I started introducing letters in the middle of the previous preschool year. When we all came back from our Summer holidays I didn’t expect the children to remember many of them. It turned out that not much is fully forgotten and that somewhere in the deepest areas of their brains they have this knowledge acquired.
It made me really happy, because I know from my experience that children need symbols. And letters are such symbols. That’s why it is crucial to practice literacy as early as it’s possible. But how to do it, when the traditional way is just sooo boring?
The method that always worked for me when I was a student were markers and crayons. Everything that was highlighted was acquired. The rest was just blank. The same is with the little ones; they like what they see, so the more attractive “tool”, the more urgent they become to try it out. At the beginning it is good to just let them doodle with the most colourful “tool” they can find at home. At young age, doodling is mostly for preparing child’s hand to manual activities, but it is crucial to achieve later success in f.eg.:writing.
Start from teaching them how to write their own name. When I observe my group, I can see how much satisfaction it gives to them when they come to me and say: “You know, Ms Asia, I can write my own name”. Then of course I reply: “Can you show me?” and a moment later I just enjoy their pride of possessing this enormous (yes, it is enormous for them!) ability.
Next tip is whenever you make a shopping list or write a recipe, involve your child into this activity. Let him observe you writing, maybe even encourage copying some of the words. Many of us are visualizers, so thanks to this little “experiment” you will know whether your child belongs to this group or not.
A good method is also practicing writing on different materials, for example on sand using your fingers, in the air imagining some drawings and during Winter on snow, which would add an extra fun to making a snowman.
And the most important…
…read a lot of books to your kids! Early and frequent exposure to sounds, letters and words will help them develop their writing and spelling skills faster and more effectively.
Absolwentka studiów magisterskich na Uniwersytecie Marii Skłodowskiej- Curie w Lublinie, specjalizacja: Filologia Angielska z przygotowaniem pedagogicznym i merytorycznym.