Tag Archives: Alphabet

Low-Prep Preschool: Letter Sounds

Since Breckyn is able to identify all of the letters, I thought it was time we moved on to sounds. She has been working on them at preschool, so she has a good head start on them already.


I had planned on writing the letters on the big white poster board. She was watching me make the boxes and asked if she could write them, so I thought why not??

I found that she is able to write all of her letters correctly except for a few.

That was enough work for one day, so the next we found things around the house that started with each letter.  Sometimes we searched for an object with a specific sound, and other times we found something and listened for the first sound.

This is all her attention span could handle the first day, so we left it up and worked on it the next.

Low-Prep Learning: Letter Dotting

Last week, we picked up a Bingo Dotter from the Dollar Tree.

I didn’t know what we would do with it at the time, but Breckyn picked it out of her learning box today so I had to come up with something quickly. Luckily, I have the best ideas when I’m forced to think of something last minute or spontaneously.

The first thing that came to mind was alphabet recognition.  I am not organized enough to print out those cute worksheets seen on Pinterest, so we went with handwritten letters.

All I did was tell her a letter and she dotted it.  Super simple, but she LOVED it! Look at that smile!

I chose lowercase letters because she’s got her capital letters down.

She wanted to do it again, but this time I wrote capital letters and had her dot the letters in her name, MOM, and DAD.

I was also thinking to do shapes with her and sight words with my Kindergartner.  How have you used bingo dotters with your little learner?

“What should I be doing to get my child ready for Kindergarten?”

Teachers are a lot like doctors and nurses.

When you have a weird rash or you feel like maybe you’re dying but don’t want to go into the doctor’s office, you ask your nurse/doctor friend for advice or put out a facebook post saying “Doctor and Nurse friends…?”

When you have a question like “Should my kid know how to add yet?” or “What’s with this Common Core crap?” (Yes, I have been asked that.) or “How can I get my child to read more?” you probably ask a teacher friend.

A few months ago, my friend asked me how she should be preparing her son for Kindergarten.


Disclaimer: Kindergarten is an entirely different world from the rest of elementary and I do NOT and will not teach it!  God bless our K teachers and a big THANK YOU for preparing them for 1st grade so well!! However, I’ve had 2 Kindergarten daughters and have taught 1st/2nd grade for 12 years along with 4 years of college experience + 6 years of summer/after school jobs working with children. (That’s 22 years if you’re keeping track.)

After she asked, she said my blog needed to be up ASAP and I needed to address this.  She totally freaked me out because who am I to tell her what her child needs to know by Kindergarten??? Then I remembered the doctor/nurse thing.

So after much thought, I will be doing two things.

  1. Providing the list of pre-Kindergarten skills my 5-year-old’s teacher gave us.
  2. Start a blog series of what I’m doing with my 4-year-old this year before she starts Kindergarten – labeled Kindergarten Prep.

Pre-Kindergarten Skills:

*Number Recognition: counting to 30 and recognizing 0-10 randomly

*Letter Recognition: Identify both upper and lower case

*Write their name: First and last with correct capitalization and clear handwriting

*Belts & Buttons: Practice these things so they can be independent at school

*Listening to stories: Sit still and listen to a story, and be able to talk about the story

Remember: You can do these things (and more) in a natural way. 


I never planned “lessons” for my kids because I’m not that organized. Their learning has been through natural, every day ways. We counted steps or objects when we were out and about, drew shapes while coloring, talked about the colors of Play-doh, rhymed silly words, thought of words that started with certain letters, play with dice, learn letters in fun ways, and do workbooks for fun. Most importantly, we read to them every night and talk about the pictures and story.

Also rememberEvery child is so different!

My oldest daughter could read sentences before Kindergarten, and my current Kindergartener can read a few 3-letter words.  The most important thing, in my opinion, is to instill a love of learning and school. As long as my kids are happy at school and enjoying learning, I am not concerned with them being above average learners.


And, last thing to rememberSocial Skills

What’s more important than what your child knows is how he or she treats the teacher and classmates. Teach your child social skills of showing respect, listening, taking turns, accepting “no” for an answer, being polite, and taking responsibility for things and actions.

To see how I am preparing my 4-year-old for Kindergarten, look for the tag “Kindergarten Prep”.