I’ve had several people ask me about the specifics of the A-Z activities I’ve been doing with Charlotte this year, so I thought I’d share a little of the “behind the scenes” details and some of the resources I’ve used.
The first thing you will want to do is decide what your purpose is. Do you just want to introduce the letters to your child? Do you want them to start learning to write their letters? Do you want to have a theme for each letter and do lots of fun activities? Do you want to focus on reading together? Crafts? Learning Bible verses?
I would suggest that you brainstorm all your wonderful ideas, but then just focus in on a couple. For example, I decided I wanted to do a theme for each letter, learn about a country for each letter, and learn a verse for each letter. We didn’t end up sticking with the countries for the whole time, because it got to be too much, but we were pretty consistent with a theme and a verse.
Once you have a vision, start planning! I was trying to supplement what Charlotte was doing at preschool, which was focusing on a new letter each week, so we would also work on that same letter at home. For me, a week was a little too short to get much done, so if I were to do it again, I would spend 2 weeks on each letter. Our focus was on reading lots of books each week in relation to our theme, practicing writing the letters, and sometimes doing a few crafts or coloring sheets.
Check with your local library to see if they have a reserve system…this was a lifesaver for me. I would go online and put books on hold and they would pull them for me and leave them by the front desk so that I could just run in and grab them…it made it so much easier than having to search for the books with the kids in tow.
I also tried to get a couple of letters at once during my library trips so that I didn’t have to go every week. Our library allows us to keep books for 3 weeks, so I would pick up T and U books at the same time and not have to make another trip so soon.
I also printed out my worksheets several letters at a time and kept them all in a binder so that when it was time to start a new letter it was all ready to go.
Be flexible! Obviously some weeks were better than others. And at a certain point we weren’t having time for the countries too, so we dropped those. Some weeks we skipped the letter if things were too hectic. Don’t be afraid to change up your system if something isn’t working for you.
Keep it simple. I tend to try and do too much…you should see all the ideas I started with compared to what we actually ended up doing!
1+1+1=1 has printables for letters of the alphabet. There isn’t a page for each letter yet, but there are lots there and more being added all the time. It’s also a great website for all kinds of learning activities.
Crayola Coloring Pages is where I got all of my flag coloring pages for different countries. They also have writing pages if you’re having your kids practice writing letters. I like these ones because they also have a blank spot where the child can draw a picture of something that starts with the letter.
Confessions of a Homeschooler is one I didn’t find until we had finished our A-Z unit, but she has a ton of great resources, and I’m going to use some of her A-Z Review materials this summer for review.
This site is where I got many of my alphabet printables and they have lots of activity ideas as well.
PBS Kids has a great book finder to help you locate books by age and theme.
I printed off these handwriting worksheets from Confessions of a Homeschooler and got them laminated at Staples. Charlotte practices tracing them with dry erase markers.
My A-Z Pages:
A is for Apple, B is for Butterfly, C, D is for Dragons and Dinosaurs, E, F, G is for Giraffe, H is for Hippo, I, J, K, L is for Lions and Ladybugs, M is for Moon, N is for Numbers, O is for Owls, P is for Princess, Q is for Queen, R is for Rainbow, S is for Star, T is for Turtle, U is for Umbrella, V is for Violin and Vegetables, W is for Whale, X, Y is for Yellow, Z is for Zebra
Children Just Like Me: A Unique Celebration of Children Around the World. This book features children from all different countries and tells a little bit about where they live, what school is like for them, their families, what they like to do, what they eat, and basically just how they live.
Children Just Like Me: Celebrations! This book features holidays from different countries around the world.
Big Thoughts for Little People: ABC’s to Help You Grow. This book has a word for each letter of the alphabet, such as H is for helping, K is for kindness, and P is for polite. There are questions to discuss for each concept as well as Bible verses.
So, that’s a little look at what I did…I’m always looking for new ideas, so if you have any tips or resources to share with me, please do!