Alphabet First?

by Val

Should I be teaching the letters of the alphabet first? The 3R's says that they don't need to know the names of the letters and that it might end up confusing and making it harder for them to learn to read when it comes time to teach them to read. It suggests teaching them the sounds instead. And then, in the end, teach the names if they don't already know them.

But I taught Abby the alphabet first! :/ Well, she knows all the capital letters anyway. I did it before I even knew I was going to homeschool. I didn't think I was doing any harm! And I don't want to confuse her in the long run or have a slow start because of me. I have these wooden letters on her wall that spell her name and one day she asked me what the A was and B and the Y. So, from then on I started teaching her all the letters. It's not like I am strict. Once in a while I will use flash cards. But for the most part we play games. Like she has an alphabet puzzle in her play room and we will dump out all the pieces and while she is putting them back together she says what the letter is. Or she has an alphabet mat in her play room and I will ask her where is a certain letter and she will go stand on it, etc. I have started to try teaching her lower case. She calls them baby's, like S and baby s.

Should I stop teaching her lower case? I don't want to do more harm than good in the long run. And I definitely don't want to confuse her. What do you think?

Diane's Reply to Alphabet First:

My kids naturally knew the alphabet first (or the names of the letters). And they learned how to read without any problems! You did not harm Abby at all! There is lots of room in her little head to comprehend more than you think! Since she knows the names, now would be the time to reinforce the sounds they make. That is where flashcards come in handy. They have ALL the sounds on the card. I started with a FEW letters that are easy, like "b" or "l" that only have one sound. Start with one she already knows, like the "b". Then slowly add more as she masters them. It won't take long. Teaching reading is not that difficult. Move on when she's ready. You'll know when that is because she'll want to!

I believe my flashcards had the lower case letters only. But she'll eventually have to know both. And she will pick that up using her Readers. Your library no doubt has a First Reader section. Find a couple of books that are REALLY easy and fun and that SHE likes and just read them to her. Next thing you know she'll be sitting and reading them herself. And when she does, I want to be the first to know!

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