how do u teach a 3.5 yr old to learn her abc's so she can go to school? need help...

Krystal - posted on 07/19/2010 ( 63 moms have responded )

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i have a daughter that's 3.5 yrs old and she wants to go to school, but i told her she had to know her abc's and count to10. She almost has counting down, but abc's are a different story.

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Dana - posted on 07/24/2010

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Practice, practice, practice is the key! Get the foam letters for the bathtub and during bathtime one of you hold up a letter and ask the other what it is, then you say a word that starts with that letter & sound it out. Make it fun :-) Get the basic primary colors in sheets of paper, with a bold marker print the name of the color of the paper on the sheet. Sound that out, go over the letters... Many of the pre-school channels etc Nick, Sprout, Baby Developmental are excellent with helping with teaching. My daughter is 2.5 and she's known her ABC's & #'s since she turned 2. Just talk to you r child all the time, they learn a lot from just that!! Going down the road in the car, talk about the trees and how green they are and how yall are driving in the car on the road. When you get to a STOP sign, spell it out to her. Anything like that will help your child out.

JuLeah - posted on 07/23/2010

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At 3.5 she will attend pre-school and she does not need to know that stuff to go to pre-school.

Asking a kid to memorize numbers 1-10 or the ABC's might not be the best road to take.

Understanding numbers is what is important. Does she know this symbol we use for four (4) means four things? Can she match a picture of four apples with the number 4? Does she understand the number 4 is bigger then 2?

Do you see what I mean?

As for letters .... the letter sounds are far more important then the letter names. Does she understand that each letter makes a sound (some 2 sounds) and does she know what the sounds are?

Can she cut with scissors? That is a pre-writing skill that is very important. Can she wrote her name?

Does she know her shapes, colors?

Can she tell a story with a beginning middle and end?

Can she put together puzzles? Zip up a coat? ..... Can she share toys, use her words if there is a conflict, wait her turn, stand in a line, follow two step instructions?

These are all important kindergarten skills and skills she will learn in a good pre-school.

User - posted on 07/19/2010

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She doesn't need to do these things before she goes to school and to be honest the teachers probably won't thank you if you teach her differently from the way they would teach. For example, it's more important that they learn the sound of letters before the name of them.

By pressurising her you may well make her less willing to want to learn. Reading should be fun and enjoyable. The best thing you can do at the moment is to share books with her, read to her and sing rhyming songs.

Emily - posted on 07/19/2010

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I agree with Michelle.. why all the pressure? She'll learn those things in school too.

Michelle - posted on 07/19/2010

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Why does she need to learn these before she goes to school? I did ABCs and counting with my girls before they started school but they both started school at age 3 and were taught there also!

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Heather - posted on 10/06/2010

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a great website your daughter can do: www.starfall.com It's so cute and fun, she will love it.

Judy - posted on 10/05/2010

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Teach her the ABC song, use magnetic or foam letters to help her learn the letters, point and name letters you see on signs, billboards, books and newspapers, sound out beginning sounds of words and see if she can guess what letter makes that sound, buy her a Fridge Phonics games.. Just a few ideas for teaching the ABC's....

Sara - posted on 07/25/2010

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There is one thing you can do. Go to a dollar store and buy two sets of the alphabet with magnets. Put one in order on your fridge and the other let her pick one letter whenever she feels like it. Just read them for her as you point them and repeat the one she picked. Will take some time but you will get her to learn them. Good luck.

Tracey - posted on 07/24/2010

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Being a teaching assistant, i would not worry about your child not knowing their ABCs as they learn it at school, many of us learn our children it wrongly anyway and when they get to school it is very hard for the teacher to undo what they have learnt at home and teach them the right way

Victoria - posted on 07/23/2010

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sing abc's with her, show her index cards with the letters, make games of putting the letters in order

Lindsay - posted on 07/23/2010

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My daughter is 2 and is learning them. we bought her these alphabet foam bath letters that stick to the tub. so i am teaching her in the tub and it's fun to her. I also have this magnetic toy thatsticks to the fridge and came with all the letters and it sings the alphabet to her. so she plays with that while i cook. we also sing it all the time in the car. I think she is more wiling to learn when it's fun and your not pushing it on her. but, every kid is also different. And she is still little.

