His questions the last couple of weeks have centered around letters. He really wants to read. He sees the older boys spending lots of time in books, and will curl up with his own, making up the story as he goes. He has memorized some of our favorite reads, and will now point to words and "read" along as he turns the pages. "What's this word, Mommy?," I hear him ask, about 20 times a day.
He knows his letters quite well, and can write most of them without thinking. But I realized that we still have a few letters that we've not practiced the sounds of yet. So I'm a mommy on a mission, trying to take advantage of the momentary motivation of my almost four year old sponge. :) So we're tackling a "letter of the day," each morning after the big boys get to school. We're keeping it super simple... mostly so he doesn't get frustrated! I spent a few dollars at Wal-Mart and got him his very own supplies (way cooler to know that they're all his instead of someone else's leftovers, trust me):
Crayons, glue (the colored, sparkly kind, for sure), scissors, a bound notebook of 3x5 cards, and a Crayola Beginning Alphabet and Numbers pack... We start off by practicing writing the letter of the day. While he's writing, we say the sound or sounds the letter makes, and take turns shouting out words that begin with that letter. I've found that a little excitement can go a long way... he doesn't even realize he's learning half the time. It's more like a silly word game with his nutty mom (silly voice inflections and all!).
We found some larger letters in fish shapes online, and printed them off to color and cut out (what a great way to sneak in a couple of other skills to practice!). After he colors and cuts out the capital and lower-case versions of the letter of the day, he glues them into his 3x5 flip book, that we fondly titled, "Chase's Letter Book." What's great about this is that he can flip through and review each letter that we've covered. He loves looking through it and seeing how much he's accomplished! Best of all, I get some planned special time with my sweet boy, who might otherwise feel a little lost in the crowd...