Kesten has a new interest right now, and I love seeing him so engrossed in learning. Kesten's latest obsession is letters. As someone who has been trained as an Early Childhood Educator, I am a big believer in children learning through play. I believe in following their interests and building upon those. I don't agree with the use of flashcards and other methods of trying to get very young children to learn to read and write. When it is age appropriate, children will learn these skills much faster than trying to force it on them when they are too young. I believe that children will pick up a lot of knowledge to help them out in school just by being in a print-rich environment. So, with all that being said, I have been amazed by Kesten's interest in letters lately. I think it started when we were reading him the story Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. We pointed out the 'K' and said, "Hey, 'K' is for Kesten!" After that, he has been picking out 'k's everywhere. At first it was just big letters all on their own. There is a board with all the letters of the alphabet on it at the playground across the street. He started to search for the 'k' there. But soon he was picking out tiny 'k's in words. He points them out in the stories we read, in street signs as we are walking, on labels in the grocery store. "K! Kesten!" he says when he sees one. And now he has added more letters to his repertoire. 'X" came next, because it looks a lot like 'K' and he would get them confused a lot. 'D" for daddy, 'M' for mommy, 'P" for Parker (his cousin), 'C' for Cedar, and 'N' for Noah (his friend), all get pointed out these days. He likes these letters because of their personal significance to him. They all stand for names of friends and family.
He has been playing with "alphabug" (a gift from his Grandma and Grandpa when he was just a baby), listening to it sing the alphabet and he shout out the letters he recognizes.