Alphabet/phonics/word work manipulatives add enjoyment to the process of learning to read and spell. These hands-on materials can be found very inexpensively if you know where to look.
Next time you are in a dollar or discount store, be sure to check for potential manipulatives. Don’t limit your search to just the educational supply section, also take a look in the office supply aisle, and the dollar bin area. The toy aisle might reveal manipulatives as well – think wooden alphabet blocks!
The blue foam letter squares, the letter magnets and the alphabet bingo game shown above were each found for only a dollar. I’ve also found simple file folder games and sight word strips, and even the pocket chart for one dollar. Don’t forget to look for blank sentence strips!
Next time you are at a yard or jumble sale, look for old Scrabble or other word games. Doesn’t matter if all of the pieces are there, you just need the letter tiles or word pieces. Many times these games can be had for free. That was the case with the wooden Scrabble tiles shown above. I love those Scrabble tiles because they are very sturdy and will hold up to lots of word play.
Keep your eyes peeled for cheap letter & word study manipulatives – they’re out there!
“Educate the faculties and tastes of your dear ones; seek to preoccupy their minds so that there shall be no place for low, debasing thoughts or indulgences. The grace of Christ is the only antidote or preventive of evil. You may choose, if you will, whether the minds of your children shall be occupied with pure, uncorrupted thoughts or with the evils that are existing everywhere—pride and forgetfulness of their Redeemer.”
Letter 27, 1890
“If in their tender years the minds of children are filled with pleasant images of truth, of purity and goodness, a taste will be formed for that which is pure and elevated, and their imagination will not become easily corrupted or defiled. While if the opposite course is pursued, if the minds of the parents are continually dwelling upon low scenes; if their conversation lingers over objectionable features of character; if they form a habit of speaking complainingly of the course others have pursued, the little ones will take lessons from the words and expressions of contempt and will follow the pernicious example. The evil impress, like the taint of the leprosy, will cleave to them in afterlife.
The seed sown in infancy by the careful, God-fearing mother will become trees of righteousness, which will blossom and bear fruit; and the lessons given by a God-fearing father by precept and example will, as in the case of Joseph, yield an abundant harvest by and by.
An article from the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada is making the rounds through several homeschool sites I visit. It discusses the socialization myth and why early learning programs are not necessarily beneficial to young children. It is definitely food for thought – Nurturing children: Why “early learning” doesn’t help