My littlest boy has gotten big.
No more pull ups at night… it’s all underpants all the time now.
No more sippy cups, because, “I can drink like a big man, Mama.”
And now, he insists that he have “school time” like his brothers.
So, we moved a new little desk in the school room for him, and put his name on it, just like the big guys. He got his own box of crayons, and we began working on recognizing the letters in his name.
He’s known how to spell it for some time now. He says, “I’m Rar-I-Dee-Eee-ARE, RYDER!!!”
He really had no idea though what he was saying. So, we thought it was a natural step, to put shapes with those names.
So, I wrote them down on big cards, explained what each of them were, and he learned to put them in order.
The best part of this though is watching his brothers hover over him, pulling for him, nodding their heads in the direction of the next letter, applauding when he picks the right one. They are like a little literacy pep squad!
And speaking of literacy, I thought I’d pass along this other little trick.
A couple of years ago the boys and I went through magazines and cut out pictures of things that we often buy at the grocery store. We glued them to big, oversized index cards and wrote out the name of each item. Then, we “laminated” them with clear contact paper.
I would give a few cards to each boy before we went to the store. Those cards where his own items. It was his job to be on the look out for them while we shopped.
It worked really well!
Plus, even my then pre-readers caught on pretty quickly that the photo of cheese was next to the word “cheese” which looked just like the word on the package of real life cheese. Beautiful!
These days, we still use the cards, but now they also serve as a word bank for my writers. My guys flip through the cards, reading them and asking me if we need that item. When they come to one that we need, they copy the word down on a list.
It’s nice, for the reading and writing practice, and nice in the practical, everyday, learn how to meal plan, make a list and shop, sense, but also nice in that it means several people have a vested interest in the list itself.
Gone are the days when I made out a list and then left it on the kitchen counter as I headed off to the store, only to wander around trying to remember why I was there in the first place. Oh no, he who pours his hard fought handwriting skills into the grocery list will not leave home without it!