I have been teaching my four year old son to read. He starts school this autumn and for a while has been trying to sound out words from the letters he knows. So we sit each evening for a short time and make up stories from three letter words.
Not wanting to cause confusion with teaching practices he will encounter in a few months’ time, we have been using phonics for some time, making the sounds of each letter on his alphabet poster. The hardest one for him to grasp has been X. The poster shows us a picture of a fox. “F for Fox”. My son rightly says. “Yes.” I tell him, but in fact that letter makes the sound “ks”. It’s a tricky one.
Drinks company Innocent invited us to play an alphabet game with their new magnet collection. It fitted so beautifully with our reading practice that we were delighted to join in. Imagine, if you will, the rolling of eyes when I opened the package to reveal that the letter we had been allocated was X.
The challenge was to take a picture of the letter magnet in an appropriate place. I had planned to take the magnet into hospital and place it strategically against an X-ray sign, but strangely enough when I was there it slipped my mind. I simply couldn’t bring a fox home – the chickens would never forgive me – so I asked my Facebook followers for inspiration. They were their usual amusing selves, suggesting that my recent review of a relationship book could be classed as X-rated, or that I swiftly knocked up an X Factor set for the children.
In the end I gave into the easiest option. Here is a rare photo of the More than Just a Mother pygmies, clutching a xylophone complete with their letter X magnet. Which of course meant an explanation that X also makes the sound ‘Zz’. Honestly, it’s a wonder anyone ever learns to read.
You can play the Innocent magnet game yourself, and win some great prizes. You’ll find all the information you need on their website.