Yes, I said it. You can teach your child to read and write for less than $3. You don’t need to sign up for Kumon, pay for a tutor or enroll your child in a kindergarten readiness program this summer if you are willing to devote some time and energy to teaching your child at home. If you’re new to my blog, welcome! You can read about my background in the about section but suffice it to say I’ve devoted my career to the field of education. I’m also passionate about inspiring parents to find fun and easy ways to infuse learning into their family life. I’m a big fan of Lakeshore Learning Store, even though I’m no longer a classroom teacher. Now that I’m a mom with two young daughters, I still find myself drawn to shopping at this great, educational store.
I bought the alphabet poster pictured above at Lakeshore for $2.49. If you want to splurge, you can buy the poster set which includes 5 posters: alphabet, shapes, colors, numbers and opposites.
5 Simple Steps to Teaching Your Child to Read and Write for $2.49:
1. Hang the alphabet poster in your child’s room or simply prop it up on a chair as I tend to do.
2. Give your child some blank white printer paper (or if your child prefers lines, click here for a free, downloadable pdf of lined handwriting paper).
3. Give your child fun writing supplies like pencils, colored pencils, crayons and markers. Our daughters love using a caddy system for their writing supplies like this one from Pottery Barn Kids but you can create your own using a shower caddy, simple plastic tub, or even a empty shoebox that you have lying around the house.
4. Get creative! Start by teaching your child the letters in their name. As you teach your child the letter names, introduce the sound that each letter makes. Reference the alphabet poster to reinforce the sound of each letter. Have your child find the letters in their name on the poster and then practice copying down each letter on a sheet of blank or lined paper.
5. Practice! Set up a time each day to practice the alphabet letter names and sounds. Most 4-5 year olds have fairly short attention spans so practice time may be as brief as 5-10 minutes a day. So long as you keep it fun, your child will look forward to this routine. It’s important to keep your tone upbeat and encouraging so that your child equates learning as a positive experience.
Once your child has learned to write their own name they will likely ask to learn how to write the names of their family members. Our daughters both asked to learn how to write the words “mommy” and “daddy” soon after mastering their own name. Typically, preschool and kindergarten teachers teach the alphabet using a “letter of the week” system. Many teachers backwards plan their school year and are happy to provide you with a month-by-month schedule listing which letters and sounds will be taught and when. Connect the learning your child is receiving in the classroom with fun learning activities at home! For example, ask your child to point out letters that they see in their everyday life such as the letters on the stop sign and the letters on the street name signs. Let your child look through old magazines to find the letter you are focusing on, for example the letter A. Have your child cut out as many A’s as they can find (capital and lower case) and then use a glue stick to make a paper collage filled with the letter A.
Learning is fun and it’s a wonderful way to spend quality time together as a family!