Last night I came upon LK with one of my books opened in his lap. “You reading?” I inquired. “Mommy!” He returned with an unhappy tone and holding up the book, “I see the letters but I don’t know what they mean! I want to read!”
I was happy to hear this, because while LK has demonstrated he understands that letters make words, he has shown little interest in actually learning them or how they go together. His personality is such that he is usually reluctant to try his hand at any new task or experience unless he’s sure he can do it correctly the first time, so it wouldn’t surprise me to discover he knows them all and their sounds and merely keeps it to himself.. He’s a sly fellow.
But understanding letters and understanding how they go together are different, so today I sat down with him to start at the beginning. I want to make sure the letters are all there before we start putting them together, but how to go about this? There are a plethora of options and possibilities, and I found it all somewhat overwhelming. I tried a couple different approaches without success, and then I remembered something.
LK is a builder. I have taught him a number of other skills by having him build through the lesson, so why not now? We sat down with the Legos and I said today we were learning about the letter A, could he help me build one? We did. Then he kept building them. And we talked about the sounds it makes, favorite words that start with “a”, etc.
I don’t know why, but I’m still surprised at how easy teaching him becomes once we’re building something. Of course, anything LK builds must have a function by the end of it.