Travis and I recently completed a fun Letter of the Week journey, spanning from September 2016 to March 2017. He is so interested in letters and words that I’ve jumped into a sound/phoneme of the week program, though it wasn’t my original intention to start this young! I hope you will find inspiration in the ideas I’ll post along the way, for learning and playing with your own children.
For each phoneme, I’ll focus on one title from Usborne Books & More’s Phonics Readers box set. With the book of the week as our guiding text and in loose combination with the ideas presented in Sound of the Week from Brightly Beaming Toddler, I’ll set up games and ideas to accompany each letter pair. In addition, we’ll use the Wipe-Clean Alphabet Cards from Usborne each week to do some (very elementary!) tracing of the two letters that make up that week’s phoneme.
A few caveats: First, Trav is not yet 3, and I obviously don’t expect him to be reading by the time I finish 20 or so weeks of this “curriculum.” Rather, I adore exposing him to a love of language and to the magic that happens when letters combine and take on meaning. Having a guiding sound – and words that go along with it – helps me to introduce new games, concepts, and toys each week that keep our playtime fresh. This program is ideal, therefore, for parents or caregivers who are at home with a toddler the majority of the day, or for parents intending to preschool their 2, 3, and 4 year olds.
Second, I’m posting the phonemes in random order, so there is no correct way in which to schedule the weeks. You might find that some of the sounds and accompanying words lend themselves to certain seasons (e.g. save “SH” for when you can go to the SHore and collect SHells in the summer!).
Finally, because I want his brain to absorb and process all this new info, I’ll be spending closer to 10 days to 2 weeks on each letter pair, versus the one week we spent on single alphabet letters.
That’s enough preamble! Overall, the idea here is not to impose a curriculum on Travis; it is to learn through play, and to feel joy together each day. Pick and choose the parts that work for you, and above all remember to enjoy.