There’s something so wonderful about having a front row seat to your child’s education and growth. Case in point: my three-year-old son’s phonics practice, using step boards. I’ve been very careful about not lumping him in with his sister, who learned to read when she was 4, and is currently a kindergarten-aged child doing second and third grade work. Simon’s very much a child who does things in his own time (just ask me about his potty training, or lack thereof — OY!). But he enjoys being around us when his older sister’s “doing school,” and every once in a while, I’ll pull the step board out and he’ll work on his letters or numbers. Over the past week or so, I’ve added in the phonics strips on the bottom, for an added challenge, and Simon was more than up for the task.
I LOVE step boards. Love. We got ours from a huge bunch of discarded materials from our local public school district, but I would purchase them in a heartbeat, in spite of their price. I’ve heard they are a big hit in Montessori schools, because they are entirely self-correcting. Each tile will only fit in its designated space. The upper and lower case letters are interchangeable (in the picture, we are using lower case letter tiles on a board printed with upper case letters). The strips at the bottom are wonderful. We’re working on beginning letter sounds, but there are also ending letters, and short/long vowel sounds. I cannot say enough good things about how well these work for little hands, especially hands that aren’t 100% ready to write.
I will profile the number step board, next.