The following article was taken from MarenSchmidt.com
Don’t teach your children their abc’s,” I tell surprised parents of three-year-olds. “They’ll learn their abc’s later, but to be wonderful readers they need to learn something else first.”
Most of us learned the letter names, as we sang our “abc’s” (aye-bee-sees). To learn to read faster and more efficiently, help your children learn the a-buh-cuh’s or the sounds the letters represent.
The skills of letter recognition and phonemic awareness (hearing the individual sounds in words) work hand in hand and develop together. The sounds may be introduced first, through games like I Spy and songs. (See the article Reading Begins at Birth for more information.)
To begin the work of letter recognition with a three-year-old, I introduce a letter a week. For the five year old, I introduce a letter a day, so that we can get through the entire alphabet in about a month. When your child has letter and sound recognition of about fifteen letters, you can then begin word-building games, and then the road to reading really begins to pick up speed.
Introduce lower case letters first to you child. The reason for this is simply that it makes your child’s learning easier. If you introduce both lower and upper case alphabets at the same time, there will be fifty-two symbols to recognize instead of twenty-six. Also, over 95 percent of all printed matter is in lower case writing. Introduce the capital letters to your child after they have mastered the lower case alphabet with a simple matching game. More often than not, children will “discover” the capital letters on their own, and the sounds they represent. Self-discovery makes learning more fun and rewarding.
Click hear for a fun way to introduce the letters and their sounds to your child!