Letter Picking

Assalaamu ‘alaikum.

When homeschooling, there are times when you’re not sure that your child’s grasping what you’re teaching them and I’ve felt like this on many occasions with Junayd. Sometimes I ask my husband whether my expectations are too high or whether it’s just too early – he usually agrees with both statements. Nonetheless, I remain determined that I shall not, inshaa`Allaah, put him into a public nursery. Therefore, I’ll continue to persevere inshaa`Allaah.

I like to make sure that Junayd’s actually grasping what we do. I know there are those who don’t believe in testing children and the like, but I need to satisfy myself that the whisperings which I get (that tell me that I’m wasting my time and that he’ll never ‘get it‘) are wrong. So, what I’ve started with him recently are what I call ‘letter picking’.

You need:

–> card (or what Americans call cardstock) – any colour will do, but I used white;
–> scissors – I used zig-zag ones;
–> coloured pencils or felt pens

The child will need:

–> glue – I’ve used PVA and the stick glue with Junayd, but I think he prefers PVA;
–> coloured paper or card – we’ve used both.

What you do:

1. Cut out equal square shapes, maybe 10-25. Make them small enough for the child to handle, but big enough for you to write individual letters clearly on each.

2. Write a letter on each card. What I did here was limit the letters from A-D, including both capital and lowercase letters. I wrote in various colours and about 3-6 of each letter.

3. Choose a letter or letters which you want to focus on and tell the child to pick them out. I’ve always done it with one letter at a time – it’s not so overwhelming. Be sure to guide them gently if they get it wrong.

As you can tell, this is a pre-K activity, but can be done for the Arabic alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes,… you can do it for anything really.

Junayd loves this activity because he gets to do two subjects in one: English (or Arabic depending on the language we choose) and crafts (using his fine motor skills with the handling of the letters and gluing). Sorry for not posting pics to demonstrate.

It’s something to try.

~ Umm Junayd.


3 thoughts on “Letter Picking

  1. Assalaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah.

    Don’t worry yourself, insha-Allah have some faith in yourself, insha-Allah Junayd is blessed to have you there guiding him and providing experiences etc for him. I panic too but then I look at my baby and he’s only 2 years old!

    To be honest, deep down I am not worried that he’ll be lagging behind or missing out on anything, if you know any teachers have a chat with them and you’ll soon be put at ease.

    One of my good friend is a teacher and I asked her recently what the average child should have learned by the end of their first year at school, so that is aged between 5 and 6.

    Basically she said, counting up to 20 and recognising the numbers, the sounds of the alphabet and possibly the names of the letters, basic colours and shapes, pencil control, parts of the body, writing their own name, able to copy letters.

    So does that make you feel better? With all the time ad effort we fretting mums put in, all the while trying to be calm and easy, I don’t think we have to stress insha-Allah.


    Umm Abdur-Rahim

  2. Wa ‘alaikumus-salaam wa rahmatullaah.

    Ah, ukhtee you’ve made my day, mashaa`Allaah! I know I shouldn’t worry, but sometimes I can’t help it. I am learning to simply bite my lip when I feel frustrated or I simply leave things because I don’t want Junayd to be scared to tell me what he thinks things are because I may shout or something.

    Alhamdulillaah that list’s quite useful. I guess we’ve got a real head-start mashaa`Allaah.

    Jazaakillaahu khairan for making me smile!

    ~ Umm Junayd.

  3. Loved reading for blog
    Since you are following the montessori based learning. it could make things easier for you if you just follow the age relevant activities as prescribed by Dr Maria Montessori herself . It works more or less as guide to know to make sure that your expectations are not too high and your child is not too young.

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