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learning the alphabet...

(15 Posts)
Stuffedcat Mon 03-Nov-08 10:01:52

DD (3.5) has recently started to copy letters and is able to write her name (she uses capital letters at the moment). She did a lovely picture with her name for MIL at the weekend, however MIL said to DH we should be teaching her the 'small' letters first, is there an order to teach the letters in, anyone know if this is true - or shall I carry on being slightly miffed?!

Anna8888 Mon 03-Nov-08 10:03:03

No, learning capitals first is fine at this age. Your MIL is a misery guts.

My DD, who is slightly older than yours, loves typing out words on the computer.

cmotdibbler Mon 03-Nov-08 10:03:04

I think that it's best to teach the small letters first as it goes into handwriting better. However, I would be a bit miffed at your MIL saying it like that !

AbbeyA Mon 03-Nov-08 10:08:12

Don't teach her to write it in capitals-it is very common but it should be in lower case letters. It is easier when starting to read. I don't see why you are miffed with MIL, she said it to DH and not DD.

silverfrog Mon 03-Nov-08 10:09:19

I have always been told that small letters irst is the way to go, to avoid confusion ( a lot of letters look similar in capitals, all up and down spiky strokes), but if there is no confusion, i can't see the harm.

i am sticking to small letters as dd1 has a learning disability, and it seems easier for her to distinguish the small letters, but I know that my brothers and I had no problems differentiating between capitals and small letters when we were small

MrsMattie Mon 03-Nov-08 10:10:17

My son's nursery teacher asked us not to teach our son capital letters (apart from at the beginning of his name), as that isn't the way they teach them in reception. But then, they aren't keen on children being taught to read before school age, which I think is tosh.

Fillyjonk Mon 03-Nov-08 10:11:28

Honestly, at 3.5, it doesn't matter very much.

One tip though, don't teach her the names "small" and "big" for the letters, it causes confusion IME. Use "capital" and "lower case" or whatever but don't give her the idea that the case of the letters is a matter of size.

Fillyjonk Mon 03-Nov-08 10:12:31

oh also, we have had slight difficulties recently with ds who is learning mainly to read with lower case

we introduced him to the computer so he could send emails to his daddy at work. Doh! The keyboard is all upper case! (had honestly not noticed that!)

AbbeyA Mon 03-Nov-08 10:13:58

In infant schools the key board is lower case-another reason for not teaching it in capitals.

Stuffedcat Mon 03-Nov-08 10:20:27

Thanks everyone for your answers I will start the lowercase letters, it has only been a few weeks of writing but it is interesting to know. It didn't even occur to me I was wallowing in pride at her new found ability I suppose!

Fillyjonk Mon 03-Nov-08 10:20:54

yes but they really do need to be able to use both. Aside from anything else, 95% of keyboards NOT at infant schools are in capitals! The world uses capital letters!

Honestly, I have never made a big deal of the capital/lower case distinction and it has never been a problem. You jsut explain that some letters are sometimes written in different ways and that it is helpful to recognise both. If a child is mature enough to learn to read and write then they are, IME, generally old enough to understand the subtleties of letters in different forms.

AbbeyA Mon 03-Nov-08 10:37:52

It is just much simpler to start with lower case-by all means show them capitals, but if doing a simple thing like their name only do the capital for the first letter. As a teacher I inwardly groan when they say they can write their name and then do it all in capitals-it generally means that they don't have an understanding of the letter sounds.

Piffle Mon 03-Nov-08 10:40:54

cos capitals sound out differently abbey?
Honestly at 3 it is fine then you can easily introduce big A little a in the next 18mths
Do bask in her achievement
2 avid and exceptional readers my 2 are and they started with capitals no issues learning lowercase abut later.

AbbeyA Mon 03-Nov-08 10:46:20

If you have a very bright DC it really doesn't matter-however if they are not very bright or dyslexic it may be confusing. I never ever write my name in capitals anyway, unless filling in a form. I find it very strange that people would show them in capitals.

Fillyjonk Tue 04-Nov-08 15:54:53

i think if she is learning letters spontaneously a 3 she is probably quite bright (by national standards I mean, not MN ones wink)

I do think that if I were teaching reading from scratch to a child who had shown no prior interest then I'd use entirely lower case at the beginning, because my aim would be to get them reading asap (I'd also though go for a non-nonsense, quick approach-DISTAR or similar, to give them a good thorough grounding)

BUT if I were dealing with a younger child who was already picking stuff up I'd be letting them experiment a lot more, play about with letters, and thats why I'd expose her to a variety of letter types.

The thing is, I wonder if she just wants to be able to write her name in a way that means others know its her-not really to learn letters at all, bit to make her mark. So I don't think it matters if you teach lower case or capitals. Just keep it lots of fun!

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