We naturally assume that we should begin with the letter ‘A’ when teaching our kids the letters of the alphabet. I certainly did, and since I stayed home in March, we’ve covered the letters ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’, ‘E‘ and ‘F’.
In the book, The Art of Teaching Reading, by Lucy McCormick Calkins, she suggests that the easiest letter to learn is the first initial of your child’s first name. She then goes on to recommend teaching the letter ‘M’ next. Her reason? The name of the letter contains its sound, we can stretch out the M sound without necessarily making sounds that don’t belong to that letter; plus, the uppercase and lowercase are almost the same. I learned this whilst reading an e-book titled I Can Teach My Child to Read: A 10-Step Guide for Parents by Jenae Jacobson, who quoted Calkins, when she shared how to introduce simple phonic rules to kids.
So since I’ve already covered the letter ‘B’ with Ben, I skipped several letters of alphabet line and explored the letter M with the kids last month.
Apart from our usual tracers (you can find some free printables for the letter M here, here and here), which they found extremely easy to do, and learning the sound of the letter (as sung by Pig in Word World) by going Mmm..mmm… Milk, we practised our pincer grip with M&M’s
And made lots of music last month with the keyboard and xylophone.
I wanted to train the kids to sing in tune so I introduced them to the notes C, D and E. We spent the whole month tuning our pitch and learning to sing the notes accurately whenever we played them on musical instruments. Trust me, this has to be taught and repeated till it becomes second nature for the kids to sing their do-re-mis at the correct pitch. They actually need to be trained to listen closely so they can assign the right musical tones to their relative positions on the scale – in this case, the Middle C, D and E.
And that was all there was for us for the letter M! A pity we had to miss the whole Children’s Season thing at the museums because of the haze, but we’ll definitely revisit this letter at the museums next year!