I have learned a lot about parenting in the last couple months since the school year started back up. This year was a milestone as our daughter, Alex (5), began kindergarten. For the most part, she has handled it well, yet quite different than our son, Zyler (7). The two of them have opposite personalities, and with that, their approach to school massively differs.
Zyler, a quiet self-learner, would spend every night toiling over letters and sounds. We had built a routine of homework where I would give him a letter, and he would try to come up with as many different words that started with that letter. Up to the point where Zyler is excited to read his chapter books. But, what I learned is, what works for one child, does not mean it will work for the other.
We discovered quickly that Alex works in other ways. Her intelligence comes from memory recall. If you can put it into a song, Alex will remember it. It has been effective to the point that she knew the days of the week and the continents before her older brother. But, when it comes to taking a sound and thinking up corresponding words on her own, she would quickly become frustrated. With her, it is a bit more practical, if I drew five things for her, she knew the apple started with ‘a.’ We brought in workbooks, and while effective, Alex’s attention span plays a heavy part on her interest. Many of the repetitive motions failed to keep her involved.
Enter Professor Ladybug. I had recently been in contact with the publisher of these books and received a copy of Alphabet Animals for my, and Alex’s, review. My first impressions were concerned over the size of the book. With over 250 pages, I was concerned that this might come off as daunting to little Alex. I set it on the coffee table for her to find. I did not mention where it came from, or what it was for, and let her little curious mind become intrigued. As the day went on, I could tell that it was driving her crazy, maybe because she said: “it’s driving me crazy!”
By the time evening hit, and it was time for our nightly homework routine, Alex was excited to get started. We started with ‘D’ as it was her classes ‘letter of the week.’ We went through it together, and she was genuinely interested in learning about the animals. We worked our way through the alphabet connect-the-dots, and by the time I gave her the pen to trace the letters she was (for once) happy to do it. She enjoyed writing and drawing pictures so much; she insisted we do another letter.
The next day Alex was up in the morning tracing letters and drawing in the workbook. She has been enjoying it ever since. Our favourite part is the short animal bios. I like these because they do not use your standard recognizable animals. Instead, the book features creatures like a wolverine, urial, or an ibis. Some of the animals are so uncommon that I am challenged and am happy to be able to read so that I look smarter than I am. Even older Zyler has enjoyed guessing the animal names and learning as I read the bios. I’ve learned a few things too, but don’t tell them that.
This Professor Ladybug workbook has been super effective at getting Alex interested in letters and excited to do homework. The alphabet connect-the-dots may finally get us past skipping the letter ‘N.’ I couldn’t be more pleased with this book and look forward to getting some other copies. We also visited the Professor Ladybug website and were excited to find there are learning YouTube videos,- kids love YouTube- with songs- Alex loves songs. If you have a child starting preschool or kindergarten, I would highly recommend getting these workbooks.