Two questions about homeschooling preschoolers - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 09-13-2010, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have two questions. What is the best way to teach preschoolers the letters/alphabet? I've been told to do a letter of the week or day, which do you think would be more beneficial? Focusing on a letter a day or a week?

Also, what exactly are sight words? Are there specific words that qualify as sight words or are all words sight words depending how you use them? Sorry, I'm not sure I worded that question clearly :-)

Thanks for any answers!

Del
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#2 of 10 Old 09-13-2010, 03:50 PM
 
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well strictly speakings preschoolers don't need either of these things.
but to answer your question.

i would defintly do a letter of the WEEK not the day. changing themes dailys is too much. better to have a weekly routine. Chidlren like to do stuff over and over again so they can do that within a weekly theme but it's just short enough not to burn you out.

Sight words are words that can not be sounded out or are hard to sound out.
examples include: The, are, have, look.

here is a list of site words specifically for preschoolers http://www.education.com/magazine/ar...tensightwords/

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#3 of 10 Old 09-13-2010, 05:06 PM
 
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It depends on what your kid can absorb, I think. My daughter had no problem doing a letter a day -- she became obsessed with letters for a while and asked to do a new one each day. We reviewed all the previous and then introduced a new one and she remembered them just fine. We were through them all within a month.

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#4 of 10 Old 09-13-2010, 06:36 PM
 
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eh. "Letter of the Week" never lasted more than six weeks in our house.

I don't know, between the ages of 2 and 4, all of mine easily picked up the alphabet and basic phonics (letter sounds). I read them letter books, they watched educational programming focused on letters, we had letter puzzles, we had letter-hunts whenever we went out (my two youngest "discovered" the letter W at exactly the same place--a local "Hardware" sign and responded exactly the same way to it, with tremendous excitement ).

The other poster gave a good list of sight words. They're basically the first words children should learn, and aren't always easily decoded by using letter sounds. Also not something I'd worry about in preschool. Those come up in our kindergarten curric (age 4 and 5) and are easily learned.
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#5 of 10 Old 09-14-2010, 10:02 AM
 
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come join our on-going discussion

http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1258871


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#6 of 10 Old 09-14-2010, 12:46 PM
 
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I say do what works for you. If you want to do letter of the week, then do that. Starfall.com is a great web site.
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#7 of 10 Old 09-14-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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My preschooler just picked them up from reading books to her, I had an alphabet poster up on the wall last year, she had a leap frog fridge magnet thingie that she played with. So many toys now are geared towards letters and such that she just picked it up (and I didn't even buy a lot of blinky loud toys, just the couple that were given to her). The Moncure books for the alphabet and sounds are awesome IMO and she just loves them. My library has them all and I even found a ton at the thrift store.

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#8 of 10 Old 09-14-2010, 03:04 PM
 
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Oooo i forgot. don't forget good old letter blocks. Teacher letters (some have numbers) and of course they also work as blocks

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#9 of 10 Old 09-14-2010, 03:56 PM
 
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Honestly, I don't think you need to worry about teaching letters (or shapes, colors, etc.). Letters and the alphabet come up all the time without you needing to do anything special to teach them. At the point when the child is ready to learn how to read, he will probably already know the letters, but if he doesn't, they can be taught then in far less time than it would take to teach them now.

I have not done anything in particular to teach my children letters, numbers, colors, or shapes, but they have learned these things during their preschool years anyway, just through day to day living and their own curiosity.

As for sight words, this terminology refers to any word a child is expected to learn initially by memory, instead of by sounding it out. The Dolch list is a source people often use for sight words, since the words on it are the most frequently used in the English language.

I am not a big fan of explicitly teaching kids sight words, and think it is better for most kids who are receiving instruction (as opposed to kids who teach themselves; I have no opinion about that) to learn to read using a solid phonics-based system. You might find the following web page interesting:

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20R...ightwords.html

Sonja , 40, married to DH (42) since 5-29-93, DD born 11-3-2004, DS born 1-18-2007.
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#10 of 10 Old 09-14-2010, 10:27 PM
 
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We're heavily influenced by Waldorf pedagogy, so we'd planned to do nothing with letters until 6, but DS came into this world with other ideas! He's showing very strong signs of being gifted, precocious, very smart, whatever you want to call it.

We had NO alphabet toys and he does no TV, video, computer, leapfrog, etc. His only exposure to written letters was from story books (not alphabet books) and road signs and such.

By his third birthday he was asking tons of questions about letters. What's that one called? What word is that? Then he'd point out that "cat" and "car" sound the same and would say "cuh-cuh-cat...cuh-cuh-car". This with us not only not teaching, but kind of holding back even.

So after much deliberation I bought him a very simple wood alphabet puzzle. No introduction, no lessons--just set it on his play table. He went nuts with questions!

Letter of the day or week--HA! I wish. I tried so hard to make it interesting to just focus on one--finding things around the room that started with that letter/sound--him drawing it in rice, me drawing pictures with the letter shape representing an image. Yeah, after a few minutes it was "what's this one? and then "what's this one?"

He had all the upper case and their sounds in 2 weeks. Lower case took a day or two--because so many look like their upper-case counterpart. He's now moved on to other pursuits (non-academic)--but remembers it all.

My point is simply this--let your DC lead this one! Get him/her a letter puzzle or blocks (not anything that "teaches"--talks, etc) and if s/he just plays with it without asking about the letters/sounds--s/he's probably not ready.
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