Dean's always been interested in letters and sounds. He could identify and say the letter R by 15 months or so. He's only 3 and 2 months and he's already sounding out words that he sees in print. The other day at lunch, out of the blue he said, "guh, guh, gold. Gold starts with G, and next is D." I praised him for knowing that it had both G and D and we sounded out the rest of the word. I'd give the sound and he'd give the letter. After we put it up on the fridge in letters we talked about rhyming words and I showed him how if you took the first letter off and left the rest, you have lots of words that sound similar. It was really fun to see him working it all out in his mind. I have done a few lessons in How to teach your child to Read in 100 easy lessons (I think we're on lesson 8 or 9--seriously an awesome book) and he loves it. I don't do it every day because I'm worried he'll get burned out on it. Last time we did it we did 3 lessons and he didn't want to quit after that! He turned to the very end of the book and said, "Let's do THIS page!!!" He was pretty disappointed when I said we hadn't learned enough yet to read that page. He likes spelling "words" on the fridge and sounding them out. Every time it reminds me of Rudy from the Cosby show. "What does ZRBT spell?" Love it.
He's also very interested in numbers. He can count up to 30 with minimal help. Yesterday morning he had me help him count all the way up to 100. He' understands that there's a pattern, but he'd get mixed up occasionally. When we'd get to the "9" number, he'd always ask "What's next mom?" and then he'd try and take over the pattern again. He also tries to tell time on both digital and face clocks. He gets a bit mixed up on the hands though. =) Yesterday he really wanted to wake Matt up for some reason and I told him we couldn't until 8 o' clock. He watched the clock until the second hand got to the 8 and said, "It's 8 mom! It's 8! We need to go wake up dad!" He doesn't believe me about minutes. He can't for the life of him figure out why 1 would mean 5 or 5 would mean 25. We have a little clock puzzle that has the minute numbers written out really small next to the big number, so I think he'll catch on before he's in kindergarten (3 years from now)!