My husband and I have a running inside joke. We always joke that we’re making our kids better people by employing lazy parenting. 🙂
We aren’t truly lazy, we just called ourselves lazy any time we choose to take the easy route out of a parenting situation instead of struggling to work against our kids. We much prefer to work WITH them than struggle against them.
This post contains the story of how I struggled and struggled to make my preschoolers sit down and learn their letters before Kindergarten and how it became a complete breeze once I found the most perfect video about learning letters in the world. EVERY MOM needs this:
First, Teaching ABCs the Hard Way…
When I realized it was time to teach my 4-year-old her letters in preparation for Kindergarten, I did exactly what I did with my oldest. I got out the preschool workbooks, had her complete worksheets, and held up flash cards.
TO NO AVAIL. What worked with my serious, studious oldest child did not work one bit with my middle child.
What I learned is my middle child’s free spirited nature doesn’t lend itself well to traditional learning methods. The methods I am used to. I quickly became frustrated with her inability to focus for more than a couple minutes at a time. And, being the lazy parent I am 😉 I decided it wasn’t worth it. I went back to letting her be a free spirit all day every day, all the while knowing Kindergarten was sneaking up on us.
The Way Easier Way to Teach Letters & Sounds!
That’s when I stumbled upon the most incredible invention in the world. It’s the Leap Frog Letter Factory. It’s a cute little story about touring a letter factory that reviews the letters and sounds in a sing-song way.
I put this DVD in a few times at home and a few times in the car, and what do you know? My daughter started learning her letters right away. After watching it about 5 times, she knew about 1/4 of the alphabet, including what sounds the letters make.
After such a good result from 5 sessions of The Letter Factory, I realized just how easy it would be to get her to learn ALL of her letters in about a month’s time.
So we started watching this thing on and off during quiet times, during carpool, and as a special show other times when I needed the kids to settle down. She has now watched it about 20 times, and she knows ALL OF HER LETTERS and THE SOUNDS THEY MAKE!
If I hadn’t seen it for myself, I would have never believed it!
Hands Down the Easiest Way to Teach Letters & Sounds to a Preschooler
I highly recommend this video to anyone who has a child who doesn’t like learning the traditional way (i.e. sitting down quietly for any length of time). I have yet to meet a preschool aged child who doesn’t like to watch movies or listen to catchy songs, so I truly believe it would work for anyone.
Now that she has learned her letters and sounds, we are reinforcing that in other ways like letter matching games and worksheets. We really like these letter tracing worksheets and this Brain Quest workbook as an introduction to other subjects they’ll encounter in Kindergarten (science, matching games, etc). I think that initial jolt of knowledge was exactly the confidence she needed to complete worksheets. Now she will do a couple worksheets from start to finish without losing interest or throwing a fit! I couldn’t be more thrilled.
If you have a preschool aged child that sounds a lot like mine (or just like taking the easy route like me!), click here to purchase the Leap Frog Letter Factory for yourself.
After that, we moved onto to the Leap Frog Counting on Lemonade to focus on our numbers. After that, I plan on teaching her the basics of reading using the same book I used on my oldest child – How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. This is the book recommended by the administration of their elementary school and teaches reading the same way she’ll be taught in Kindergarten. I can’t wait to start this and see how she does!
**UPDATE! Now that all three of my kids are in school (my youngest went to Kindergarten in 2017), I can confidently say that the resources in this post prepare them VERY WELL for Kindergarten subjects. If you can start introducing them slowly and make things like doing worksheets part of your daily routine, you’ll be greatly pleased with the progress they make in the year leading up to Kindergarten. Furthermore, your Kindergarten teachers will comment on how much they know! This happened with all three of mine. 🙂 I wish the best of luck to you and let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!