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Upper Case or Lower Case Alphabet First??

I am going to start working on my son everyday learning all the letters of the Alphabet. He turned 4 in September and knows a couple but I really need to start an everyday routine with him. I didn't know though should you start working with the upper case alphabet first or the lower case? Or both at the same time? It seems confusing to him so far to work on both. I just wasn't sure how they do it when you get into kindergarten and what would be better??
Any words of advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Go to Wal-mart and spend $10 to buy Leap Frogs Letter Factory DVD. Then buy the Leap Frog Fridge magnets. They both use the same little song to teach letters. My son knew all his letters and sounds at 20 months. It only took him a few weeks to catch on. We also had those foam letters to play with in the tub. It was easy and fun.

2 moms found this helpful

i taught kindergarten before staying at home and i agree with the suggestions to only work on one letter a week. (both upper and lower together) Do lots of tactile things like drawing in shaving cream, or tracing the letter on sandpaper. Do a scavenger hunt for things that start with that sound. You don't have to go in order, start with the letters in his name. Teach him to write his name with the first letter upper the other lower!!! makes life easier when he gets to school.

1 mom found this helpful

1. I love the talking letter factory by Leap Frog (less than $10 at wal-mart). This progresses into the Talking word factory and the story book circus - fantastic little video trio that teaches letter recognition, the existence of upper and lower case letters, and true phonemics.

2. My son went to pre k intimately familiar with how to write the captials. He could read both upper and lower case (see number 1).

3. Now he's in K, and he can write lower case too.

It worked for us, and my 3 y o is following in his footsteps.

Good luck.
S.

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Imo. I would start with both. I just know that from experience.

I have a 5 year-old in Kinder, right now. His teacher is teaching him, and his class the upper and lowercase at the same time.

But what I did since my son didn't go to Pre-K, which wasn't my choice, is I made sure he knew his full name, made sure he could recognize the numbers 1-10 by using his fingers, and could say the alphabet.

Teachers these days have a different way of teaching the kiddos. By all means, is probably the best way. I know that she has sent home papers about the proper way of writing... for instance, on the writing tablet with the line above and on the bottom, and in the middle is the dashed lines. The top is referred to as the sky, middle dashed lines are known as the fence, and the bottom line is called the ground.. Its really neat. So, the sky, fence, and ground. He has to know how to count to 100, without any help. He has to know how to write his name, the proper way. He has to know how to write each letter the right way and also the correct sounds of each letter... The for instance I gave you is the proper way, at least, the rules and guide-lines that my son has to follow from the education department.

Before Kinder, I didn't really teach him the writing part. He kinda picked it up during the summer before. If he seemed interested, then I taught him the knowledge I knew. Never did I say no! So, if your young'n wants to learn to write, so be it. Lol. Let him experience with that pencil!

Also, get the books that have color-by-number. Those are excellent. A great sorce of learning. Make him notice the colors and how the words are spelled. Then it also helps with the numbers. If the word says 2 are blue. Color the word blue, blue, for him so he notices the spelling of the word blue. I did, candy corns, or skittles.. 5+1=6 He got really interested in that one. I did cherrios. Lol. It was soo much fun, too!

Pre-K is just more like recognition, or experimenting with different learning tools for the children.

That's all I can think of right now..

Got anymore questions shoot them my way. Email me at ____@____.com, that's an easier way to get a hold of me, quick!

Hope I helped some!! Much Luck to his success!!! God Bless! =]

2 moms found this helpful

Definitely upper-case first. I highly recommend the video "Letter Factory" - it's a LeapFrog DVD, and it is GREAT! My twins (who are now 2 1/2) started watching that video at their babysitter's house when they were about 15 months old, and by the time my son was 19 months old, he could say identify every letter of the alphabet as well as the sounds for most. It was amazing - and it was very impressive "entertainment" at our family Christmas in 2007 right after. My daughter wasn't as interested in televisions at that age, so she was about 21 months old before learning all of them. Good luck with it all - learning is so much fun!

2 moms found this helpful

Go to Wal-mart and spend $10 to buy Leap Frogs Letter Factory DVD. Then buy the Leap Frog Fridge magnets. They both use the same little song to teach letters. My son knew all his letters and sounds at 20 months. It only took him a few weeks to catch on. We also had those foam letters to play with in the tub. It was easy and fun.

2 moms found this helpful

1. I love the talking letter factory by Leap Frog (less than $10 at wal-mart). This progresses into the Talking word factory and the story book circus - fantastic little video trio that teaches letter recognition, the existence of upper and lower case letters, and true phonemics.

2. My son went to pre k intimately familiar with how to write the captials. He could read both upper and lower case (see number 1).

3. Now he's in K, and he can write lower case too.

It worked for us, and my 3 y o is following in his footsteps.

Good luck.
S.

1 mom found this helpful

I have a bright three year old (almost 4 now) who demanded to start school when he was 2.5. At that point everyone he knew including his father were all starting school. I made him wait until he turned three but he was insistent.

We did a letter a week starting with D for his name. I have flash cards with no pictures. I believe that the kids memorize the pictures and not the letter. I am a former teacher and private tutor. I've seen it happen. They know the sound on the card with the picture. Then take the picture away and they get frustrated. My flash cards have only the lower case letters on them. I focused on the phonetic sound(s) the letters make. That same week I introduced the upper case with refrigerator magnets. He would match the upper case magnets with the lower case cards once a week. I only kept out the magnets for the letters we had learned, getting out a new one each week. That way we got upper, lower, and sounds. He loved running to the door to get a magnet and running back to the coffee table to match it to the cards. It kept everything active.

