Friday, February 8, 2019

Teaching Letters and Sounds

FRUGAL FRIDAY POST:  How I teach letters and sounds for FREE!

Over the years, I have tried to teach the letters and sounds to my kids.  Some years I have been more motivated than others.  Well, I think I have finally found a great way that works for me.

Not only is it free, it is simple.  As a mom of seven, free and simple are what I need! ;)  I use all three methods together and find them effective.

For teaching letters and sounds:

  • How:  Print off and make a super easy "My Itsy Bitsy Letter __ Book" from Leanne Guenther at KidZone Kindergarten.  Directions for assembly are here.  Let your learner spend some time rainbow writing the letter on front and coloring the book. Then read the book your learner just made.
  • Why:  These books use letter recognition, phonics, reading and printing practice.
Little Letter Books
  • How: Print off and make these super easy "Little Letter Books" from The Measured Mom.  Let your reader color or decorate them if desired.  Then just read through them a few times.  You're kids are going to love the cuddle time and singing with you.
  • Why: Rhymes and singing are critical for speech, pre-reading skills, and executive functioning skills.  Seriously, use nursery rhymes often and make up your own rhymes to the tunes of familiar nursery rhymes!
  • How: Each time you introduce a letter, make a flash card (make them on index cards with the uppercase letter on one side and the lowercase letter on the other side).  Review them as many times as you can fit into your busy schedule!  Write stars on them each time you review and a smiley face when that letter is mastered.  Then visit the Amazing Action Action Alphabet site to do supplemental activities found on the right-hand column.
  • Why: Repetition is a core part of learning.  Your little learner needs to build pathways in their brain with every single letter, so practicing is important.  Practice through sight, sound, and actions.  If your children have speech issues or developmental delays, I strongly encourage you to teach the letters not in alphabetical order, but the order that the blog's author Esther Kehl uses; (MTASBHCIL) then (PFJONDGUR) then (KEWYVXZQ).  Esther is a experienced teacher turned reading specialist who has developed her own reading program.  While her books are not free, her blog is and you can get a lot of learning done just doing it that way.
The above three methods require you to be an active teacher and your little learner to be an active learner.  Being involved and making eye contact with your little learner is the best way to teach.  

That being said, there are times in the day when you need to allow a bit of passive learning to happen, so that you can get some other work done.  Here are three lazy learning resources I recommend:

Starfall Learning Apps (some free, some not)
Preschool Prep Pack DVDs (not free)

Okay, I guess while I have you here I should do a shout-out for my favorite speech therapy website that is also free:  Testy Yet Trying.  So far six of my seven kids have speech issues, so we do a lot of speech around here. :)

What about you?  Have you found a resource for teaching letters and sounds that you adore?

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