How to teach alphabets to your child?
Teaching the alphabet is foundational for reading and writing. Most parents prefer teaching alphabets at home to their kids before they even start school. If you are one of those parents but wondering how to begin, here is a detailed process that we followed that worked really well for us.
Step 1- Recitation or Singing
Start with the ABCD song, the same one we grew up singing.
Melody and rhythm helps the child pickup the ABCD in the form of a song relatively quicker.
You can actually start singing and playing the ABCD song to your child as early as 6m+,
Just let the child listen - DO NOT show the screen.
Step 2 - Introduction
Get an ABCD book, it is one of the most valuable learning tools. It largely helps the child in recognizing the letters and the word that starts with it & the connection between them.
Along with this, put up a basic ABCD poster in your child's room or the place where they spend most of their time during the day.
At this stage you can get them a basic ABCD peg board puzzle. Again, It does not need to be anything fancy or expensive. It just needs to solve the purpose.
(But definitely go for a good quality one that is child safe.)
Check out the one we used below!
Now before Step - 3
Let me answer the question that's on your mind right now...
Uppercase or lowercase first ?
So, to be able to read the child needs to know his lowercase properly.
But uppercase is easier to learn because of its structure (mostly standing & sleeping lines)
Also, almost all schools start with uppercase first, hence that is easier for the child to adapt.
But if you are are thinking, how will the child read, then relax; come to think of it, by the time your child will actually start reading (i.e around 5 years) they would have learned both sets of alphabets already.
So, I suggest uppercase first. But it's also OK if you choose lowercase first or both together, as long as the child can grasp it.
Whatever works for you and your child.
Step 3 - Recognition of uppercase
By now the ABCD book has already started the work of registering the letters in your child's brain, but to ensure that your child is a pro & is able to identify all the 26 different letters you can to follow the 3 simple steps mentioned below, using our next learning tool which is flash cards.
Step 1 - "This is......"
(show the flash card and tell "them this is A")
Step 2 - "where is .....?"
(Scatter all the flash cards on the floor, and ask your child "where is A?" let him point or pick out the card.)
Step 3 - "what is this?"
(Show the A flash card and ask your child "what is this?" let him call out the letter A)
You can also use sand paper letters, or make DIY flashcards like I did. Check out our DIY flashcards for 3 steps of recognition.
Step 4 - Recognition of lowercase
This can be a bit tricky for some kids because they have already build an image of all the letters by now. Then we go on to tell them "this is A" but 'this is also a" so you can imagine.
So how did I do it ?
I built a short story.
Eshu bought this story in no time and it worked for us. You will have to see if this works for you or not, since this is solely my experience.
Step 5 - Match uppercase letters to lowercase letters
You can start this once your child is able to recognise at least 50% of the lowercase and about 90% of the uppercase.
The easiest way to do it is either on chalkboards, easel board, worksheets or printable. ( Check out the pics)
To make it more interesting and fun, you can plan a lot of DIY activities around it.
Simple puzzles are also available in the market these days for the same.(check out the one we used)
Completion of this step ensures that your child knows all the alphabets now and you can move on to the next big step.
Step 6 - Letter sounds
This is a big step. If you already know the sounds go ahead and teach them to your child. If not, I recommend you first learn the sounds and then teach the child because you don't want to teach the wrong thing or confuse them.
This can be true in many cases, considering the fact that, back when we were taught alphabets, phonics method wasn't so popular.
The best time to start letter sounds is once your child is confident to recognize at least 90% of the letters and is about 3 years old, because that's the age around which is easier for them to understand the concept of letter sounds.
There are many ways of teaching the letter sounds eg : using flashcards, ABCD picture books, alphabet sounds songs, phonics apps, or through activities and art & craft. Whatever you think will work best for you and your child.
We did a combination of all of the above, but at different stages.
The method remain the same -
First you introduce the child to sound saying "The sound of S is sssss"
Then you ask them "what is the sound of S?"
Now before Step 7
Kids need to build up their hand strength through fine motor skills before actually writing and hence pre writing skills are needed.
There are tons of activities that you can try to help your child develop fine motor skills which will further enable them to write.
Listed below are just a few common and easy to set up activities you can try -
️1) Manipulating Playdough
️2) Q-tip painting & finger painting
️ 4)Scissors practice
️ 5)Writing in sand/salt tray
️ 6)Tweezers & Tongs
️ 7)Squeezing pegs & clothes pins
️ 8)Droppers & punching
️ 9)Ripping & scrunching paper
️10) Buttons, zippers & snaps
Step 7 - Write letters independently (only a few to begin with)
Now your child can start trying to write a few letters on his own.
Begin with easy letters (which has standing & sleeping lines) like E, F, L, H, T, I– just before 4 years of age, rest of the letters can follow slowly.
Don't expect the child to write all the letters at this stage, this will take time or should I rather say this should take time (at least by the time they are about 5+) for the child's mind and ability to develop to a stage where this comes naturally to him .
About the Author:-
Rumana is a budding Mom Blogger, popular for her play ideas and her detailed product reviews. You can follow her fabulous account on Instagram for some daily inspo!
Insta Handle : @EshuAndmom