Melissa - posted on 07/23/2010

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My daughter is 3 1/2 also and has been going to school since she was two. If you really want to help her try flash cards, preschool workbooks, art activities with letters, songs, reading, etc... Don't be in a big hurry for her to learn everything before she goes to school. Playing and interacting with others is so important right now and not so much what "academics" they know.

Courtnie - posted on 07/23/2010

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leapfrog makes great toys to help but we also sing them ALL the time. leave posters on the wall with the abc's so she's always seeing and hearing them.

Nakita - posted on 07/23/2010

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i have a two year old and everthing that is learned is a game, he knows his numbers and can identify them, he knows his latters and can identify them but putting them in the order ofthe alphabet is a little challenging but we practic everyday, he knows the alphabet song. just turn it into a games and he will join in.

Andrea - posted on 07/23/2010

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My daughter actually learned the ABC's from the disney channel. They used to do a short thing called Choo-Choo Soul where they did little songs and my daughter would dance and sing to it. It took a while but she got it down good. I also sing a lot to my kids and they know Itsy Bitsy Spider and other songs like that.

Randi - posted on 07/23/2010

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our son (3) watches chicka chicka boom boom on youtube and they play it for him at school, he loves it. another great tool is the leapfrog alphabet fridge magnet toy thingy, it sounds out the letter and helps develop spelling skills as they grow. finally, try singing the alphabet song and doing A is for Apple when she's eating an apple or B is for Book when its story time.
Hope it helps

[deleted account]

My daughter has a cd we play for her in the morning and at night that has the ABC song on it. It was suggested to us by her speech teacher...along with a book that we made together.

Lisa - posted on 07/23/2010

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1. Music- there are many different abc songs if you don't like the original. 2. Play on the keyboard with her. 3. Show her pictures of an "a" then have her find one in a picture/on tv/in a magazine/etc. 3.Nick Jr. and Sprout do a lot of great things with the alphabet.
The tough thing about preschoolers is they just have to be ready to do it and then they will, and I know it can be frustrating if you are ready for them to learn something and they are not ready yet. I hope you guys find something that works for you! Best Wishes

Mary Kate - posted on 07/23/2010

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As a homeschooling mother, I can say they pick it up quickly when they are ready. There's a lot of pressure to compare children and start teaching them early. We read lots and play outside. Children learn through play, and don't forget there's a lot they need to learn about the world around them.

Rachel - posted on 07/23/2010

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My two year old and I have sung the ABC's for ever now and she loves it cuz even thoug it is not always right I cheer her and she loves that she did a good job. My daughter loves to sing and she also has a lot of books(Disney picture Dictionary is awesome!). We read a lot and we do thing like the other ladies have said about saying letters in the car and while we are at the store and stuff like that. If you can find a way to make things fun or maybe even a little silly that seems to help lots of kids! Just make it fun for both of you and alway tell you kid they are doing a great job even if they are still at the same point as last time, it will make them feel great and want to do more!!!

Pepita - posted on 07/23/2010

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No need to know alphabet before school. If she can recognise her own name that is good. Read lots of stories. Sing nursery rhymes and other short catchy songs. She needs to be able to follow instructions, socialise with other children, function in a group situation and recognise her own belongings. Whatever you do decide to do, make it fun and not a chore.

[deleted account]

http://www.fisher-price.com/us/fun/games...

I sang it with my daughter every day, she alot of leapfrog toys that sang them, and I used this website, good for recognition, and hearing it, and they love it. Used it with my daughter, and was a great bonding time for both of us. My daughter is now 4 1/2, has sang her ABC's for quite awhile, and with this game, recognizes all but 2-3 letters. But if you sing it while you guys are doing dishes, or just cleaning, she will pick up on it fast. good luck.

Jenny - posted on 07/22/2010

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Funny how different it is between our countries. In Sweden, children start pre-school at age 6 and they don´t have to read or count or anything. Thats the point, they learn by playing and of course some kids start reading earlier but to expect a child to manage their ABC- perfectly by age of 2 is not expected here. Then they are still toddlers, and even if they "learn" their ABC, it is still a game for them, I don´t think they really understand what they have learned. It's like learning a song in a forreign language, like for my girls who don´t speak english. They copy the word but can hardly understand what they´re saying (well of course I can tell them). Interesting anyway to read about our differences between countries ;-)

Robin - posted on 07/22/2010

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As an Early Childhood educator, don't worry about learning the ABCs and counting to 10 before she goes to school! It isn't appropriate for all children!

