Teaching The Alphabet
Teaching the alphabet is a crucial first step in teaching your children how to read and write. It is important that your child learns not only to recite the letters of the alphabet in order, but also to recognize the letters out of sequence.
Many parents recognize the importance of teaching the alphabet to their children, but some may not understand the best way to go about doing so. Many believe they must purchase expensive tools or programs in order for their children to learn the alphabet the proper way, but that may not be necessary.
Dr. Kapadia of Quakerbridge Pediatrics suggests that as a literate parent you shouldn’t need any expensive programs, tools, or special books to turn to when teaching the alphabet. You already possess all the knowledge you need to help your child get a head start. Use the tools and ideas that worked for you, those you’ve gain through experience, and remember to keep it simple. You job is to encourage your children to learn the building blocks they will use to have successful scholastic careers – not to overwhelm them. There are three fundamental keys to teaching the alphabet, they are:
- Keep it fun
- Make it real
- Keep it frequent
Make It Fun
With any lesson, it is extremely important to make sure your child is having fun while learning. By making learning the alphabet fun, you are encouraging your child to want to learn and to understand it. Children want to spend time with their parents and have fun while doing so. Making the learning experience fun will give your child a reason to look forward to their next lesson and inspire them to be more engaged during each lesson. Dr. Kapadia reminds parents that just because a lesson is fun and your child enjoys repeating it, it doesn’t mean there is any less value to it.
Make it Real
It is a good idea to appeal to as many of your child’s senses as possible when teaching them the alphabet. Younger children will often gain more from a learning exercise if you introduce a tactile approach. This includes not only seeing and hearing the letters, but also touching, smelling, and even eating them! As a parent, your job is to make the alphabet come alive. The more real examples you can create for your child, the better the chance your child will develop an improved understanding of them. Using letter-shaped toys your child can hold and feel or making letter-shaped snacks such as cookies can go a long way toward the long-term success of your lesson.
Make It Frequent
It’s true – a child’s mind is like a sponge! Children learn at an incredible fast rate, but because they are learning and experiencing so many new things they also may forget what they have learned just as quickly. Dr. Kapadia reminds parents that frequency is important. Incorporating lessons throughout the day will help your child learn the alphabet at a faster rate. Always remember that lessons can happen anywhere and you do not always need to set aside a dedicated time of the day for them to occur. Teach your child the alphabet may happen at the grocery store, during a car ride, or even during meal time. It is vital to frequently introduce and reintroduce your child to letters that appear around them during their day. By seeing the alphabet in various forms and in different environments, it will also help them to understand that the alphabet is a large part of everyone’s lives.
Share Your Teaching Tips
Sometimes the best resources for parents are other parents. If you have any tricks that helped you teach your children their ABCs, Dr. Kapadia would love to hear them! Share your own teaching tips in the comments below!