A pair of child's hands trace alphabet letters. Tracing alphabet letters while saying the letter's name and sound is a practice that will help your child solidify this skill if done daily.

Solidify Your Child's Knowledge of the Alphabet with This Powerful Practice

Your 5-year-old is likely learning their alphabet this year in school, and though most will take to identifying their letters and letter sounds gradually, some children need a bit of extra practice to really solidify this concept. If you find that your child is having trouble memorizing their letter names and sounds, try mixing tactile, visual, and auditory learning through this powerful, daily practice. Be sure to stay consistent to garner results in no time!

Create an Alphabet Binder

  1. Create an alphabet binder by printing sheets off of the internet of each letter (both upper and lower case) with a corresponding picture. For example, the "A" page should have a large upper case A, a large lower case A, and a picture of an apple. The "B" page should have a large uppercase B, and large lowercase B, and a picture of a bear. Each letter should have its own sheet
  2. Pull the binder out at least once a day.
  3. Have your child use their pointer finger to trace both the uppercase and lowercase letters while saying the following: "A - 'ah' - apple. B -'buh'- bear. C - 'kuh' - cat" and so on.
  4. Your child will say the letter name while tracing the uppercase letter, the letter sound while tracing the lowercase letter, and then point to the picture on the page while saying what it is.
  5. This practice should be fairly quick and take no more than 10 minutes, if that. You want this to be an easy and painless practice and not something that they dread each day.

Why Does This Practice Work?

This exercise is short and sweet, which allows it to be practiced daily without too much intensity. The consistency of it allows for your child to memorize the information. Meanwhile, the activity itself combines several learning styles. By tracing the letters with their fingers they are engaging in tactile learning. By looking at the letters and the picture on the page, they are engaging in visual learning. And, finally, by hearing themselves say the letter names, sounds, and the corresponding word they are engaging in auditory learning. All of these components combined increases the likelihood that the information will be retained.

After several iterations, some children may be reluctant to keep the same thing over and over. Be firm and stay consistent until they've reached mastery. Put in place some kind of incentive, like a sticker on their chart after every time they've completed it. And don't forget to keep it light! If they make mistakes, just correct them quickly and move on. Forcing your little one to keep doing it until it's perfect in just one sitting will quickly turn things sour. Once they're done, be sure to give them plenty of praise!

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