My Daughter Doesn't Know Her ABCs



Two-year-old Z was busy playing with her toys when she began to sing a familiar tune. I knew it was the song of ABCs but I could not understand the next words, umm or letters, that came after the letter C. She doesn't know the alphabet, whether through writing, speaking, and in this case, singing. And I'm okay with that.


The Race to A Good Start

I have been there.

The mom who felt she was racing to get her child fast track his development. The very mom who wanted her child to learn early on and prepare him for the world since, as they say, it is a fast-paced world now  as compared to my generation. I was that mom who wanted to validate her motherhood through her child's milestones. 

I was made to believe that I am a good mom if my child could read, count, and write earlier than his peers.

I was that mom who cheered and was proud of my child's developments. That mom who was exalted when her child began to know the alphabet at age 1. That mom who screamed with delight when her child began to read at age 3.

I'm a mom, can you blame me?

But I've changed. At least a part of me has.  Intentional parenting has changed my perspective.

In the first years of homeschooling our first born, he was still an only child. All my attention was on him, and as a stay-at-home mom, I had all the intentions then to make our homeschooling work. It was as if I was validating our decision to homeschool him if he learned academics at an early age. I felt that that would stop the questions of other people on why we chose not to send him to a "real" school. I was convinced that if my child learned better under my wings that I was a good homeschool mom.

I thought that homeschooling meant I should be producing outstanding students.

But I was wrong.

And as we go through the years of homeschooling, I learned to be a better teacher and parent. 

There is no race. There is no olympics for parenting. And there are no awards to be grabbed by anyone.


Each Child is Unique


I think one of the best gifts we received by being parents with no helpers at home is that we know our children best than anyone else. And that helps us learn more about their individualities, their learning styles, preferences, and dreams. And as our family increase in number, me and my husband's understanding of the uniqueness of a child broadens.

Kuya V is mature beyond his years. We could have serious conversations about typhoon Yolanda when he was just two - he even gave me a different perspective on what survivors of the typhoon needed back then! He could memorize storybooks at age three. And was very curious about books and things that move. He was a sponge.

Our daughter Z is different from her big brother in many aspects including her readiness to academics. She is a very independent child and knows what she wants but her interests are not on learning the alphabet or counting. She wanted to know how to take a bath by herself, sweep the floor, turn on/off appliances, change diapers of a baby, and help with chores. She prefers to know more about the world she lives in and how adults do their work. She likes to sing and perform in front of an audience. That's her and we respect it.

Hence this past year we focused on developing her fine motor skills through activities and helped her as much as we could in learning some life skills. She can take a bath and brush her teeth by herself, and help with some chores like sweeping floors and putting back clean folded laundry in to the cabinets and drawers.  I still sometimes redo her work but I am happy with her progress.

She is also the "police" of her brothers, constantly reminding them of the rules in our home. And yeah, sometimes, she's the rule breaker and gives  sheepish smiles when she does them.



Follow the Child


If there's a philosophy that I follow in homeschooling Z, it would be Maria Montessori's. We are eclectic homeschoolers but for our daughter, I particularly prefer following a Montessori approach. Not perfect, but trying our best as to which fits for her uniqueness.

Some kids younger than her already know their alphabets and could count. But Z is different from them. And like her being a unique person that she is, our approach to her is unique as well.

A few months ago Z has shown readiness to learn the alphabet. In a post that I made in my social media account, I shared how she learned the sounds of some of the letters just by asking me what they were while she was playing with sandpaper alphabets. Yes, she was just playing when she learned about phonics. It's amazing how kids learn!

