Best aids for teaching alphabet, early reading

(34 Posts)
otchayaniye Tue 05-Oct-10 07:30:09

Before you cry 'stop!' my daughter (23 months) has been asking to read for months. We read to her often in the day and of course at night. She can recognise certain words ('cat', 'baby' 'book' 'tiddler' 'You are pigs' from Piggybook etc) but has said things like 'this says x' and is trying (and failing) to spell out the words through the letters'

Now, of course she is doing this by recognition (much as I had to learn Mandarin as it's not phonic) so I guess this isn't bad in and of itself, but I'm wondering if I should:

teach her the alphabet (she knows about half anyway)

teach her phonics with basic flashcards (know any that are good?)

just continue reading to her as is and let her pick up more words?

I was of the generation where most mothers taught their kids to read early but nowawdays most advise leaving it. I don't think I'm forcing this though as she keeps asking.

belindarose Tue 05-Oct-10 08:37:10

I would say definitely option 'c'.

PixieOnaLeaf Tue 05-Oct-10 08:41:29

Message withdrawn

FloraFinching Tue 05-Oct-10 08:41:40

my DD has always been interested in letters and words, and has learnt her phonic alphabet fairly naturally through being read to.

The only other "tool" we have is a set of bath letters, which she has always loved, and asks us to help her spell with.

otchayaniye Tue 05-Oct-10 09:01:54

Thanks, thought it should be 'c'. but I may as well get some letters too. She's learned her numbers this way and she loves things that are small, clutchable and of the same kind (she's obsessed with counting bears) as she loves to group and ungroup.

Thanks again.

otchayaniye Tue 05-Oct-10 09:06:22

I do wonder though what caused this shift from actively teaching reading to toddlers to not.

I'm 39 (ouch, just realised that!) this month and most of my coevals were taught to read early (from say 2) by our mothers. I did it in my own time (by 2.5 was reading by myself) but my mother did actually teach me. Can't necessarily see that as a bad thing as I was receptive.

otchayaniye Tue 05-Oct-10 09:07:36

One more thing (sorry) if she wants to know what letters are, should I say them in a particular way (phonetically, I mean)?

rabbitstew Tue 05-Oct-10 11:18:50

If my ds1 ever asked what a letter was, I'd tell him the "proper" name and the phonetic name at the same time - eg "A says 'a'". Then I didn't have to worry about which was the correct way of doing it!

allbie Tue 05-Oct-10 12:00:32

Our LO was the same at that age and we went with his flow. He wanted to learn all the letters lower and upper case. We used phonetics, flashcards, millions of story books from charity shops, reading books from nursery and his love of all words is as strong as ever. We have other older kids who never wanted to do what he wanted to do so it has nothing to do with 'pushy parenting'! He reads signs whenever we are out. Even understands the concept of 'magic e'. Entirely driven by himself. If the child wants to do it then go with them surely?

woopsidaisy Tue 05-Oct-10 18:15:40

My two DS loved-and still do actually-the Fun with Phonics series from CBEEBIES. You can buy it on amazon,comes with book and brill poster.I found it very helpful as I had never learned the phonic alphabet...it is just a fun way to learn.

MadameSin Tue 05-Oct-10 19:48:10

Continue reading and show her the 'joy' of books and how they can be shared. There's no harm in teaching her the alphabet, but I would stay away from actually doing the phonic stuff, as it may be taught differently when she starts school and therefore could be confusing. I think she sounds like a very bright little girls who will learn quickly anyway. Another danger of teaching her early is that she'll be bored when she starts, as she will already know what they need to learn in Reception. Good luck smile

4plus1 Tue 05-Oct-10 20:02:36

Try and help her to become aware of different sounds and develop her listening skills. I dont just mean as in letter sounds but sounds around her and sounds she can make clapping, clicking tongue etc. I find the children who can distingush sounds then in a word have a good start when reading. Just another angle to things.

nannynobnobs Tue 05-Oct-10 20:09:17

Bath letters are brilliant

ruddynorah Tue 05-Oct-10 20:12:09

the 7 book series of jolly phonics is easy going, fun, good introduction to phonics and blending.

kidsncatsnwine Tue 05-Oct-10 20:17:32

I second Nannynoknobs (lol@ name!) Bath letters and fridge magnets, rather than formal teaching.

Letter sounds rather than letter names.. draw letters in sand, shaving foam, make it fun.
Of course you may find in 6 months time she is bored with that and mud pies are far more fun...

Rosebud05 Tue 05-Oct-10 20:42:36

My daughter learnt the alphabet by reading the letters on car number plates when we were out and about, then picked up lower case letters from books, street signs etc.

Someone gave us some flash cards as a present - we looked at them once and she just wasn't interested.

TottWriter Tue 05-Oct-10 23:56:03

You could also try drawing the letters with her. Obviously sh'es probably not going to learn to write for a while, but I found my DS is quite good at recognising letters if I draw the mand ask him what "sound" they are. It's fun, because for letters like 'o' you can get her to join in (circles are hit and miss, but they are rewarding for them to draw).

I sometimes ask DS if there are any letters he knows on the cover of his bedtime story, depending on how worn out he is.

Also, I would go with the phonics, rather than the letter names. Have you seen Alphablocks on Cbeebies - that's a better way than 'AH Buh Cuh', and they use it for children who have difficulty learning to read. A young child might find that easier too, and hissing like a snake and humming the 'm' is a good way to get her enjoying it.

She might get bored though - DS went through a phase at around 24mo when he was obsessed with a few letters, and now he doesn't seem to remember them at all. From the sounds of it, your DD has progressed beyond that, but it is still possible that she'll take a step back at some point. (If that does happen, don't be disheartened. DS is now really into books again after a break of around 6 months.)

IMoveTheStars Wed 06-Oct-10 00:00:02

I would recommend fridge phonics but only the lower case version.

Also alphablocks (correct phonics, and v entertaining to LO's)

Click around the site, there's loads of little games/info

IMoveTheStars Wed 06-Oct-10 00:02:00

this is superb for phonics.

otchayaniye Wed 06-Oct-10 08:07:01

Everyone thank you. Great advice. I don't think it matters really if she is behind or ahead of her coevals at reception. They are all varied at that stage anyway and will find things to occupy themselves. I read at 2.5 and found I was able to enjoy school.

allbie Wed 06-Oct-10 09:59:50

An able child will not be confused by different methods of teaching. If they have a level of understanding already, they will use whatever comes their way to learn. A variety of methods gives a far wider scope.

JimJammum Wed 06-Oct-10 18:18:42

Jolly phonics was recommended to us by ds' teachers at nursery as the system they use. There is a cd which you can play in the car and a book to accompany to teach you the songs and actions for each word. My ds was/is very into letters and we had foam bath letters, but I have since realised that I have taught him wrong....so M is not "muh" but "mmmmm". I wish I had known earlier so he doesn't have to unlearn what he has already picked up.
You can get it on amazon and it's not expensive, and then use the phonics to blend letters together to make easy words....we then got books from library in early readers section.

KMandMM Sun 27-Apr-14 10:42:47

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

melvinh Tue 30-Jun-15 09:57:20

There are various Reading tools available these days. I use See-n-Read Reading tools for my kid. It really helps.

lexyloub Tue 30-Jun-15 10:27:32

Use the alphabet song on you tube my ds liked that played it constantly reciting it with the song

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