My 3-year-old, Ben, has definitely gotten into the back-to-school vibe as of late. We’ve been talking backpacks, lunch boxes, and all of a sudden, the alphabet. Of course, we’ve read to him every night for the past few years -- and he gets involved in the stories and memorizes his favorites. But in the past month, Ben has started to show some serious interest in letters beyond just singing the alphabet song.
Although I’m crazily excited by the development of pre-reading skills and interest, I’ve tried to be really casual in my approach. Yes, we’ve checked out a few alphabet books from the library (current faves include Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Eating the Alphabet, and Alphabet Under Construction), but I am trying hard not to push him. (No flash cards, I swear!) And yet I can’t help but grin when he gets so excited by anything with letters -- like these super-cute ABC paper cups ($10), available from Pint Size Social, that are all the rage in our house right now. I hear lots of, “Mommy, I want the cup with a ‘B’ on it for ‘Ben'… What else starts with ‘B’?” And so we talk babies, and brothers, and blueberries, and so on. For a kid who sometimes (read: often) makes me want to tear my hair out, this quiet excitement in the discovery of letters helps to balance things out again.
Moms, at what age did your child(ren) start to read? How do you encourage pre-reading or reading skills at home?