Teaching 3.5 yo letter recognition??

Preschool readiness skills (birth to age 5) and the common developmental concerns of young children.

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Teaching 3.5 yo letter recognition??

Postby hmschooling » Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:54 pm

What do you recommend beyond the normal worksheets and such. He needs something more...maybe musical, very visual, and VERY repetitive....I really don't know!! Suggestions plz?!?!?!?

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Postby Lily » Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:11 am

I don't like worksheets for this age. Frankly, I'm not too into early academics - too often a child isn't ready and they're saying that loud and clear.

Anyhow, a good, low key way is to print out lowercase letters on card stock, then covering with glue and sprinkling with sand. You can help him trace the letter with his finger as you say the sound. He learns how to write it at the same time he's learning reading skills. Eventually introduce a box of sand or cornmeal - have him trace the letter on the card, then trace it in the box as he says the sound each time. Slowly move on to a stylus, and then a pencil and paper. It's important to go at his pace, though. Introduce the cardstock letters and leave them available for him to work with at any time on his own.
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Postby seekingmyLord » Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:00 am

We began with sign language before my daughter was one. Alphabet cookies before she was two--Now that is a really great incentive! At lunch time, I would go through the alphabet signing the letters. Eventually, I began adding the cookie element. I would show a cookie with a letter and both sign and say the letter. Later on, she could only have the cookie if she could tell me what the letter was up to six cookies at a sitting. Then, she had to also tell me the sound they made. The unfortunate part was that the cookies where only capital letters, but it got her attention! She started recognizing letters in the books I was reading to her, while she was on my lap. It was not that difficult for her to begin recognizing the lower case letters. As I remember, I did not use flash cards much, but I did use the ones that had the upper and lower case on the face of the card together.

I used colorful workbooks, also, bought from Sam's Club to see, if she like them and that was an enjoyable reinforcement for the things she already knew.

I have read that some parents leave teaching the names of the letters for later and just begin teaching their sounds. I thought that might have been a good thing to do--but we were past that stage before I read about it.

My daughter has a friend who goes to a homeschooler's school where they use music to teach letter recognition and so on. I don't know much about it, but I do know that it worked well for the boy, who was musically inclined and has a mother who does not like to teach from books much at all.

I have another friend who has an alphabet chart running along the top of a room and they go over them daily.

I hope this gives you some ideas.

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Postby keptwoman » Tue Jul 24, 2007 12:19 am

I'm just starting with my DD who is almost 4. Because she is asking and also to give her something to do while her brother is doing his academics. We do a letter a week.

Some ideas:

Draw the letter on paper, you can use chalk on dark paper or pen on light paper. Then I give her pasting and collage materials and she fills the inside of the letter up. Then we put it on the fridge.

I copy a page of a book and she finds and circles all of the a's ...or whatever the weeks letter is.

We are using Getty Dubay Italic book A and she is doing the letter sheets, I don't expect much in the way of tidy work or even particularly recognisable letters, but it helps with letter recognition. Plus the tracing is good for her fine motor skills.

You can look for the letter on signs when out and about.

Make cookies in the shape of the letter.

Do sand letters that they can trace.

I use permanant marker and draw the letter onto a magazine page and she cuts it out.

All the while we talk about the letter sound and as a secondary point the letter name.

Once she really gets the letter sound then we can look for things that begin with that sound. A good way to do this is to do an alphabet scrapbook and get them to paste magazine pictures and old photos into it.

She likes using www.starfall.com

She is learning her letters really well.
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Postby amird » Wed Jul 25, 2007 6:19 pm

we like starfallfor English and la-am for Hebrew
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Postby amylynn » Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:56 am

I am a VERY low budget homeschooler and I like to keep things so simple. So for teaching letters I do this. Print the letter "A" very large on several pieces of paper. Hang them all over your house. When you pass one, or see your child looking at one, say the name of the letter. "A" or "that's an A". When your child will identify the letters by themselves play games like, "Let's find all the A's". When ready move on to the letter B but leave up a couple of the A's to help your child remember it and keep it fresh.

