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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I'm confused from reading too much, most likely, on what would be the best way to approach teaching the ABCs. I've seen some research say that when you are teaching the letter to teach only the sounds, and not the names (which makes sense with letters like C), and other places, I've seen it's better to teach them the names of the letters right from the start.

So... which is it?! LOL I'm teaching my 7 year old how to read this year, which is easier since he already knows his ABCs for the most part (in case you're wondering, we're not in the USA, that is why he doesn't know how to read English yet. He knows only a little.) But I'm also teaching my almost 5 year old his letters. It's the 5 yr old I'm not sure about in terms of approaching the ABCs. He has never been to preschool, and I have let him just play until now. (Not that he won't still be playing!! lol)

So... what are your thoughts?

Rachel

EDITED TO ADD: What about teaching the ABCs in order? Is that needed, or can you teach it out of order, when just learning them? I'm asking because my son's reading circulum (the older one) does the letters out of order. Does it make a difference?
 

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Might I suggest the LeapFrog DVD's for your 5yo. My son learned all his sounds from them.

I understand your confusion..I first started off just teaching him the sounds, we never mentioned the letter *name* (Reading Reflex), but honestly, I found it hard NOT to mention the name, etc. Eventually, they will learn the names.

So, we went to the DVDs, and during lessons time, no, I don't say the letter name at all. If I refer to the letter, I point and say "that".

I guess what I am saying, don't just teach him his ABC's by letter name...teach the name and sound at the same time and that's what Leapfrog DVDs do.

I hope that helps.
 

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I looked into this too. I wanted to do the sounds but my dh went through the names with my dd. She is 6, not yet reading everything but can read a few things.

I bought the reading reflex, love it and it made sense.

They state about teaching the 'sounds' first, that children naturally pick up the letter names through other ways eg alphabet song. But the sounds are more important.

Now I have noticed since emphasising the sounds of the letters, I have seen my dd sit down and look at a new word (usually on a cover of my books) and start to sound out the letters she sees and can now 'get' new words. She has never done that before.

HTH
~Amanda~
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the good advice so far!
LeapFrog DVDs.... these are videos? Or computer games?

Another question, I should have asked above, I'll edit above to add it... What about teaching the ABCs in order? Is that needed, or can you teach it out of order, when just learning them? I'm asking because my son's reading curriculum (the older one) does the letters out of order. Does it make a difference?

Thanks again!
 

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My small children were always interested in letter names so they could write notes, add text to drawings etc. I find it easier to tell my youngest the letter names when she asks me how to spell something. You can probably do it at the same time, imo, without huge issues, as long as you don't over-emphasize names over sounds.

It's also helpful to have an alphabet chart, commercial or one you've made yourselves, to hang low on the wall. My little one consults that often.
 

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I agree with the Leap Frog DVDs. They are awesome. We'd pop one into the DVD player in the car, and my daughter knew all of the letter sounds very early on. She used to relate them to the movie, but now at 5, she just says them.
I don't think order is a must. Maybe try writing his name and start with those letters first.
Best of Luck!
 

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Letter sounds, definitely. That said, my 2 yr old learned names probably before sounds, despite my attempts to teach sounds. The culture as a whole just supports letter names....So I haven't sweated it. She knows their sounds now, and is only 2.5. (I'm not sitting her down and drilling them or anything, but she likes the Leap Frog DVD and Fridge Phonics, plays with alphabet blocks, has foam bath letters, etc.) I approached it as, "You know, a cat is named 'cat' but it says "meow." That's the sound it makes. Of course, sometimes it also can say, "hiss.") I think it's important to teach all of the letter sounds...A can say a like apple, a like ate, and ah like father. Then there are the phonograms....I havent' started those with her. But I will do Spalding when she's six or seven with her.
 

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I am doing both names and sounds. To me it's no diffrent saying "The letter A says aa" and "The cow says moo" If kids can get the later then they can get the former. I think teaching them out of order is better. I chose letters on what I thought would be interest, so letters in my dd name, M for mummy, D for daddy and so on.
 

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My daughter learned letter names first and then started working on sounds.

