We are only now coming to the end of the six-week Summer holidays. School will resume for Number One next week. Lately I have been reflecting on Number One’s development. He has made such progress in the past few months. I can hardly believe the change in him. Last September he could write his name and that was it. Now, 12 months later he’s reading whole books in German and in English and can write in both print and cursive.
It was a tough year for him and it has made me determined to have Number Two better equipped for dealing with school. Number One had been keen on learning but we didn’t want him to be bored at school, so we followed all the advice from teachers and kindergarten not to teach him to read or have him learn the alphabet. He’d learn all that at school, they said, and in the end he did. But it was a very steep learning curve, not made any easier by the fact that many children in the class could read and write on starting school. I feel that he’d begun to lose interest in learning before school had even started.
Number Two has been following his big brother’s progress and is very eager to learn, always spotting letters from his name and from other words he recognises. So we’ve decided to go against the advice and go with what our child wants to learn. I’ve rooted out all the ABC books I bought when Number One was younger. But best of all, I’ve bought us a brilliant new alphabet poster and matching mini poster that are perfectly suited to bilingual children like mine.
Love Your Lingo is an Australian company founded by an Irish woman called Una. I am ever grateful to Helen, The Busy Mama herself, for mentioning Una in a post and helping me discover these brilliant ABC posters. They cost around €20 each (the pricing is in Australian dollars and worked out at just over €19 the day I bought mine online).
The alphabet posters and mini posters are of excellent quality and are highly unlikely to get ripped to shreds, the fate of most posters that some into this house. The illustrations are clear and the words chosen to represent each letter of the alphabet are ones that children will quite easily recognise. But for us the fantastic thing is that the words chosen begin with the same letter in German and in English. So B is for bath / Badewanne, L is for lion/Loewe and T is for tower/Turm. I am over the moon to have discovered these. It has made such a difference to Number Two’s confidence with letters already.
|The Little Linguist’s Alphabet from Love Your Lingo covers English, German, French, Spanish, Portugese and Dutch.
As I was re-visiting our alphabet books, I found this one which I had forgotten was multi-lingual. Wenn Raketen Träumen (When Rockets Dream) is a brilliantly imaginative ABC book for space-loving boys like mine. We came across it by chance a couple of years ago in our local newsagents and only discovered when we got home that it was multilingual.
Each page depicts the rocket dressed up as something different, with D for Dragon/Drache, F for Fish/Fisch, P for Penguin/Pinguin, etc. Some are a bit tricky to name, like C for clown’s nose/Clownsnase.
The relevant word is written in the top left-hand corner of the page in seven languages, making it a great book for lots of families.
The boys had great fun spotting the rocket in each of the drawings and naming the creature or object he had transformed into.
Apple Pie ABC by Alison Murray is a beautiful book to look at but not terribly helpful for small children. Number Two loves the facial expressions and cheekiness of the dog, but he is not overly interested in the story because the language used in much of the story is too advanced for his age group. A for Apple, B for Bake and C for Cool are fine, but Q for Quietly determinded is a bit out of his vocabulary.
I’m excited to see how longs Number Two’s interest in reading and writing keeps up. What was your experience with your children? At what age did they develop an interest in letters and reading?