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Postby LilyMama » Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:44 am

Is your boy more tactile and into building? My son is, and the visual things just don't cut it for us. We did flashcards, labeled everything in our house, workbooks, songs, etc, etc. While his younger sister enjoys those things, for him, we had nominal results.

My sister has recommended the "Handwriting Without Tears" series. It can be pretty pricey, though, and for letter recognition alone you don't really need all their stuff. I'm not really using the whole series yet, but the basic concept, from what I can tell, is that it has three or four shapes of "blocks" that can be used to form all letters. You know, a long straight piece, a short straight piece, a big curved and a small curved piece. (These blocks are more like flat pieces of balsa wood and fit perfectily in a small chalkboard...) Basically, for letter recognition, you start by building the letters and having your child do the same. I think that you can go all the way through printing and cursive writing with their tools, but I don't know the details.


My sister gave me the blocks for my three year old, and we've made much more progress, and faster, than any other method. You can do the same with the playdough, Lego's, popsicle sticks, etc. I do have to say that I like the blocks because my son likes "school time" and there's something special to him in having something he only uses for "learning letters." When we build out of other things, sometimes he doesn't get that we're doing "real" things and not imaginary things, so he thinks my letter A is not nearly as cool as his car, and he doesn't really care to remember it. So, personally, I think the blocks are a worthwhile investment, especially if you think you might continue in the series for handwriting. Then again, I got them for free... haha...

Hope that helps, good luck!

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Postby momo3boys » Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:10 pm

WE just stuck the alphabet in foam letters on a big piece of cardboard. my 3yo son loved it. He loves to sing the song and touch the letters at the same time. You can stick those things anywhere!
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Re: Teaching 3.5 yo letter recognition??

Postby ncmom » Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:29 am

hmschooling wrote:What do you recommend beyond the normal worksheets and such. He needs something more...maybe musical, very visual, and VERY repetitive....I really don't know!! Suggestions plz?!?!?!?

I have recommended this a lot lately...Richard Scarry's Best ABC video ever. It is styled with song and they do letter recognition and sounds. My kids loved it. He also has the best counting video ever that is good too. You can also check out www.studydog.com. It used to be free but I don't know if it still is. They have a computer game that my daughter loved playing when she was little.

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Postby Theodore » Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:57 pm

When I was a little kid, Mom made us a big cardboard book with letters and pictures to go along with them. Something along those lines would do just fine.

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Postby bookletgeo » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:48 pm

My 3 year old and I were playing around with some flash cards and other tools and she was not getting the concept. Then, a friend gave me a Leap Frog DVD called Letter Factory. You can get it online at Amazon. It uses music and repetition and after just a few times she is off to a great start. One caveat - I was disappointed that for vowels and letters such as C it gave only one sound instead of all of the phonetic sounds that could be associated with the letters, but now we are using the flash cards again and I am working with her to teach that there may be multiple sounds and she is getting that concept much more quickly, so the Leap Frog DVD gave us a great foundation to build on.
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Postby amymom » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:44 pm

Games! Games! Games!
Play Letter bingo.
Play the game "Memory" using letters.
I write capital letters and lower case letters on seperate 3x5 cards and have my child help me find the "baby letter's" mommy. Check out me blog preschoolmommy.blogspot.com for more games. I don't recommend flash cards, etc because then learning becomes a chore rather than fun. Children want to learn when its fun.

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Postby Tashathomson » Thu May 03, 2012 6:17 am

Kids develop at different paces some started recognizing the letter as early as 3 years while some at 5. Nothing to worry about, all children go through these phases. In kinder all of them start learning ABC's, 123's basic writing and letter recognition, writing their name. Sometimes kids won't learn from their parents but will do it for other people. I'm sure he will be fine once school starts.

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