I haven't formally taught phonics yet to Toddler Z and she doesn't know yet the names of the alphabet. My plan was just to introduce to her the different sounds of the letters using concrete objects. A couple of weeks ago, she asked if she can play with her Kuya V's sandpaper alphabet on the shelf to which I said yes. While taking out each letter, she asked me what it was. I didn't want to teach her yet the names of each letter. Instead, I sounded to her the sound of each letter she's holding, and followed it with a word she can associate with. For example, the letter P is "puh" like Papa. We did the same "play" for a few days, whenever she asked for it. I was surprised last Friday that she remembered the words associated with the letter. She pulled out the letter P for Papa, letter M for Mama, letter D for Dada (her grandpa), and letter Z for her name. It's amazing how kids learn. 😊 I've been delaying academics on her but I feel that this little munchkin is ready to explore more. 😊 For now, we will just touch on phonics whenever she wants to. I better get my teacher-mom "stuffs" ready for her, just in case she calls out for more. Ha! Ha! . . #homeschool #homeschoolingVandZ #homeschooling #toddlersofinstagram #montessori #sandpaperalphabet #phonics #toddler #mommyblogger #petitemommasworld #homeschoolPH #homeschoolmom #montessoriathome #followthechild
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She has also been vocal about studying since she sees her Kuya being taught to. "Mama, I want study," she says. She would ask for pencils and papers, get books from the shelf, and had ordered me to buy her school supplies.

I believe it's time to move forward and follow her new interests. She is turning three in a few weeks.


Homeschooling a Pre-K Student

I have thrown, if not have given away, most of the materials I used to teach Pre-K to Kuya V. I have kept our Sing, Spell, Read, and Write (SSRW) curriculum but I felt it is not best for Z to use for now.

I guess we are back to zero but it's okay because it meant I have a clean slate to work on. One of the lessons you need to learn in homeschooling is that what worked for your first child would not equally mean it would for your other kids.

Our homeschool year has officially started last Monday and my curriculum for her is still a work in progress. I reckon that it is for the best interests of my daughter if I plan lessons on a quarterly basis and see which lessons and activities would work best for her. But as of writing here are the things I'd like her to accomplish this school year:

  • continue to develop fine motor skills
  • develop visual and audio discrimination
  • learn to use the scissors
  • practice logic exercises
  • dress and undress by herself
  • learn the ABC song
  • identify colors
  • count up to 10
  • identify letters
  • read-alouds
  • learn at least 5 letter sounds

These may change throughout the school year as I adapt to her readiness and interests.


She may or may not learn all the letters of the alphabet this school year. And I am okay with whatever results that our homeschool year can accomplish. Through the years I have slowly learned to be less controlling and be more of a facilitator in my children's learning. But there will be days that I'd be frustrated, days when I'd feel I'm not enough, and days when I'd be pushy for her to learn. Moms can make mistakes, right?  This parenting job is really hard ha! I am definitely a work in progress.


Comments

  1. We are not perfect. Our kids are not perfect too. Ang mahalaga nandiyan lang lagi tayo para gumabay sa kanila at gawin ang ating makakaya para maging masaya at kapakipakinabang ang kanilang pag-aaral at pag-discover sa totoong buhay. Kudos to you, besh! You are doing great! ❤

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    1. Thanks, Besh! :-* Ang goal talaga namin mag-asawa eh mabuhay sila ng marangal, may takot sa Diyos, kapakipakinabang, at independent balang araw. Salamat at may mga kaibigan na tulad mo para mag remind saken kung ano ang mas importante sa buhay. :)

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  2. I will always say this sis, I envy you kasi you're so good on what you do lalo sa homeschooling. I agree with fellow moms, iba iba ang facing ng mga bata and depende baka may pinagdadaanan pa sila sa buhay like my son Yvan. Naway lahat ng ating mga anak ay lumaking maayos at kaya na nila tumayo sa kanilang sariling paa. Surely Z will learn all of it in due time. :-)

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    1. Thanks, sis. You are doing a great job too sa mga kids mo. :)

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  3. Our nearly three year old boy also loves to sing he knows the tune but he just cant articulate all the words. The best I can do is to sing with him. Little by little, he makes improvement. I do not want to rush him but sometimes, seeing other kids his age, I would want to ask myself - San ako nagkulang. I read naman to him and sing with him . we recite the alphabet and I talk to him. Perhaps you're right. Every child is different. I must not pressure my boy. He will learn in time.

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