Charlotte - posted on 07/22/2010

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OK im in New Zealand and have a 3.5yr old girl. learning the ABC's shouldnt be pushed onto them. they will learn in time. she has an ABC fridge magnet that sounds out letters and all the sounds they make. it helps her heaps when trying to say a word. she has no clue about the ABC's thought. she will learn those in good time. thats wheat kindy is for so they can learn in a fun enviroment.

Rachel - posted on 07/22/2010

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jolly phonics books are fantastic and thats what the nurseries - pre school use in my area as there is a certain way they like you to teach them when they sound it out, but like someone said in one of the other posts nursery do tend to do alot of it for you and you just keep up with it at home

Brittany - posted on 07/22/2010

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I am a teacher, and I can tell you she will definitely learn those things in school. If you want her to be ahead of the game, sing and read with her often (at least once daily), show her her written name and talk about the letters regularly, point out letters in context (like M for McDonalds or W for Wal-Mart), use abc magnets, etc. then just let her learn them in her own time. If you force her to learn it before she's ready, it will be frustrating for both of you and could hurt her attitude about learning.

Rocio - posted on 07/22/2010

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just keep up with the repetition every day. Sing the ABC songs. I have seen that Hooked on Phonics works very well too. My daughter was three when i introduced her to the PreK hooked on phonics. What i did was showed her the card with the letter symbol, repeated e.g A and then the sound (Ah) and then associated it with the picture Apple. The Phonics gives u a guide as to how to work it. its an everyday thing and it takes time. Maybe even starting with five min a day and slowly increasing the time. i think max is like 10 min for a three year old. (short attention span) soon you (mom) will memorize the letters, sounds and associations and will repeat them in the car to them. MY daughter caught on to it rally fast! soon i would tell her the letter and she would repeat back the sound. ..
Try Walmart.. thats were i purchased it. or Maybe target.
good luck

Carolyn - posted on 07/22/2010

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I am a teaching assistant in an all day kindergarten. The first step to learning is to read to you child at least once a day. My daughter has read to my grandson since the day he was born. He is 9 mo. and loves books. Also, this is pretty unorthodox, but when my daughter was a baby, she would watch 'Wheel of fortune' with me every evening. I bought her a new ABC book when she was 18 mo. old, and she immediately told me 20 of the letters. The only way I can figure that she learned these, was from hearing people call out a letter, and watching it appear on the screen. She started teaching herself to read when she was 3 years old. Kids soak up everything they see. They also learn by example. If they see you reading daily, they will want to, and the desire to read means you don't have to work too hard. Find books about subjects they like. That way, they will want to see what it says.

There are also many educational, fun videos to help teach letters and words. Baby Einstein has some fantastic programs. Sesame Street continues to be a good resource.

Most important, make it fun!

Carolyn - posted on 07/21/2010

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I have to agree with the other moms. I have a 3 & a 2 year old that just recently learned their abc's. I taught them with the abc song. They love to sing and it was the perfect way to incorporate learning for them. We shouldnt have to feel pressured to teach these things to our kids so early but with the standards on education getting tighter each year they pretty much need to know some of these things before starting school. I have also taught my two older kids to count up to 12 so far. Still working up to 20. They also know their shapes, colors and body parts. Good basics for a strong foundation.

Sandy - posted on 07/21/2010

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Try to stay away from all the little TV shows that are loud and just interject bites of information quickly. That can lead to ADD training their minds to only be able to handle so much info in brief periods of time. Also, most all of the things your respondents are mentioning are great, as long as you don't have a child that suffers from any Learning Disabilities. Don't worry about having your child set the bar, just keep an eye on things to make sure she is on target. Don't push, it will all come in time. If it doesn't, check out Search & Teach on the NILD website that I mentioned above. No one wants to admit there could be something wrong, but denial won't help your child, if it turns out to be something really important. And don't label them lazy either. Kids naturally want to please, seldom at that age are they not learning on purpose.

Leslie - posted on 07/21/2010

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Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a great book and it helps alot. However, the best learning tool is singing the ABC song, alot. Kids love to sing and after learning it through repetition, they begin to make the connection between the song and the actual letters. It helps with letter recognition too.

