Country Life Blog

How to Teach Children Their ABCs

Are you trying to find the best way to teach a child their ABCs?
Recognizing and understanding the alphabet is the first step in learning how to read and write. If your child is experiencing difficulty learning alphabet sounds, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways you can help them along. The Country School is pleased to offer you some tips on “How to teach my child to recognize the alphabet.” 

A phoneme is the smallest part of sound in a spoken word which creates a difference in what the word’s meaning is. Before your early reader is able to decode printed material into words,  they must first become aware of how different sounds come together to create words. Learning that words consist of various speech sounds, or phonemes is essential to the basic building blocks of reading. For example, the word “cat” has three sounds or phonemes: /c/ /a/ and /t./ 

List of 7 items.

  • Get Artistic

    Rather than having your learner just trace alphabet letters, help them hone their fine motor skills by encouraging them to also draw pictures that begin with those same letters too. This will help reinforce what they're learning about both shapes and sounds at the same time. When students repeat phrases like  “B is for bear!” they make connections between the sound, letter, and word, which in turn helps your child store the information in their long term memory banks faster.
  • Get Outside

    If your child has difficulty learning the alphabet, they may enjoy playing outside instead and outdoor education is powerful. Try taking them out into nature where there will be lots of opportunities for letter recognition - such as finding letters in the clouds or in the bark on trees.  You may even be able to help point out the various letters found around at the park as well. Bring a kinesthetic piece to your child’s learning; whenever they find a letter, have them try to create that letter with their whole body, or sing the Alphabet song while doing jumping jacks. 
  • Keep It Simple

    Start with one sound at a time. 

    Pick up your child’s favorite bedtime book and focus on a particular phoneme or sound. In the English language there are 44 different phonemes or sounds. Anytime the chosen sound appears in the book, point it out, and have your child make the sound. The more demonstrative or dramatic you are, the more engaged your emerging reader will be whenever the identified sound appears. By starting with one sound at a time, your child will be learning in no time. The company Read Right From the Start put out a great video that does an awesome job at  explaining the various phonemes and how to teach them. Click here.  
  • Play the Alphabet I-Spy Game

    Games are a fun way to engage with your child, and can provide them with extra alphabet practice. Start with the letter A, and encourage them to find things around them that start with the letter A. The next person must find something that starts with the letter B and so on and so forth. You can have your child find examples of the actual letters that they see in real life (i.e. on license plates, billboards. etc.) This allows your child to make real life connections between letters they see and the alphabet itself, but also  explore the connections between the words and the sounds they make as well. TurtleDiary.Com also provides a fun I-Spy Alphabet game that you can incorporate on their electronic device as well. Click here.
  • Read Bedtime Stories

    Experts agree that the best way to teach a child their ABCs is to simply read to them. Spending time reading together as a family has proven to be one of the best ways to turn your student into an avid reader. By consistently incorporating reading into your daily routine with your child, it demonstrates the importance that reading plays in their daily life, establishes strong family bonding, and provides parents with insight as to the progress of their child’s reading ability. Helping your child recognize the patterns and letters in the books you read to them will go a long way in developing their ability to effectively learn the alphabet. 

    As a parent you’ve probably asked the question “How do I teach my child to recognize the alphabet?”

    Teaching your child how to learn the alphabet is an important step in their development. It’s never too early or late for them to start learning this skill, and they can begin as soon as they are capable of communicating with you (even if that means only a few words). Although there are many different ways you can teach your son or daughter about letters; provided you with seven tips on how to teach a child their ABCs.  Though your child may have difficulty learning the alphabet, we believe these helpful tips will help your child on their path to literacy. 

    Happy Learning!
  • Read Books with Alliteration and Rhyming.

    Books such as “Chicka Chicka, Boom Boom!” by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault or pretty much anything by Dr. Seuss are chock-full of fun alliteration and rhyming. Reading books that reinforce sounds with different word combinations reinforces the child's understanding of what letter combinations create certain sounds together. Often coupled with creative illustrations, when read in conjunction with consistent daily readings - students will pick up on the various names and shapes of the alphabet letters. For added flair, parents can utilize Storyline Online, a free warehouse of online children’s books read by real Hollywood celebrities, such as: John Lithgow, Wanda Sykes, and Jennifer Garner, just to name a few. 
  • Use Apps that Teach Phonograms

    There are several amazing apps that claim to be the best way to teach a child their ABCs. Phonograms by SEI is an app focused on teaching students Phonemes utilizing the Writing Road to Reading Method. The Writing Road to Reading is a total language arts program that includes instruction in spelling, writing, and reading. 

    Other popular apps include:

    Beyond apps, don’t underestimate the power of old fashioned flashcards. Utilizing flashcards can become especially instrumental when reinforcing concepts and allows students to store the information in their long-term memory banks. 
Learning how to teach a child their abc’s is more than just repeatedly singing the alphabet song. The absolute best way to teach your child the alphabet is to focus on phonemic awareness while reading as much as possible to your little one.
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Founded in 1955, The Country School is a coeducational, independent school serving students in PreSchool-Grade 8. The Country School is committed to active, hands-on learning and a vigorous curriculum that engages the whole child.