One component of Kindergarten Readiness
Kindergarten readiness includes being familiar with the letters and sounds of the alphabet, so how do you do that with your preschooler? Put simply, exposure and integration. Teaching kids the alphabet isn’t done through drilling with flashcards, but it is simply memorization. However, we can make it much easier for kids to memorize letters and their sounds by connecting the letters to something. When we give the letters meaning it’s much easier for kiddo brains to attach the letter to something. So, what does that look like?
There is science behind which letter to do when, but that’s not something I believe parents need to be concerned about. All I want you to focus on is incorporating the alphabet into your daily life with your child. Make it an everyday goal, and when things don’t go as planned just let it go. There are three different ways I want you to approach this. Here’s how!
These are times when you outright say something like, “ooo let’s do an alphabet hunt!” and you and your child specifically work on alphabet sounds. Here’s one example:
Go on a walk with your child and do an alphabet walk. You and your child are on the lookout for things that start with the letters of the alphabet. You might have to break it up into a few different times to get through the letters. Now, while you’re on your walk your child will likely find things that start with one letter yet sound like they start with another. The goal here is to hear letter sounds, so you can tell them this: “it sounds like phone starts with an F, fffff, but it is one of those sneaky words that starts with ph.” Use your judgment and if they start becoming deflated, don’t correct them. The key is simply that the sound matches the sound they’re making. So, if they say “ball that starts with L” you want to stretch that word out and help them notice that the L sound is at the end.
These are not explicit alphabet times, these are times when it’s easy to sneak it in. Examples:
“You’re brushing your teeth, I hear a bbbb B sound – do you remember that letter name? B!”
“Do tooth and brush start with the same sound?”
“How about tooth and paste?
Putting on pajamas
“Putting on your pajamas. What sound do you hear at the beginning of both of those?”
“There are unicorns on your jammies, I hear a u (you) u (uh) uuuunicorn”
When not to:
When it’s an issue. Your child goes “ugh I don’t want to talk about the alphabet.” That’s when you can say “okay, I hear you” and then simply move onto something else. Remember, it’s all about exposure and integration, it’s not about forcing. Kindergarten readiness is more about the problem solving skills than the academics, so don’t get hung up on them not being interested from time to time.
Kindergarten readiness doesn’t have to be big and scary, it can be one step at a time. Start with one way of integrating at a time and slowly build in the others! Still struggling to incorporate the alphabet into daily life? Book a 60 minute coaching call with me and we’ll get you all squared away.