When our two-year old started walking towards the store, he looked up at me and said:
“T, tttttt, A aaaaaaaa, R rrrrrrrr, G gggggggg, E ehehehehe, T ttttttt“ I knew that we were onto something good. He knew his letters and their sounds, and he had learned them in just one week… less than that, actually. He had learned them during a long road-trip.
The method that I used is almost too easy to admit because I was a teacher, but it works. This is the easiest and best way that I have found!
Do you want your kids to learn their letters and words? Be prepared… its a lot of work… ready? ordered the movie (seriously) They are FANTASTIC! All of our kids have learned their letters within about a week watching The Letter Factory (before 2 1/2 years old) while riding in the car!
Picture yourself in the car with the kids (our car trip was a 6-hour ride to Pennsylvania one weekend). What are they doing? Watching a show? Playing a game? Listening to music? Talking? I took this opportunity to show them The Letter Factory I knew that it was an educational choice, but I didn’t realize how it worked to teach our kids their letters!
I ordered the movie, put it into our car DVD player & that was it. It is a quick show that teaches them letters. The kids sing along to the letter songs and love to watch it. I was able to turn a 6 hour car trip into a letter-learning experience, all while keeping him entertained. From then on, he loved it & asked to watch his letters even during a short 20 minute trip to Target. It became a mini-lesson that he could watch anytime.
This should not take the place of you working with, reading with, or learning with your child.
This is not to say that you don’t need to keep practicing and supplementing the DVD. If you are reading this post, you probably are already invested in your child, so just continue to do what you already do. Read books, play games, maybe even use flash cards before bed. This is essentially a DVD that taught our kids their letters & sounds faster & more efficiently than I’ve ever seen.
I had planned on teaching our kids myself, but by a (great) accident, they learned their letters watching a movie.
Here is what I do:
1. Rent the movie (our library carries these) or buy The Letter Factory (We keep a copy in the car that we bought. We use it so often that the library would have charged us an arm & a leg in overage fees!) You can even download the movie onto a Leapster Explorer for a few dollars.
2. Once I had it, I put it in our car and turned it on whenever we were going anywhere. Heading on a road trip or vacation? Perfect timing. We used it for all of our trips to Pennsylvania to visit family. A 6-hour car ride is the perfect time to learn your letters… right?
3. At home? Put the movie in for a little break during the day (it’s only 30 minutes). Maybe after lunch, for 30 minutes of down-time. Try this for a week.
4. Use everything as a learning opportunity. If you have on a t-shirt with letters, ask your child to help you name the letters & say their sounds. Tell them the answers (repeat after them if they get it right or help them if they miss it).
5. After they know their letters from the movie, make sure that you either put it on occasionally or review them yourself a few times a week. I picked up a pack of the magnetic letters in the dollar section of Wal-mart and I keep them in a ziplock bag in my “learning organizer” (over the door holder).
I like to put the letters on a magnetic cookie sheet and let the kids manipulate the letters to make words and tell me the sounds.
6. When they have mastered this without a mistake, move onto The Talking Word Factory and Word Caper. We waited almost a year to do this (our kids learned their letters at two, so we stared this next movie around 3 or 3 1/2) and they loved it!
They even have math ones that our kids like to watch (Math Circus is our favorite).
7. They are never too old for it. Our kids have Leapster Explorers and they still use them at times (I bought each of them one when the turned two- so its been years). We keep them in the car, because then they won’t get lost and they are an easy way to keep them busy and learning in the car if we’re headed on a trip or if we are going to a doctor’s office where they have to sit & wait for long periods of time.
Other Leapfrog movies that we have: The Letter Factory, Talking Words Factory, Word Caper, Lets Go To School, Math Circus. I would at least get the first two, without hesitation. You can find them pretty cheap on Amazon.
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If you are ready for it, I have two more posts that will be helpful, as well:
If you are ready for the full-on “Get Ready For Kindergarten”, I want to introduce you to my book, What your child REALLY needs to know before Kindergarten, written by two teachers:
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