About 6 months ago (after learning that Ruby's friend, Ava - who is just 5 months older than she is, was beginning to read) I started feeling like a really bad mom. Up to that point, Im embarrassed to admit, I had never sat her down and worked with her on learning the letters of the alphabet, let alone the sounds associated with each letter. Our occasional singing of the ABC's was about the extent of her academic acuteness. I decided that is was high time we get busy, and do our best to make up for lost time. The first time I sat down with her was a complete joke. We started with the letter "A". I drew an "A", and next to it I drew an apple. See Ruby, this is an "A". An "A" sounds like this: a a a apple. I remember repeating it over and over again, and then having her say it back to me. We spent a good 10-15 minutes on the letter "A" before moving on to "B". Then I did the same thing. Ruby this is a "B" (with a banana sketched next to it). "B" sounds like this: b b b banana. After I was convinced that she had learned everything there was to know about the letter "B", I went back to "A". Okay, now Ruby, what letter is this, do you remember? "Ummm", she hesitated, 'R'? Like a a a banana?" Oh dear, I thought. But the thought also came to me, as I excused her to return to her princesses and baby dolls, that she simply wasn't ready...and that she didn't need to be either. Since then, I haven't forced the issue. I'll sit her down occasionally to see if she's picked up on anything at preschool, if anything that she's been taught has actually penetrated. Each time we sit down together, however, I find myself as frustrated as I was during our very first endeavor. I guess I just figured that because she's almost 4, and because she's been in preschool for almost 6 months now, she would be a bit more advanced than she actually is. A few weeks ago, I decided to come up with some ways to teach her the letters that would be fun and easier for her to learn. For example for "B", I said "okay, picture a bee buzzing around and coming up to the letter "B"...he gets excited when he sees the two holes in the letter "B" because he can fly in the top hole, and out the bottom one." For "O" I opened my mouth in an "O" shape, and just repeated "oh, oh, oh" over and over again.For "P" I said, "Look Ruby, the letter 'P' has an opening in the top that looks like a little potty...it should be easy for you to remember that, because you "pee" in the potty". I probably taught her 6 or 7 letters that night, which surprisingly, she still remembers. She is constantly on the lookout for familiar letters, and isn't ashamed to blurt one out as soon as she recognizes it. We were at the store the other day, and she excitedly exclaimed "look mom, you can go pee in the potty, that's a "P"! or "mom, the bee flies in the top hole and out the bottom, I see a "B"!A couple of weeks ago, she asked me if I could teach her how to write her name. She still isn't able to do it without my help; but she'll watch intently as I draw each letter, and then does a brilliant job of copying me...which makes me burst with pride because we are finally making some progress.