by Carissa Rogers from www.goodncrazy.com
With 3 kids and also as a Foster parent I’ve had my share of teaching very young kids their ABCs and 123s. And believe it or not I’ve always found the best way to approach phonics is in the car!
I know it sounds a little crazy but especially with my younger kids we end up spending large chunks of time in the car with the after school run-around for the older kids. Plus summer road trips, holiday trips and everything in-between means logging a lot of miles for a 4 year old.
Car time is perfect to encourage your emergent readers and help them get ready for Kindergarten. And when you’re busy in the car, navigating (or sleeping on long trips!) handing them a tablet or smartphone with pre-school educational apps will keep the learning fun and interactive.
4 GoodNCrazy Tips For Teaching Pre-Schoolers Phonics In The Family Wagon:
1. Use What They Know
Keep to the things in their life they know and love. Daddy’s name starts with ‘Da’. Mommy starts with ‘Ma’. Name other siblings, friends, grandparents etc. see if you can come up with REAL people they know to fill up the whole phonics alphabet!
2. Simple Engagement
Ask your kiddo to name the things around him or her. (Inside the car, outside the car and in their brain.) Ask them to repeat the beginning sound of each item they name. Repetition wins here. The more they can repeat all those sounds the faster they will connect those sounds with the actual letters.
3. Use Technology
No it doesn’t make you a bad mom to hand your kid your SmartPhone in a restaurant or plan for a few new apps on the family iPad for a long road trip! I’m amazed at what my 5 year old has learned from a few well-placed moments using my iPad.
My current favorite phonics app is TeachMe: Kindergarten from 24x7digital. For more Pre-school educational app ideas check out Famigo.com, a great family app review site. Other apps we love include: Sid the Science Kid (especially the jokes area!), All Bob Books apps and Spanish Language apps like Little Pim. I find that the comparison of another language in an easy app form like InstaSpanish Kids Lessons helps them learn English phonics and they don’t even know it!
4. Recruit Older Siblings
My older kids are experts in teaching their sibs small lessons leading up to being big readers. After all they were in the same boat only a few years earlier! I find that a younger sibling will sit and listen to an older kid read sometimes longer than they let me read to them!