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Gasp* My Son is 4 and doesn't know his ABC's


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But he is showing signs of being ready to work on letter and sound recognition. I am not a big fan of formal pre-k but he is interested and asks to do "school" so I want to offer him something. We use starfall and I bought the 3 year old Abeka letters and numbers book, however, that takes him all of 5 minutes and he wants to do more. Any suggestions? I don't really want to do any more screen time.


PS. I don't really care that he doesn't sing his ABC's. He has started memorizing multiplication facts so where he lacks in one he more than makes up in another.

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I know you don't want more screen time, but Leap Frog Letter Factory is the way to go for letter/sound recognition.


You could also check out Plaid Phonics. The K book focuses on letters, and A book starts CVC words. These have lots of pages for less than $10.


Alphabotz are adorable, and you can download free color sheets and other stuff.

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* Make letters out of playdoh (or the homemade version).

* Draw letters in salt (although my kids prefer sugar - much tastier to lick off ones fingers).

* Make a "clock" in chalk on the sidewalk and teach them to run around in the same way you would make certain letters. (Spalding-knockoff idea)

* Play "gluing" and "ungluing" games with words. (See LOE's page for some ideas if you don't know what I'm talking about.)


From a non-vocab standpoint, I'm a big fan of mazes (cover them in laminating paper or slip them into those clear page protectors & use wet erase markers so they can do them over & over again), coloring pages (if they are the coloring type), and playing with math manipulatives (Cuisinaire rods, for example). Heck, puzzles of any sort are a hit (for about 10 minutes if I'm working with them & 5 if I'm not) with my pre-schoolers.


Sorting items by size & color is a GREAT activity for that age group. I admit to having them do a first pass on the family's clean socks . . . But we have beads & blocks & such, too.


All of these are "doing school" for that age, IMO.

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with my kids, i had several abc books to read, and alphabet puzzles, alphabet blocks, alphabet foam letters for the bath tub. I would name the letter and hand them to them, or whatever. i would spell their names and spell my name. yes, we also watched sesame street and other pbs kids shows and did sesame street games on line, but obviously kids have been learning to read without electronics for ages. Check out a variety of alphabet books from your library.


My daughter learned her alphabet around age 2, from a puzzle. around age 4, i found her hysterical after I'd put her little brother down - she'd written the alphabet in a spiral and then noticed she'd missed a letter. Ok she'd actually missed 4 letters, but she was 4!


then her brother knew the names of 100 pokemon at 4, but didnt know the letters of the alphabet. However, he was still reading at a 3rd grade level by the end of K.


the youngest .. . eh, he is my numbers guy. Late to talk, late to read, late to write, asking about negative numbers in kindergarten.


they are all different, just follow their leads!

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