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Do you think knowing the ABC song really has any relationship to learning letters or learning reading or pre-reading skills?

My DD went for a preschool evaluation with the school district yesterday. She is 3 years old. We were basically concerned because her speech skills has always been on the low end of normal for her age (still is at the low end of normal according to the evaluation). The evaluator was surprised that she didn't know the ABC song and she indicated that my DD is behind in that skill. I've never considered the ABC song as anything other than a song. I don't think I taught it to my son either and he taught himself to read as a preschooler. I don't picture the letters in my head when I sing the song. I don't hear the sounds of the letters when I sing the song so I just never considered it as much more than a fun song that happens to list the letters of the alphabet.

So to other moms of preschoolers - Do you consider the ABC song to be important developmentally?
 

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It helps to know them in order. It may not be a big deal now, but in school, she will have to put someting in alphabetical order and that song comes in real handy.

Heck.. even now, I want to look something up in the phone book, and I find myself singing the song.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post
So to other moms of preschoolers - Do you consider the ABC song to be important developmentally?
Absolutely not.

Its not at all important to know what order the letters fall in. Its way more important to be able to identify letters and their sounds.

Most children don't even get the song right until AFTER they've learned their letters, making the song itself nothing more than a song. L-M-N-O-P is frequently considered a single word by children; the individual letters indistinguishable.

I think the evaluator might instead be looking at whether your child picked up a song that a typical child in our culture would have had exposure to frequently. In other words, she must have been using it to measure how well the child is learning from her environment. In your family's case, it may simply have been that the song is not present in the environment all that much, and not indicative of any kind of delay.

Our DD had similar issues during her evaluation (for speech/language). Because we were TV-free and did not do preschool or playgroups outside of the crunchie culture, she simply wasn't exposed to many of the same things other children typically are. She had no clue what a princess was, for example.
 

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I think perhaps exposure to the names of letters in song form can help kids learn their names faster later on. But I really doubt the advantage is significant. I would consider learning it to be more about exposure than about development. I wouldn't think that that song has special developmental meaning over any other song.
 

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My son is 3.5 and doesn't like the ABC song . . . he knows parts of it, but nine times out of ten, he will tell me to stop singing it if I start. He also has been asking a TON about letters lately, and asking things like "which letter does ____ start with?" -- things that have a lot more merit than singing a song (especially one that, as other people have pointed out, doesn't make a lot of the letters terribly distinguishable).

I agree that they were probably surprised because it's a common thing for kids in this culture, not because there's a real need to know the song.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
It helps to know them in order. It may not be a big deal now, but in school, she will have to put someting in alphabetical order and that song comes in real handy.

Heck.. even now, I want to look something up in the phone book, and I find myself singing the song.
That.

My 7 year old has been singing it to himself while doing his homework all week (they're alphabetizing). My 3 year old knows the song, but the only letters that he actually recognizes are O and W.
 

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I don't really care if my kids know it. I sing it to them and they know about 1/2 of it but I don't consider it a big deal. They know all their letters by sight anyways. We know another set of twins that are turning 3 next month. They know all the typical "preschool" things b/c their mom is a preschool teacher but they do not know "life" things like my kids. My kids know every animal you can imagine, they know when something is heavy or light, too big, too small. They know left from right, a truck from a bus from a van, they know fast/slow, etc. These kids have no clue what any of that is. While I think it's important to get the academics down, I figure they have the next 15 years of school to do that, while I have them, I'll teach them what I want too
 

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I never sang this song to DD. She sort of knows it, but tended to say things like "qrx,tuz" for a while because she only learned by listening to other kids! Anyway, the point is, she is a fluent reader, far beyond her age, so obviously it didn't hurt her any.
 

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I don't think it is important as a pre-reading skill. DD learned her letter sounds first (before 3, because she was interested) and was sounding out basic CVC words long before she learned the alphabet (she was well into 4 when she learned it, and it was from that PBS show SuperWhy).

As someone said, it's useful for alphabetizing and so on. I don't think it plays a role in learning to read. In some ways learning the letter names instead of the sounds might even be distracting.
 

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It's just a song. If there is another song that you guys sing and she had no trouble learning, then don't worry about it. DS learned all his letter before he learned the ABC song.

