she feels like she’s really got it down.
Throughout the week, we practice the sound, find the letter in different writing, make the letter out of sticks and bark outside, draw the letter with sidewalk chalk, and anything else fun we think of to do with the letter! Bean will write the letter with her crayons when she is drawing for fun a lot.
And then we hole punch all of the papers from Monday and put them in her binder in order. When we’ve done the entire alphabet, we will bind the pages in alphabetical order in a book that she can keep.