Are You Making These 3 Fatal Mistakes When it Comes to Teaching the Alphabet?

Let’s chat about 3 big mistakes that might be holding you back from teaching your children the alphabet. 

As you read this, I want you to be honest with yourself. Are you currently making any of these 3 mistakes? If you are, don’t worry — I’ve included some tips to help you fix them!

Mistake #1 You’re teaching the letters in order.

Here’s why this is SO counterproductive: Your children will likely be memorizing the order of the alphabet. They need to know the letter names and sounds no matter the order they appear.

Instead, I suggest that you first teach your child the letters in their name. A child’s name is so powerful. They want to learn to read it and write it right away. After that, I would teach letters that are frequently used in our language so that children can begin to read simple words! Teaching the letters s, p, t, i, n, a will allow a child to begin to form many simple words. I also avoid teaching similarly shaped letters at the same time. 

Photo by Alex Andrews

Mistake #2 You’re not TALKING about letters.

It doesn’t sound super harmful, but when you consider the fact that print awareness skills are part of a key foundation to literacy, doing this one thing can put your child at a disadvantage. 

Instead of not talking about books and letters, I recommend that you discuss the shapes of letters. That there is a big and small version of each letter and that they are made up of curved and straight lines. Children will learn letters by playing games and comparing letters.

You can discuss where the letters and sentences are in pictures and show your child that you read left to right. This will allow your child to develop this skill so much quicker and be a solid stepping stone towards reading.

Mistake #3 You’re not individualizing learning for your child.

This one’s a biggie! And here’s why it’s the wrong way to go about things: children learn best when they can make a personal connection to the material.

Here’s what I want you to do from now on: look for ways to personalize their learning. Create a custom ABC book for your child with people and images that your child will recognize. 

Photo by cottonbro

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and let me know: Have you made any of these 3 mistakes?

About the Author Ashley DiMercurio