To be honest, teaching Caleb his letters and numbers was almost completely off my radar until his second birthday neared. I'd seen some FB friends share videos of their not-quite-2-year-old boys identifying letters on keyboards and even saying entire Bible verses aloud, but I just knew we weren't quite "there" yet, ya know? I had ordered a Melissa and Doug magnetic chalkboard (reviewed here), complete with letter and number magnets, for his birthday, though. No problem, right?
Well, I thought we'd focus on "A" and "B" and "C" the first day. That was a little much. The next day, we narrowed our focus to just "A." Not only would Caleb not repeat the sound, but he didn't seem interested in the least. I think we tried "A" every day for a week before . . . I decided to give it a break for a while (I won't say I gave up!).
A couple weeks later, out of the clear blue bathwater, Caleb started picking up all his rubbery bathtoy letters and saying--you guessed it!--"A"! Great, now he thinks all letters are "A"s, I thought.
Next, we started on numbers. This time, Caleb initiated the lesson. He has a vintage Little Golden Book about numbers (circa 1977), and he brought that to me one day. Here we go: Numbers, he will learn! After several days of my pointing to the large, brightly colored numbers on the title page and repeating "1, 2, 3," in what was the most sing-songy, attention-keeping voice I could muster around nap time (when we usually read), I saw--or, rather, heard--some progress. After I said "one," Caleb would respond with "two, three." Cheers, hugs, and high-fives all around!
The next day, I tried so hard to get him to say "one." If I said"one," he always responded with "two, three," but try as I might, the kid would not say "one." Maybe he thinks that since he's past that age, he doesn't have to say it anymore?
I do like this idea for teaching counting, too. With the idea of finding pictures of familiar objects, I think since we're moving in 3 weeks, I may use boxes, bins, and rolls of packing tape. :) I must admit, though, that my favorite part of Tere's article is the fact that she mentioned teaching 3 to 5 year olds the skill of counting. Right now, I'm only trying to teach Caleb how to identify the numbers, but perhaps I'm trying to make him an over-achiever, early on.
What do you think? Have you started teaching your kids how to count, yet? If so, what methods have you used?
reminding you that the days and counting lessons may be far too long, but the years are far too short, no matter how you count them!