How do I start teaching Letters?
Since I don't know how I learned my letters, I had no reference on how to teach my son his letters. Like, where do you start? Below, are the methods we used to teach Amir...in no particular order. I believe in adding layers to teaching, so I don't have 1 method of learning, I have multiples! This will help avoid cramming and focus on learning.
1. Create an alphabet book
We printed out each letter from the alphabet, cut out each piece, and laminated them. Afterwards, we used a hole puncher and put a key ring to keep them binded. It also helps to add an image to each page. For instances, for the letter "A" have a picture of an ant. That's all. Nothing extra. You don't want to take away the focus of the letter. We brought our book with us everywhere! Now, I know you could purchase an alphabet book, but making our own gave compelled me to use the book frequently. Make sense? We roughly started around 8 months. I was more consistent when words starting coming out a little after 1.
2. Read, read, read to your baby
This i huge to me! I always recommend reading and talking to your baby as early as you know the baby is in your womb. Given the course of brain development, it is not surprising that young children who are exposed to certain early language and literacy experiences usually prove to be good readers later. Just as a child develops language skills long before being able to speak, the child also develops literacy skills long before being able to read. National Research Council. (1998). Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
I know it is weird at first, but it will naturally come to you! Truth be told, reading wasn't my thing until Amir. Now I find myself reading at all times of the day. Read in the car, read at home, during snack time. Also, let your child see you read. If you want them to be good readers, it starts off with you being a good model. You can do it!
3. Leapfrog Letter Factory DVD
We do minimal to no tv when my son is up, but we made an exception for this dvd! This dvd helps kids understand letters and sounds, which is a skill needed when it is time to read! I absolutely LOVE this dvd. This is awesome during breakfast time or right before bed. This dvd focuses on both upper and lowercase letters, which is bomb! This will familiarize them with upper and lower case letters. So pluck them on their high chair while you multitask for 30 mins. You're welcome!
4. Letter a Week
This strategy worked for us. So for 1 week, sometime 2 depending on how fast he grasped the letter, we would point out the letter of the week! You can point them out during reading, at the library, grocery store, practically any where right? Once a letter is mastered, move on to the next one. Don't forget to go back to review! Very important!
5. Sing, sing, make up a song and sing
Singing for me is important as reading. Just as much as you need rhythm to dance and sing, you need it for reading. The letters have to flow in order to make a word. This is why you find many books that rhyme. It makes it easier for kids. So build this skill with them and sing honey! ;) Now, I don't need you to sing that one song that you would bump if you were going to the club. LOL. It's time to sing ABC songs, nursery rhymes, and even songs you make up. I usually make up songs and throw my baby's name in it all the time! A great idea, make up a song to the beat of a nursery rhyme. It is the best!!! Before you know it, you will be singing about letters and numbers everywhere you go!
6. ABC Laminated Posters
I bought these from Amazon...hella reasonable in price. Don't laugh at me, but I had these posted up in his room when he was a newborn. LOL! I found that even though Amir wasn't ready at this point, it was useful because it prepared me as a parent. If I want Amir to be advanced, I need to be advanced. So hop on the the train with me and let's do this!
7. ABC Puzzles
So I created ABC printable for Amir during Black History month. The objective of this game was to match the uppercase letter with the lowercase letter. Even if your child doesn't know all their letters, this is a way you can add layers to learning and making it fun! Click printables below to download and print. Once printed, laminate them and cut out the letters. :)
8. Alphabet Board toy
If you know me, I am all about toys that are purposeful, meaning it has to teach my child something. Many toys are just out there to for kids to make noise with and let's be honest, to give parents a break from their child. Well, I am here to tell you, the alphabet board is awesome because it encourages learning with different activities that challenge children to find letters and numbers. It will literally quiz your child. Once your child gets the hang of a few letters, try this out with them. Eventually, they will get the hang of it, and this will give you a mini break. :) Check Amazon or your local toy store. Here is a pic of one similar to what we have.
That is all I have for now. If you have any recommendations, be sure to comment below. Also, let me know how it is going with your child. I love to hear stories. I am always here to help!