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I met the folks at Cardinal Concepts at a home education conference and was immediately interested in the educational products they had developed. As the mother of several children who have struggled to learn to read, I am always on the look-out for reading help. These educational helps would benefit any child, not just homeschoolers.

Cardinal Concepts has developed a two sided 12″ by 18″ laminated placemat that is packed with educational opportunities.
I love to use educational placemats to extend learning time while children are at the meal table plus these cheerful, laminated mats also double as small learning posters at other times of the day.

Because this mat is personalized with your child’s name on both sides, it makes a wonderful gift or just a very special learning mat for your child.

Developed by Jan Shanders, a Special Education teacher who was concerned about how often letter sounds are taught incorrectly, one side of the placemat uses a Mnemonic Integrated Alphabet to carefully teach letter sounds in a memorable and clear way. To learn more about her thoughtful approach read here.

The other side of the mat provides the entire alphabet with dots to help children easily trace the letters for learning. Numbers and corresponding symbols for counting from 1-10 are also on that side as well as a Right hand and a Left Hand in correct corners of the mat so that your child can learn their right and left!

Our youngest was 7 years old when he received this mat and immediately began counting the numbers, tracing the letters and trying out his right and left hands even though he had already learned most of the concepts. He continues to enjoy his mat and receive valuable reinforcement from it.

I recommend these mats for anyone who want to use a fun, natural approach to learning (volume discounts are available for classrooms). For 10.00, this personalized placemat would make a delightful gift for any child.

Cardinal Concepts also provides Mnemonic Flash Cards, Wall Alphabet, Children’s Alphabet Workbook, Fluency Drills and more. Their prices are very affordable.

I recommend Cardinal Concepts and invite you to visit their page and read through their blog for loads of great information about how children learn!

Visit Cardinal Concepts and tell them Jill Farris sent you!


“Jan, we LOVED seeing your letter cards again, pictured on your website. They are TATTOOED inside my son’s head, (and mine.) Without you, and those little stories that each card represents so poignantly, he would not have learned letters, and then syllables, and then…. to read. I cannot recommend them – and you – enough.”
— Sian E., parent, about letter flash cards