She's using the "Bob Books" to start reading. They introduce a couple of sounds at a time, and she is making excellent progress. She knows almost all the sounds now and is reading several of the books on her own. I highly recommend them to anyone who's working on reading with their kids.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by joandsarah77
I am doing both names and sounds. To me it's no diffrent saying "The letter A says aa" and "The cow says moo" If kids can get the later then they can get the former. I think teaching them out of order is better. I chose letters on what I thought would be interest, so letters in my dd name, M for mummy, D for daddy and so on.
Hi,

Lurker coming out of the shadows
That's the exact same thing I'm doing with my 23 month old son. He has started showing an interest in letters, especially the ones on his blocks. Somehow he found out what an O looks like and now he points out the letter O everywhere. Then he moved on to B "That's a B, it says 'buh!'", S, etc.

~Nay
 

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We used the letters on the refrigerator and started with letter names (upper and lower case). Once we had all those down, they we moved on to letter sounds (what does that letter "say"). Once those were solid, then we talked about vowel sounds and how some consonants have more than one sound. This was all led by DD. With the letter names, she first said that all letters were the same letter name. I would tell her the correct letter name and pretty soon she would identify them one by one. Now she even knows that a, e, i, o, u and sometimes y are vowels.

As far as the alphabet, she doesn't recite the whole thing. She will skip letters, but they will be in order, until she gets to Q, then she says all the rest in order. I've gone a step further and put labels on everyday things around the house. Now she can read words like window, door and fireplace.
 

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I agree that letter sounds are more important than the names. Also, regarding teaching the letters in order: Imagine you are just learning to recognize letters, and still finding them confusing, you fail to pick up on all the details. Well, b and d are often confused and are in close succession. The same can be said for p and q, as well as m and n. So for that reason, I think it's probably better to teach out of order. My mother has some of her old school books and back in the day when they were deep into phonics instead of this new concept of balanced literacy, they taught letters in a specifiic order that allegedly facilitated learning the letter sounds.
As you're not in the US, there are some phonics programmes online, if you're interested. You could use them to give you an idea, rather than follow them "to the letter".
http://donpotter.net/ed.htm has links to several free phonics programmes, that often have interesting info provided for the teacher (e.g. that m, s, n, r, l, etc. are easiest to teach first due to their drawn out sound.)
 

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We kind of did it all simultaneously I think.

"That's the letter "B" and it can be made this way "B" or this way "b". It sounds like Buh...like when we say bat or book.

We just kind of did that all the way through. I suppose technically they learned the letter names first via the alphabet song though.
 

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Does your younger ds show any interest at all in letters or print? If so, how? It seems to me that this could be an individual thing. Different people follow different patterns in learning. Someone who first engaged with letters while trying to read might find it helpful to learn their sounds before their names.

When done dogmatically on the other hand, identifying letters by their sounds feels artificial to me. Letters do signify sounds, but not in a one-to-one way. To me, W is a very old symbol. It can indicate one sound in an English word, and another in a German word. It can also be part of an ordering system, or a stand-in for a number or statement. When someone asks me what something is, I intuitively respond with the name: I don't see /w/, I see a "double-you". To indicate otherwise (a la Montessori, for example) feels kind of like inserting a limiting teaching strategy into what could have been an authentic interaction.
 

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I sing a lot to dd, and the "alphabet song" was probably her first intro to letters. So letter names here. We had no problem introducing letter sounds later, usually by playing games in the car like "what begins with B? buh...buh....B?"

I have a question about teaching sounds first. How do you handle the many letters with more than one sounds? The vowels, C, G, X, Y?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sunnmama
I have a question about teaching sounds first. How do you handle the many letters with more than one sounds? The vowels, C, G, X, Y?
For us, we just talked about both sounds. My ds liked naming them "hard C" "soft C" "hard G" "soft G"... X uses one sounds most of the time. Y uses one if at the beginning of a word and the other if at the end--other sounds from Y are less common. All the vowels can make multiple sounds.

We emphasize teaching sounds because the names are usually picked up fairly effortlessly either before or during learning the sounds. So we casually use the names but talk deliberately about sounds because that is the thing that really helps them use the letters.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by deeporgarten
We emphasize teaching sounds because the names are usually picked up fairly effortlessly either before or during learning the sounds. So we casually use the names but talk deliberately about sounds because that is the thing that really helps them use the letters.
Oh, I see. That makes a lot of sense. Thanks!
 
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