Friday, November 26, 2010

bad mom alert!

Yesterday was parent-teacher interviews at the school. Both of the girls are doing really well in school for the most part. The only really negative thing that was presented to me was by Malia's kindergarten teacher. Apparantly Malia only knows 7 letters of the alphabet. And by "knows", I mean recognizes and knows what name belongs to which letter.

Oops!

You can not imagine the Mommy guilt that has been plauge-ing me since finding that out. I know she is one of the younger kids in the class, with an October birthday. But Joelle's birthday is only 10 days earlier in the year and she has never had a problem keeping up with her class. Quite the opposite actually -- she's usually closer to the top. So I can't use that as an excuse. Especially since I know some 3 year olds who know more letters than my little miss.

I just haven't been spending enough time with her helping her learn some of her basics. And that has been hard for me to swallow. I have felt like a huge failure, let me tell you! But that all ends today. The last thing I want is for my daughter to start off her education by being behind -- especially on something that I could and should be helping her with.

So this afternoon I brought out these ABC flashcards and we got to work! I started simple -- only with A, B, C, D and E -- so as not to overwhelm her, and we had a great time.

At the beginning I could sense her frustration at not 'getting it', even though at the same time I could tell she was excited about what we were doing. But it was lots of fun watching her throughout the process and especially seeing the pride in her eyes as she started catching on to what we were doing.

I know she could also see the pride in my eyes and hear it in my voice as I told her what a great job she was doing. And I am determined to not let my daughter down anymore. We are going to stay on top of this and before Christmas break, she is going to know and recognize all 26 letters of the alphabet. That's a promise I take very seriously.

**If any of you know of ways to keep things fun and effective -- I'm all ears!**

7 comments:

Roo said...

aww...way to go andrea! you'll have fun with your sweet miss. they also have cheap and good ABC workbooks at dollarama....and crafts that link in the alphabet..repitition (i think) works good...xoxo

Melissa said...

I am a huge believer in Early education and learning, as you already know Andrea:) So good for you for taking action!

Sydney learned her Alphabet by association (A is for Apple, G is for Grandma ect) another fun way to promote letter recognition is an ABC hunt like this one ~
http://simplysweetsydney.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/learning-time/

PBS has a program called Super Why that has great letter recognition skills- I know a little girl who is under 2 and knows her letters just from watching that show:)

Read, read and read some more. We hit the library 2 times today ( the secound trip was because my books were in)! Sydney loves choosing her own books and being read to.

Teach Momma is a great resource as well- I got the Alphabet hunt idea from her, she has the most amazing ways to bring learning into everyday fun- http://teachmama.com/

Just remember your Malia's best teacher, because you know her so well:)

Happy learning time!

TammyIsBlessed said...

You could also ask her teacher for whatever type of "flashcard" system they use - that way she's learning the same "way", so to speak. I'm sure she'd be happy to get you copies.

Super Why is awesome for letter recognition!! Talk about an easy way to help her out too :)

Pamela said...

Andrea...do not beat yourself up over this! I can say this easier than believe it myself, lol! This year my kids have switched schools and it has opened my eyes to the gaps my kids have in their learning. Their old school did not believe in homework (so stuff never came home until the end of the year-which means I never saw what they were doing) they never had tests (just group projects where it is pretty easy to just go with the group) and their "marking" system made me believe Kiandra was doing "ok". She's not. Talk about bad mom moment. I felt horrible realizing that I did not know how behind she is and she is in Grade 8. This year has, and is going to be, tough as she plays catch up. be grateful you caught this now with Malia.

In my grade 1 class, I play BAM!! with sight words but it would work with letters too. I write sight words on popsicle sticks (so you could do this with a letter on each) and then add a few sticks with BAM!! and add them to a box or bag. You can play this game together by taking turns pulling out sticks and if you can say the letter you get to keep it, if you can't you have to reach in and grab a new stick until you can keep it. If you get BAM!! you have to throw back all your sticks.

Our kindergarten teacher uses the Jolly phonics program and it totally rocks. I can see my grade 1s using the actions as they write when they sound out words. It is especially great for kinesthetic learners and doing the action along with the letter really reinforces its sound. If you are already teaching the letter names, why not incorporate the action and sound with it. I found this link with all of the actions listed near the bottom. http://www.jollylearning.co.uk/jp.htm

If you get or make 2 sets of letter cards, you can also play memory, go fish, and old maid using letter cards just to change it up a bit.

Pamela said...

This website has a great game:
http://www.boowakwala.com/kids/boowakwala-family-backtoschool-alphabetcards.html

Kelly said...

These website has lots of great things on them. Lyndsy is in Kindergarten and does these every day.

http://www.starfall.com/

http://internet4classrooms.com/grade_level_help/skills_kindergarten.htm

Melanie said...

I also love the starfall website- tons of fun, Hailey loves it!

I also play Letter Bingo with Hailey, which she loves and it has helped her to learn her letters.

If she likes doing crafts- you can check out my craft blog (http://ourcraftsnthings.com/) and see the "letter of the week" activities and crafts I have done with Hailey. Since Hailey loves crafts this was huge in helping her learn her letters.

We used to read/sing the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom book every day and as I sang the song I would point to the letter I was saying.

The Letter Factory DVD by Leapfrog is cute.

Also, just as a side note- when I worked in kindergarten that was when we taught kids their letters and sounds...

You're an amazing mom! Don't beat yourself up!! Just figure out what is fun for both of you and it will come with time :-)