Hello friends, welcome back to Azy Reading Journey website. Maybe you are wondering, what are the best toys for teaching the alphabet?
We wondered about that too, but as we continued to use the toys and materials that we had, we started looking to see which ones Azy preferred.
We started to give him the opportunity to choose the toys and activities that he wanted to do. We did that because when he chose them, he was more engaged and he enjoyed the activities more.
Did We Delayed The Reading Process?
Before I continue, I want to provide a recap of where we are coming from, and where we are now. Azy will be four years old in January.
He has been going to daycare for more than two years, so my family members and I believed that we should be more intentional about starting to teach him to read.
As matter of fact, we are late, because at his age his mother and aunt were already reading. In addition, I believe that kids should learn to read before they start going to Elementary school, because I have seen how rewarding that has proven to be.
Based on my experience with my eldest daughter, Azy’s mother and others kids, I have seen the excellent progress and results when you start to teach kids early.
Since we have to give them enough time to settle down and start interacting with the materials, we should start as soon as possible.
So, I believe that we should have started teaching Azy much earlier, but some family members think otherwise.
Even though we were not teaching Azy to read, we have been reading different kinds of books to him.
Occasionally we would sit with him to help him with his educational toys, and he has several that are turning out to be some of the best toys for teaching the alphabet.
Azy also has other materials that we could have being using to teach him. However, we did not have any set guidelines in place to teach him on a regular basis.
Getting Things Ready For Reading
On the other hand, Azy goes to daycare and he has been learning the letters of the alphabet, numbers, shapes, colors among other things.
He can sing the alphabet song, he knows some colors, shapes and sometimes he can count to 20. So, we thought that since he was already doing those things, teaching him to read would be easy and we would have a wonderful time of teaching and learning.
Surprise!! Not so.
His mother decided on using the Little Champion Reader as the main reading program, and we planned to include other materials and activities to help make learning interesting and fun.
However, when we started Azy on the program, we started to realized that he was unable to identify the letters. It was also taking a long time for him to settle down, and he was not focusing when he was doing the lesson.
To help with the focusing issues, we implemented some activities, such as a reading schedule, a steady routine, a designated area, a distraction free atmosphere and a reading time frame, to see if they would help him to focus more. See more about that here.
We tried to follow the suggested reading schedule for the program and to worked with the activities to see if he would start getting more interested in the program.
The Ups And Downs In Teaching Kids To Read
Sometimes Azy responded positively to the activities and other times, he did not.
As we continued to teach him, we could see that he was starting to lose interest and at times he was reluctant to sit and do the lessons.
At one point, we were seeing more bad days than good days. He wanted to watch the alphabet train over and over, but after that he was not interested in doing much.
We started to think of activities that might be able to get Azy interested in learning.
We knew that we needed to work on helping him recognized and identified the letters of the alphabet.
We were fully aware that we had to do it in ways that would be appealing to him, and make him more willing to participate.
So, we decided to go back to the basics and start teaching Azy the letters of the alphabet. We also knew that we could not keep him doing the same activities for too long because he would lose interest.
That resulted in us buying a lot of letters and using them in different activities to see which would work best for Azy.
He loves to play, so eventually we started to look for ways to use the letters in games to teach him.
His wiliness to do the learning activities started to increased. So, we decided to keep on doing what he loves, and gradually add more alphabet activities.
In doing so, we were also discovering that we already had some of best toys for teaching the alphabet.
Best Ways To Teach Kids To Read
As we continued to teach Azy, we were seeing more and more that he was not yet ready for the reading program, it was too much for him.
He was more comfortable with learning a few letters at a time. We started with the letters, “A, B, and C,” then went to “D, E, F.” Now we are at the letter “L.”
Azy is doing very well with letters “A to F,” and has recently started on letters “G to L.”
He is still not at 100 percent perfect in recognizing and identifying all these letters, but he is doing so much better in focusing, and he is having fun now.
See video above with Azy having fun with the letter “E”.
We are still using the alphabet activities that I mentioned in the last Post.
See more here, and Azy is still loving the 2-1 Magnetic Matching Puzzle.
He is also having more fun when he watches LeapFrog Letter Factory DVD, and he is now singing along more often.
See first video below with Azy singing the song that he is learning on the DVD. The other video shows him having fun with the letter “F.”
Based on the reactions that we are getting from teaching Azy, I believe that is very important to watch how kids are responding.
Parents and others who are helping to teach kids to read, should be fully aware of how kids are engaging with the materials and activities that are being used to teach them.
If they start losing interest, stop and try to find other activities that will hold their attention and get them to participate.
I read and interesting article in Wikipedia, part of it said. “Reading readiness is highly individualistic. There is no “one size fits all” solution to teaching a child to read.
“A parent or educator may need to employ several techniques before finding the most appropriate method for an individual child.” You can read the full article here.
I totally agree with that statement. If a child is not learning like the other kids are, it does not mean that the child has a learning disability.
Having Fun With The Alphabet
If kids are not happy, teaching them will be harder.
In addition, every child is different, and we might have to try various methods before finding the best fit for that child. Once the child starts settling down and focusing on an activity or a set of activities use them.
Maybe you already have some of the best toys for teaching the alphabet, start with what you have and see what happens.
If they are working well, continue using them, and slowly add similar activities as needed.
We will continue to try and find more ways to add games to Azy’s alphabet activities, and also continue to allow him to choose the activities that he wants to do from time to time.
This is done, because sometimes he wants move too far ahead and start skipping letters. Other than that, we are moving along nicely, and we are seeing more progress.
As always, thank you for travelling along with us on Azy’s reading journey. I would like to hear from you.
What do you think about what we are doing in teaching Azy?
Do you think it will help your kids or other kids that you know? What would you change, what would you add?
Please leave a comment and let me know.
If you have any questions, I will be more than happy to answer them. Thank you.
Hello, my name is Jackie. My family members and I are teaching my grandson Azy to read and I am writing about the challenges and the joy that comes from doing so. My goal is to write articles that will encourage and help parents and others who want to do the same for their kids or other children. Thanks for travelling along with us. Blessings, Jackie