Jennifer - posted on 07/21/2010

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LeapFrog DVD on letter sounds!!! It is thoroughly entertaining, short and perfect for your childs age it will teach letters and their sounds in a fun exciting way! It is titeld Letter Factory.

Sandy - posted on 07/21/2010

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I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about it. But, at 4 I was still having similar things with my daughter. Wish I could have gotten some agreement from the teachers. They didn't consult with me until halfway thru 2nd grade. She had short term & long term memory issues, auditory and visual delays, and dyslexia. She has every ability to learn, it just takes her longer to learn, and more repetition is needed. So do monitor it. Mother knows best. If you are still seeing the same issues at 4.5, then I recommend a Program called Search & Teacher. You can check it out at www.NILD.net.

Nicole - posted on 07/21/2010

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well i teach them the song first by singing it to them a lot then have them to sing along with you. then get flash cards and go over a-d for awhile until they get it down. then go on to a couple more letters but review the ones they have already learned. they will get the hang out if fast. writing is always a good way to teach them. they wont write good of course but its also good practice for them. once they get the 1-10 down good keep going further with it. that will be great for her once she goes to school.

Heather - posted on 07/21/2010

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The best way to teach your children things that you think are important is to make those things a part of everyday life. at Walmart-we're at the W store, eating cherios-look these are all Os! Reading books, point out the words and explain that thats how you know the story. You might try tangible letter toys, like the abc magnets or bath toys and just play with her mentioning the letter names as you play. My kids enjoyed Leap Frog videos too. There are lots of ways to make letters part of her everyday vocabulary, but I think its important to not worry her about it. Kids learn so naturally there's no need to make it feel like work at this age. Try to have fun with it :)

Lesa - posted on 07/21/2010

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Teach her 4 or 5 at a time...mixed up. When she gets those down...another 4 or 5. A child can recite the alphabet no problem A to Z ...but you have to get her to actually recognize the letter and put a sound to it as well....that is why it is best to mix them all up to learn. I am sure she can spell her name..but can she recognize each letter? This will take months so be patient!! Good luck!!

Megan - posted on 07/21/2010

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I agree with what you are doing and my partner and I started this with our daughter. From the time she was born we read books to her, as she got older we got books that were appropriate for her learning, we have books on colours, books on numbers and alphabet books. She is now only two and can tell us all the colours in her books, count to 20 and say her whole alphabet. I got a scarpbook for her and we sit down with her and each week focus on a different letter, she draws her little swiggles and i draw picture relating to the letter of the alphabet, for example the letter "a" i would draw an apple and write the word next to it and ask her what the picture is, show her what an "a" looks like and get her to show me where the "a" is in the word. And because i involve her by letting her draw as well she has fun doing it.

Victoria - posted on 07/21/2010

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My oldest could write his name before he entered Kindergarten and he was so bored in K that he was constantly disruptive. Try to teach but don't beat yourself up. Make it fun use play-doh to form the letters, using flashcards as a guide. Write it in the sand. Do not trick yourself into believing that your kids have to know this stuff before hand. I am studying to become an elementary educator and know that none of it is a requirement, and if you push too hard you can push them away from it.

Sarah - posted on 07/21/2010

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my daughter will be 3 in september and she knows the whole alphabet and how to count to twenty all by her self. The way i taught her was every night before bed i would sing it with her then we would count to twenty i started doing that with her from about one yr old and i still do it every night with her but now we count to 30 together, i also sing it with her every time i have a spare moment, i would say lets sing the alphabet and even if she didn't want to i would anyway and she would listen. well i hope my info will be of use it worked wonders for me, but every child is different and will learn at there own pace. Best of luck

Mindy - posted on 07/20/2010

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You are so right. My son is three turing four in a few months but not allowed to go to school yet since he is a turning four after august for our schools here. Don't worry so much. I'm learning and almost done with college to teach and what i have found to be effective for my son is things to consider. I have observed different children and found it depends on them. Depends on how much they really are intrested, ready to learn, wheither the child is a boy or girl, and the environment they are in. In some cases girls take off faster than boys not all the time though. Just do your best to encourage reading and let the children see you read as well to encourage it further. I'm a first time parent and still learning, but hope this has been helpful in some ways.

