At 3 1/2 he surprised me as he showed an interest in letters in a nursery session. He was then given the first set of phonics to try and practice at home. I was quite surprised that he had been given them this early, but they explained they’re only given out if children request an interest. We feel this is a really good way to do it, so the children who aren’t interested aren’t being pushed to produce their name before September. We looked at the letters a couple of times at home when he wanted to and then his interests drifted so we let it go for now.
He is currently recognising ‘T’ everywhere we go and that’s as far as we have got. This is fine as we don’t want him to be sat down parrot fashion learning letters at such a young age.
I remember with my eldest when he was at nursery lots of parents would stress a little for the need for 3 and 4 year olds to be showing an interest in letter formation to write their own names and other words in preparation for school. My big two have both been able to recognise and write their name by the September they enter school, and this is not something we have stressed over them achieving. We have just encouraged them so they can find their coat pegs, write on art work etc. Daisy did start to read a little before Reception as her preschool had encouraged it in the last term, and she is a winter born so one of the older ones in her year.
As a family we feel that nursery should be all about learning through play and doing things like mark making for the early stages of letter formation and learning. Reception after all is still the foundation stage and so is totally the right time to be introducing phonics and writing formation ready for year one at school.
We are encouraging Teddy with his fine motor skills as he’s always struggled to do fiddly things with his fingers, and so his independence in dressing himself is perhaps a little slower than others. We have found a few activities here and there such as using scissors or lacing when we have time and he’s wanting to. As he’s such a keen spotter of his letter ‘T’ we have found ways to make it fun!
Here is our mark making as we’re at home and out and about, we hope it inspires you and your little one to give it a go, as little and often can make a big impact over time.