Some months ago (I wish I could remember exactly when, and/or had taken a picture of it) Jenna decided, after yet another disappointing trip to McDonald’s, that she needed to write a letter. I looked up their corporate address (because while I’ve complained to our local franchise in the past, and they have taken great pains to correct the issues, I don’t think they regularly receive actual letters), and a letter was written; something to the effect of, “I really like going to your restaurant, and I love the PlayPlace, but you need to stop messing up my order.”
We’d forgotten all about until last week, when she finally received a response:
The coupon is for a free “sweet treat:” either a sundae, or a pie. If she’d complained to the local franchise, she probably would have received more, but then again, maybe not. It wasn’t so much about what she received, as it was about the process of writing a letter (we went over how to format a business letter and what makes it different from a personal letter), and the fact that she received a response, at all. Letter writing is a dying art we intend to keep alive, though communication with businesses, keeping in touch with family, and connecting with pen pals.
Here’s a picture of my sweet girl, opening her letter.
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.