Friday, July 27, 2012

Reader Question: Is there are right way to introduce letters?

"I was hoping to get your expert advice on working with letters with [my son]. He has really started to recognize some of them and I didn't know if there is a "right" progression of letters that I should work with, like sight words? Thanks so much for your help!" - H.E.

Good question! It doesn't matter in which order you introduce letters to your son, as long as he eventually knows abc order. I would suggest starting with letters that are familiar to him, such as the ones in his name. Then branch out to letters in other familiar words, like mom, dad, and any names of close relatives. If you just randomly start picking letters to work on, he will more than likely miss the connection to why letters even matter. You want to make sure you make that connection for him early on. 

The connection we want little learners to make...
"Letters make up words. Words make up sentences. Sentences and words are what we use to communicate. Being able to communicate gets me what I want!" 

You get the idea? Knowing WHY we are learning something is essential to WANTING to learn it and being able to RETAIN and APPLY our knowledge to real life circumstances. 

Be sure to expose him to both upper case and lower case letters. Also, recognizing that g and g are the same letters is important (as is the different ways to write a lower case a), though he doesn't need to be able to write a scripted a or g. You just don't want him to be confused when he sees these letters in writing. 

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