May 4, 2015
Preschool at home: letter activities
Our preschool at home adventure has been going well so far. As I mentioned before, I’m trying to keep it low-key and low-pressure. Charlie spends most of his day playing, as it should be. Official “school time” only happens for maaaybe half an hour 3 or 4 times a week.
With that said, Charlie really likes doing school. And I really enjoy it too. When it comes to planning I’m finding it works best for me to plan out about 10 days worth of activities all in one sitting. This means I only plan for school about once every 3 or 4 weeks.
One of the things we’ve been focusing a lot on lately has been the letters of the alphabet. My goal right now is for Charlie to recognize and name all the upper and lowercase letters and begin to learn some of the sounds associated with them. He was already picking up on a lot of the letter names just though osmosis, so our school time is really just reinforcing and filling in the gaps. I fully intend to do another round (or two) of “letter of the day” type lessons farther down the road to go along with a greater emphasis on phonics and handwriting. Right now it’s just about recognition and exposure.
I’ve found a few resources that we’ve been using over and over. They make planning activities easy and Charlie really seems to enjoy doing them.
- Do-A-Dot letter printables: Charlie’s really been into Do-A-Dot crafts and I can see his control and coordination in using the markers improving the more we do these activities. I love these letter and picture sheets from The Measured Mom, and these upper and lowercase sheets from Confessions of a Homeschooler.
- Alphabet books: To help reinforce the letter sounds, we’ve been using these alphabet books from The Measured Mom. I’ve found that they give really good examples (with clear pictures!) of words that start with each letter. I’ve been wanting to give Charlie opportunities to practice using scissors, so rather than print it out as a book as intended, I’ve been printing them all on one page to create small picture cards. I draw lines between each picture for Charlie to cut on and then we use the pictures to either glue to a collage or save for a letter sorting activity.
- Letter sorting: Using our pictures from the alphabet books, I would read to Charlie the word on each card (exaggerating the beginning sound) and have him decide what letter it started with. We started with letters that have very different sounds and will eventually work our way up to more challenging pairs.
Letter Hunt: Another printable activity from Confessions of a Homeschooler are these letter hunt pages. The funny sentences on each page reinforce the letter sounds and I think it’s good practice to be able to identify a particular letter out of a sea of other letters. Once again we use our Do-A-Dot markers to highlight the letter we are searching for.
Letter flashcard match: Charlie actually made up this game one day as we were looking at some Dr. Suess letter flashcards we had on hand. As I would hold up a card, he would run to the kitchen to find the matching letter from his set of alphabet magnets on the fridge. It was a fun way to add a bit of movement to an activity that’s usually pretty stationary.
- Letter pre-writing in playdoh: Charlie isn’t quite ready to begin handwriting practice yet, but that doesn’t mean he can’t learn about the shapes of the letters. One activity we’ve tried is pressing beans in playdoh along the outline of a letter. It’s a great little activity to develop those fine motor muscles.
So far these have made up the bulk of our school time together. I’m sure we’ll have to mix it up eventually and find some new activities to teach the letters, but I’ve been really happy with these so far. If you’re looking for more resources for preschool learning activities be sure to follow my pinterest board. I’m always finding great ideas and resources!