Sunday, February 3, 2008

Becoming Familiar with the Written Word

A few days ago I got the idea to label Hunter's dresser drawers with words so that he can become familiar with the written word and know which drawer has which item of clothing when I tell him to get dressed, since at this point he seems to always go to the wrong drawer.

I didn't label them with pictures because I think we give little kids far too little credit when it comes to their intellectual abilities, and creating an environment of literacy is a logical step to help them learn about the written language in many ways.

I made the print big, about 3/4 inch font size, and laminated them with packing tape which doubled as an adhesive.

“And thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law very plainly.”
Deuteronomy 27:8

"Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it." Habakkuk 2:2

I made the font so big to that he has no trouble seeing it and can decipher the words at a glance without any extra effort. Just like the example in Habakkuk, where the prophet was commanded to write the vision big enough that a jogger passing by could read it easily, and the example in Deuteronomy, where Moses was commanded to write the law "very plainly." When we label things with very small print it does not encourage reading because of the extra effort it takes.

When I started to make the labels for his dresser I thought, why not make labels for other things in his room to multiply the benefits? So right now there are about seventy five labels in his room alone, everything from "door", "garbage can", and "shelf" to "window", "outlet", and "tissue". I labeled everything that was label-able, meaning the labels would stick to it. Some things I just labeled where they go, like I put "shoes" on the wall by his shoe basket and "guitar" under the piano where his guitar goes. I made everything in lowercase letters because that is how they appear in books.

I think that labeling object around the house (with big font) is a great way for parents to encourage literacy and to help their child become familiar with the written word, giving them a boost in later learning when they learn how to read books, signs, and everything else there is to read in this big, interesting world.

"And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates"
Deuteronomy 11:20

Hunter is 2 years, 10 months old

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