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What letter/number activities are you doing at home?

(12 Posts)
LPickers Mon 22-Feb-16 17:34:56

I think a lot of Mums are confused about what activities, if any, we should be doing at home to develop our pre-school children's literacy and numeracy skills.

I've met Mums who say their two year old know and can recognise all their letters, and other Mums with four year olds who are not doing any activities at home.

Should you be teaching the phonics (sounds), letter names or both?

Our pre-school asks parents to bring in examples of writing they are doing at home - should they be spelling words and forming letters correctly before school?

What about maths?

SomedayMyPrinceWillCome Mon 22-Feb-16 21:30:40

My son has learnt to recognise his name from being at nursery / pre-school. I will sometimes point out the letter his name starts with while we're reading before bed and he recognises that one letter.
That is all I do. He is 3 & will start reception in Sept.
Watching this thread with interest

Believeitornot Mon 22-Feb-16 21:32:45

My dd picks stuff up because she sees her older brother doing it

She can read very simple words because she wanted to know the sounds. So I taught her simple phonics to avoid any confusion (we were doing it at school anyway).

However with my ds I didn't even bother. He wasn't interested at preschool. But he got it by reception

Why is your preschool asking for examples of writing confused

HSMMaCM Tue 23-Feb-16 18:26:45

An example of writing can just be a squiggle they have made across the page and said "that's my name". It doesn't have to be letters or words necessarily.

BackforGood Wed 24-Feb-16 19:56:23

I'm very hmm about them asking to bring in examples of writing..... if they want to see what mark making the dc can do, then surely they observe that when they are accessing that at Pre-school?

I would say read to them, talk to them, point things out as you go about your day (be it a digger in the road or a robin sitting on the fence). Listen to what they say. Do lots and lots of fun things like splashing in puddles, kicking up leaves, rolling in the snow, running on the beach. Let them "help" you change the sheets, sweep the floor, 'peel' mushrooms when cooking your tea, collect things when you go to the supermarket, let them get out '2 forks' when they help you lay the table, etc.etc.etc.
Leave reading and writing until they are at school.

HSMMaCM Thu 25-Feb-16 07:26:44

I agree with Backforgood

GunShotResidue Thu 25-Feb-16 07:51:16

DD is only 2 but is really interested in numbers and letters at the minute. She points out letters that she knows and asks what other letters are. I don't want to waste her curiosity, so we do some number/letter based activities, for example I cut out letter shapes from some pretty scrapbooking paper, cover a sheet in pritstick and she makes a collage with them. As she does it we talk about the letters, but very casually.

Long term I don't think it will make a difference, and I wouldn't even have considered it if she hadn't shown an interest. I think it's far more important to do lots of reading and playing at this age.

MrsMillions Thu 25-Feb-16 08:01:43

GunShot my DD1 is in a similar stage. Love your collage idea, will have to borrow that!

We've got an Orchard Toys alphabet lotto game although so far we're only really playing the picture version - you can match picture to picture, letter to letter, or letter to picture.

I'm also making some letter shaped bunting for her room after she saw (normal shaped) the bunting in DD2's room and said she wanted some.

LPickers Fri 26-Feb-16 18:41:13

Thank you for your feedback. The Orcard Toys are brilliant as V educational - children are learning when thinking its only a game.

My daughter comes come from pre-school with pages of 'artwork' where she has been asked to write her name and other words, by joining dots. She also has to taken in items that begin with particular letter/sounds, etc. My daughter knows most of the alphabet sounds (phonics). The pre-school said she can not add numbers together - she is only 3.

Our pre-school seems to be very advanced (outstanding at Ofsted), and we live in quite an affluent area, but the local (very small) school - full of children who almost all attended the pre-school - complains that new children are 'below the national average for Reception year children'. I find that VERY hard to believe.

Makes me think - what the hell are we supposed to be teaching them before school??

Monkeymonstermum Sun 06-Mar-16 08:01:14

my DS1 is 4 (Jan birthday) so goes to school in Sept. Our nursery is excellent and has taught him all phonics sounds and had him reading already on a reading scheme but reiterated to us at patents evening (especially the previous year) that they do all the formal education things (through play so they don't realise they're doing it a lot of the time) so not for us to worry about that and we should concentrate on fun experiences etc.
Having said that we do lots informally, eg have always counted steps as we go up and down, count how many sleeps until an event, count things on a plate/in books. I spy with colours and sometimes now with letters. Ask what letters certain words start with. Point out words/letters around us eg on signs/cereal boxes etc. A lot of this my som leads as he us v interested and his younger brother (2) has started picking up, especially the counting etc but unless its done as fun and they enjoy it (which mine do) then I think it could start to become a chore. We also read loads to turn both, the nursery book for the 4yr old and others.

Kennington Sun 06-Mar-16 08:12:13

Reading to them a lot.
The alphabet and words that start with that letter.
Numbers and counting objects.
Holding a pen and 'drawing' is done at nursery. and she watches sqiglet on CBeebies which teaches how to write too.
DDs grandparents do all this with her and at that age they are just sponges. If they can learn the cast of frozen the alphabet is less difficult.
I was very against pre school teaching until I saw the results from the grandparents.
Puzzles also help with pattern recognition too.

Monkeymonstermum Sun 06-Mar-16 08:25:03

Oh yes, jigsaws are supposed to be good for reading apparently, as it's all about pattern recognition.

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