Following on from my last Blog contribution about Signing and Literacy, here are some basic tips how to start off teaching your child to recognise letters:
You can start this as soon as you begin signing to them, no matter how old they are.
STEP ONE: Learn the manual alphabet !
TEACHING PHONEMES (SOUNDS):
· Start showing your child the first letter of their name when you say their name (=namesign)
· Add more namesigns for other people who are important in your baby’s life
· When you think you and baby are ready, occasionally emphasize the first letter, ie ‘B-B-B Ben!’
· Progress to other things around you ‘T-T-T tree’
TEACHING GRAPHEAMES (written letters)
· When your child can sign some of the letters herself, start showing them the printed letter for their name
· Add a letter a week
· Encourage her to sign the letter when she sais its sound
· Invent fun games to play, ie: spot the letter ‘H’ on the cereal packet or in the shops. Make up memory cards and play this
Always make it fun and make it into a game. As soon as it becomes difficult, stop – and carry on another day.
The aim of the game is to explore your child’s potential without forcing her to exceed the limitations she has – remember every child is different!