Teaching the alphabet to your children prior to teaching them how to read is the most important aspect of a child’s literacy journey. Some of our clients have trouble with spelling or reading because they are not phonetically aware of the sounds each letter of the alphabet makes. Therefore, we always start with the foundation of letter recognition.
According to Scholastic.com, ‘Most children learn to recognize letters between ages 3 and 4.”
When introducing the alphabet, make sure each letter of the alphabet is stated clearly. The most popular way many of us have been taught the alphabet is through the ‘A,B,C’ song. During the song, most children tend to lump ‘LMNOP’ together. When you get to this part of the song, make sure to go slower and clearly state these letters so your child can hear the separation of these letters. Make your own cutouts of the alphabet letters or purchase some alphabet letters from Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, or Target. Place the letters in sequential order and have your child visually see each letter. Sound out each letter distinctly. It is important for your child to hear each distinct sound each letter makes. You can draw a picture of what goes best with the alphabet letter you are reviewing. Once your child memorizes each letter of the alphabet and their sounds, test them by removing some of the letters and asking them to place the missing letters back into the alphabet. Also, have your child recite the alphabet without using the ‘A,B,C’ song. This helps reinforce learning and mastery of this important literacy skill. According to Morris et. Al (2003), “Two skills, alphabet recognition and concept of word in text, predicted first-grade reading achievement throughout the kindergarten year.” Thus, it is important to start with the foundation of phonics, learning the alphabet and their distinct sounds.