There are definitely some assumptions about exposure made by people who work with children. DS's pediatrician asked DS what color Elmo was after I said he knew his colors. Of course DS didn't know who Elmo was, so he didn't know what color he was. She settled for DS telling what color her pen was instead.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post
Do you think knowing the ABC song really has any relationship to learning letters or learning reading or pre-reading skills?
No, I don't

Quote:

Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post
So to other moms of preschoolers - Do you consider the ABC song to be important developmentally?
Nope.

My 4 year old knows all but the letters H, I and T and can name the rest of the letters when she sees them in words or when I point to random letters in an alphabet list and ask her to name them. She also can interpret numbers written in different styles like the number 4; whether it's written like a triangle with a stick pointing down from the right, or like an H missing the left bottom line. She knows they're both the number 4. She cannot sing the alphabet song and I'm not one bit worried. Her powers of observation and attention to detail constantly impress me. She doesn't attend preschool and has never been to a daycare, if that matters at all.
 

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My sister read somewhere awhile back that it can actually do your kids a disservice. Like others have mention, they think L-M-N-O-P is one word but that when it comes to reading you aren't saying the letter names. You're suddenly going from ABCD to the sounds and it can be hard on some kids. She ended up redoing the song with the common sounds the letter makes instead. Her kids love it and quickly learn the sounds. Recognizing the letters is easy for them at that point and they can see more of a role/relationship in words than just, "Oh thats an A!".

That said, I sing it in the car as one of our calming down songs. DD1 knows the entire alphabet but if I ask her to sing it on her own without me she sings, "ABCs QRSTUVWXYZ"....the letters in between aren't important.
 

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Nope, it bears no relationship to reading. Heck, there are kids who can sing the ABC song, but not recite the alphabet.

Knowing the letter names IS important, but not for 3 year old. A 5 year old, yes. A 6 year old should be able to name all the letters regardless of order. Other than that, I wouldn't worry.
 

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My son has known all of his letters since he turned 3 but can't sing the song. I was really worried about it because EVERYONE else knows it
but then I was like "oh what the hell, he knows his letters already" so I didn't bother. But he enjoys singing it. He will just make up words for certain letters in the song though
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I just thought it was a strange milestone.

Just last night she was singing twinkle twinkle little star with me so I know she can learn songs. It's not a song I've ever liked (having a bit to do with the lmnop thing) plus since she shows no interest in letters yet not something that would have occurred to me to expose her to (the few times I sang it to her older brother it was accompanied by pointed to the letters while singing it).

Oh well. Other than the mild speech delay they did say she was on track.

So who knows the song may have been about pronunciations and the ability to say the words.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post

So who knows the song may have been about pronunciations and the ability to say the words.
Well, I think it's mostly about ability to remember and repeat - and they use the ABC song as a milestone because it's one that's commonly taught by parents. A good SLP should then ask the parents, "does she sing any other songs?" But if they're just following a checklist, aren't really worried about your dd, they may not do that.

I remember distinctly the day that the lightbulb went on for ds about the ABC song. We had an ABC train puzzle (beloved by ds because it was a train). We put it all together and then I began to sing the ABC song and point to the letters. I remember the look on his face being "so THAT'S what this song means!" He went over the puzzle two or three times while I sang the song. But that anecdote does demonstrate that it's perfectly possible to 'know' the ABC song and not link the song to letters.

(And you realize, of course, that your daughter already knows the tune to the ABC song if she knows 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.')
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
(And you realize, of course, that your daughter already knows the tune to the ABC song if she knows 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.')
Or Baa Baa Black Sheep, pretty much.

My son likes to mix them all up... sigh.

Oops forgot my answer to the OP - I think it helps with alphabet order, but not with reading or language development. When it's time to alphabetize, you can probably teach it over a weekend.
 

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I have never considered it anything other than a song as well. I do not think it helps a child with reading. Knowing the letters and their sounds however is a good thing to know I think - but most 3 year olds do not know that. As an unschooler, I am not really one into pushing that kind of thing either.
My son only learned his ABC song from this Frog toy his great grandmother sent him - all it did was sing the song over and over again! lmao - We have never sung it. Though I don't think that song is a big hit here in the UK lmao.
 
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