Teaching the Alphabet

Teaching the Alphabet
Learning the alphabet has always brought to mind the famous "ABC" song. However, looking at letters and singing the catchy tune are not the only ways to teach the alphabet. Here are three creative ideas to help you teach your preschool homeschooler the alphabet:

1. Create an "Alphabet Map"- Using a very large piece of paper, like from a butcher block roll, create a 26 letter chart. Make a square big enough for each letter in the alphabet to have a corresponding picture, which your child can draw. You can use a theme for the map, like "Animals A-Z" or use a variety of words to represent each letter. Write the letters on the squares, upper and lowercase, and dot them so your child can trace each letter. Do one or several letters each day, until the map is complete. You can also use construction paper or poster boards too, and use contact paper and tape to piece them together. Also, laminating the map will ensure longevity. If you plan to use it as a floor map consider taping a rug mat (non stick) to the back to prevent slippage.

2. Read, Read, Read!- Reading alphabet books aloud with your child appeals to visual and auditory learning. When my son was little I enjoyed enthusiastically reading Dr. Seuss's "ABC Book". The fun rhyming nature and sing-songy phrases made this book entertaining and educational. For those homeschool parents who are looking for a Christian based ABC book, "My ABC Bible Verses: Hiding God's Word in Little Hearts" by Susan Hunt is an excellent book with a Biblical theme. Eric Carle wrote a classic ABC book that children love to read. Many preschoolers are familiar with the art and style of Eric Carle, so his alphabet book is a comfortable resource.

3. Play Games- Have an ABC hunt in the backyard or in the house. Place objects around for your child to find, giving them letter only clues. Be sure to use safe items, and ensure they are placed in non dangerous areas. Another idea is a matching game. There is an inexpensive "Match Me" alphabet card set that is enjoyable and interactive. If you are the artistic homeschooling parent you can create your own set of matching cards too. Simple index cards work fine for this project. Consider theming the deck of cards you make, maybe even creating a few different decks. Neat topics include animals, sea creatures, toys, foods, and pets.

Don't forget to sing the "ABC" song before the day is done! That is one teaching tool that is classic, repetitive and downright fun!

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