[deleted account]

She doesn't need to learn them before she goes to school. School will help her learn them quicker as they are always going over the alphabet and she can learn from other kids as well.

Singing the alphabet regularly will help, as will having an ABC chart on the wall with pictures so she can see familiar items that start with the letter. Go over them regularly. Books are great too and if allow TV, there are some great shows which focus on the alphabet.

It's all about patience and repetition. Go for a walk and talk about what you see. There's a flower, what does flower start with? It starts with F, what else starts with F? Fish, feather, etc.

I found it's easier to start with her name, as it's something personal she can understand. What her name starts with. what else starts with that letter and the other letters in her name. Have a wall plaque or door sign with her name on it and go through the letters daily.

I also found magnets were of a great help also. I brought alphabet ones with the animals behind the letter so she can play and rearrange them on the fridge and she can hold each letter individually and see the animal behind it.

DeAnna - posted on 07/20/2010

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We used the leapfrog toy. It comes with letters and teaches them their ABC's. It has a base and they put the letters in when asked. It also provides the phonics for each letter so it made it easier for him to start reading early. They also have a version for easy three letter words. Our son knew his ABC's by sight and sound around his 2nd birthday and then read shortly there after. He is already reading books at about a 2nd grade level (he is 4). I think it made learning to count easier and now he can go well over 100 (Chica-Chica 123 helped understand past the number 10 and how the repetitive numbers work after 10...he practiced with the front and back pages where it lists 1-100). Hope that helps.

Carl - posted on 07/20/2010

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i got this refrigerator magnets abc's. when my daughter was 20 months she recognized the alphabets. not the abc song but really recognized the letters. i would just take 3 letters per day and teach her, i would pretend that a letter is missing by hiding it and look for it together. and then she would remember that letter. it's up to u how many letters per day. hope it works.

Amanda - posted on 07/20/2010

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when your doing stuff in your house sing the song usually they catch on or buy the abc's dvd through Baby First dvds you can find them in walmart and they work awsome for even 2 year olds my son is 3 and loves those dvds and he counts with them and sings along even if ya find some other dvd with abc songs those really do help a whole lot

[deleted account]

They don't have to know that before they go to preschool and they can't go to Kindergarten at 3.5....

My girls started reading at 3.5 (little braniacs taught themselves), so that doesn't really help. My son is 2 years and 4 months and he only consistently recognizes the letters B and M. He can count to 10 as well, but never does it w/out help. The girls were much farther ahead of him at this age, but I'm good w/ it. The only reason I'm even trying to teach him his alphabet now is cuz I figure if he knows how to say all the letters properly then his speech will be easier to understand. ;)

Chantel - posted on 07/19/2010

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Singing the song. repeatedly and daily just like we get songs stuck in our head the letters tend to stick with them. I taught my oldest daughter by singing in the car and when I bathe her for the night. When she went to school she was already reading.

[deleted account]

Sing the ABC song and visit the library to check out a variety of alphabet books that you can read to her. I love the Leap Frog video called Letter Factory. It teaches letters and their sounds. Leap Frog also sells a refrigerator phonics game that's really neat. V Tech has a lot of letters games as well.
Preschools usually study a letter of the week and teach letters and counting to their students.

[deleted account]

As a former teacher my suggestion would be to relax and let her learn them in her own time. You can always sing and read to her but really, she will learn them when she's ready. If she enjoys singing and dancing or acting out songs, you can have fun with learning to count and say the letter sounds. There are many suggestions for various learning activities, not writing or worksheets, that can make it fun to learn. She will learn them faster at her own rate. Let her have fun and once you relax, she will and begin to enjoy learning as well.

Lindsey - posted on 07/19/2010

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i put my daughter in daycare so i would have some help teaching her those kinda things.. songs definetly make the difference! my daughter was taught what each letter looked like as she was taught the song where as her cousin (same age) only thinks its a song and cannot pin point the letters. my 4 yr old also only can count to about 14.. but every child is different and learns at different speeds so don't worry or force too much on the little one... oh work books (found at most dollar trees/ dollar stores) are sooo awesome to use too!! makes the teaching lessons so much easier..and has given me things to teach her i never would have thought to (such as: which one is different & why/right-side up & upside down) all kinds of fun stuff!!

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