At 18 months, Rondel had no interest in letters, writing, drawing, or the written word, except for being read to. (He was so obsessed with cars that he could distinguish makes and models more accurately than I could, though!)
Limerick, however, is utterly captivated by everything having to do with writing and words. He can identify all 26 letters in both their uppercase and lowercase forms; he sings the alphabet song all day long; he draws on every surface in the house and cries if you take his crayons or pencils away; and he is starting to realize that the letters can work together to make words.
Last night, my brother was writing names on a paper for Limerick, spelling them out and telling him what they said. Sometimes Limerick would ask for a specific word and my brother would write that one. And every time he picked up the pencil to write, Limerick would crane his head around to get a better view of the writing process, his whole face animated with focus and fascination. It was so neat to watch!
It is always special to see a young child become intellectually excited by something, whether it’s patterns and puzzles, cars and trucks, or colors and art, and Limerick’s interest in letters is especially fun for me because of how well it ties in to our family culture of books and reading. A love of books and a love of language are such good foundations for a love of learning and the ability to think and critically, coherently, and eloquently – and those are things I definitely want for my children. I see how crippled many of my peers are by an inability to assemble words beautifully or even functionally, and I believe that it is at least partly due to a lack of sophisticated and eloquent aural language input during their childhood years. When we read silently, we can skim over the sentence structure to get the content faster, but in the process we lose the repeated exposure to high-level style that helps develop good language skills.
Ok, enough of that soap box 🙂 I am just glad to see Limerick enjoying himself so much with his letters 🙂