Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Starting to identify and write letters

At 2 (a couple months shy of 3) years old, Astrid is starting to recognize letters.

Alphabet Recognition
Astrid loves books. (In fact "book" was her 3rd spoken word after "mama" and "papa".) One of her favorite things to do is curl up beside me and have me read a book to her. "Read to me Mama! Please!!!" she frequently asks of me.

Before, "reading" on her own she would stare at the pictures and turn the pages. But now she's actually looking at the letters and words. It's exciting to see those wheels turning in her head, and see that she's starting to get the concept of reading.

In addition to reading books, she likes this cartoon called "Super Why" which teaches kids alphabet recognition and reading in an interactive format. (Still not big on TV, but I do let her watch a little - PBS cartoons - in the morning when I'm getting ready or when I am doing her hair.) One part of the show has the main character holding up a letter while he asks the kids watching, "What letter is this?" Astrid surprised me by correctly shouting back - "R"!

And when writing her name on her clothes in permanent market (for preschool), she shocked me by identifying the letters: A, S, T, R. When I quizzed her on it again shortly afterward, she was able to tell me the letters: S, T, and R. That's pretty amazing, especially since I haven't been focusing on this. I think she gets it passively by doing her alphabet puzzle, and hearing the names of each letter from me.

Also, when we were stopped at a gas station, she looked up at some signs in the strip mall and started identifying letters - saying - O, S, C, D. Great to see that she's starting to recognize letters in environmental print as well.

She's so eager to learn. I'm sure it's only a matter of time until she starts pointing to everything and asking me what it says.

Writing
Astrid's also starting to imitate writing letters on her own. Recently she wrote what looked like three w's. U. inquired, "Are you trying to write www as in a URL?"

I have some writing workbooks for preschoolers that I've been saving. They've got letters, words, and sentences in dotted lines so that they can be traced over. Might be fun for her to start practicing writing, but I'm not going to pressure her. (I have bad memories of my mother trying to get me to write at a really young age and it was not pleasant.) But as long as she's eager to learn and gets a lot of pleasure and a sense of accomplishment out of it, I will support it.

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