Letterland was created in 1986, and we have been using it since 1989. Since that time we have been thrilled and delighted with the children’s progress, and this is particularly applicable to the children that stay with us until just before they are five, (i.e. September before their fifth birthday).
On one level Letterland is simply fun, that is how the children first perceive it, but beneath the surface, almost subliminally, there is a systematic and structured course of learning, containing the following major elements:
- Emphasis on language: listening, speaking, communicating phonic skills.
- Whole word recognition skills.
- Sentence awareness.
- Reading for meaning.
- Development of reading and spelling together.
- Early creative writing.
The teaching vehicle in Letterland is the telling of stories. The children are encouraged to listen carefully so that they can ask questions and speculate with us about the letters, their shapes, sounds and relationships. We extend the children’s participation by a variety of supplemental activities, i.e. play acting, reciting rhymes, singing Letterland songs, art and crafts and by using worksheets.