We also spent a lot of time brainstorming words that started with that week's letter sound. Friends' names, favorite toys, foods. Anything he was familiar with. Now we're on to the /ch/ so we say, "Ch, ch. Charles. Ch, ch, cheese. Ch, ch, chocolate. Ch, ch, Choo, Choo."

He did great and started reading hat, rat, ran, etc about two months ago. Two weeks ago he started reading the Bob books. Now he's on the second level and doing great. Teaching the sounds is the key.

I also made out little index cards with one three letter word each. This helped him learn to sound out words without pictures and without the expectation of reading a whole sentence. I would follow his cues. If he was having fun we'd do 10 or so in a day. If he was resistant or silly, we'd stop before five that day. So long as there were no tears or yelling, but plenty of fun.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I taught Kinder before I stayed home. I taught upper & lowercase at the same time. I didn't use any special program to teach. I had a Word Wall in the classroom. We did a "chant" every day. Said the letter name, sound and the picture clue that is on the letter card. Ex: Aa /a/ apple. You are pointing to each letter, upper and lower as you say the name, put your hand to your ear as you do the sound and then point to the picture. You can go to any teacher store and find an alphabet. You do need to practice writing the letters as well. I did only work on writing one letter a day. Upper on one side of the paper and lower on the back. I had them write the letter in about 5 different colors just on top of each other. We called it rainbow writing. I didn't have a particular order that I did that in, but a good place to start would be the letters in your child's name. The Pre-K teacher at my school did this as well and those students were able to do it. The key is doing it daily and making it upbeat and brief. Of course we did much more throughout the day, but I'm not sure how much info you want. I do want to emphasize that it is not necessary to spend a lot of money or subscribe to a particular program to achieve results. If you want more ideas, feel free to email me. I will let you know that I taught "economically disadvantaged" and students whose 1st language was not english with 100% success. They ALL not only knew letters sounds, names, but could all read and write by mid year.

1 mom found this helpful

My son learned both at the same time at age 2 so I am sure your son at 4 could handle both together. Try using www.starfall.com to begin, then maybe move to the leap frog magnets. Also, if you are not averse to DVDs, Preschool Prep company has some good ones that teach upper and lower recognition. The DVDs are good with recognition but don't help with sounds like Starfall and the magnets do. Good luck. I bet he'll get them really fast!

1 mom found this helpful

i taught kindergarten before staying at home and i agree with the suggestions to only work on one letter a week. (both upper and lower together) Do lots of tactile things like drawing in shaving cream, or tracing the letter on sandpaper. Do a scavenger hunt for things that start with that sound. You don't have to go in order, start with the letters in his name. Teach him to write his name with the first letter upper the other lower!!! makes life easier when he gets to school.

1 mom found this helpful

Upper case first. I also recommend the Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD. It teaches the letter sounds. My daughter who is now in kindergarten LOVED that DVD and knew all of her letters, upper case and lower case and all the sounds when she started kindergarten. Her teacher recommends that DVD as well.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with trying starfall.com and also the leap frog letter factory dvd....both are wonderful and fun:)

1 mom found this helpful

Leap Frog's Letter Factory DVD! It is about $10 at Target, Amazon or any retailer.

All three of my kids learned their letters in a week flat! My daughter's kinder teacher now shares it with parents after telling her about it three years ago.

It is amazing! It also teaches them phonics as well, you cant spend $10 any better anywhere else!

Good luck!

C.

1 mom found this helpful

School districts teach uppercase first. A good place to go to teach him that is fun and interactive (and even teaches the letter sounds is www.starfall.com. Once you are there, click on ABCs and let the fun learning begin.

The website is also great for teaching your children to read so, if any of you mommas out there have a child that is struggling, check out this site. We love it at our house!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,

No one has recommended what I just purchased for my 2 children - almost 5 and almost 3. I was referred to this program by three friends who are occupational therapists.
http://www.hwtears.com/

I'm really looking forward to it. Their website has a tremendous amount of information.

Peace,
M.
www.yogapotential.com

I don't know how they do it in Kindergarten, but my son learned uppercase letters first. I think it was easier to tell them apart.

Also if you don't mind him watching TV the Leap Frog Letter Factory movie was a huge help in teaching my son his letters.

I started with the upper case letters with my now 5 year old. I also recommend getting the Leap Frog Letter Factory video. My son learned all of his letters and the letter sounds in a few weeks by watching that video. I also worked with him throughout the day.

T.

Start with upper case but make sure when he is writing his name that he uses both. All upper case name writing is a HARD habit for teachers to break!

The best thing I ever did with this was purchase the DVD "Leap Frog - Letter Factory". My daughter learned both upper and lower case letters plus all the sounds they make. She began watching the DVD at 3 years old. At 4 she could read quite a few words and would also leave me written notes and stories. The DVD was reviewed on Amazon 597 times and shows a 5 star rating.

I operate a home preschool and I teach my 3 and 4 yr old students 1 letter a week. We work on both upper and lower case at the same time. I teach them as "partner letters". You could call them "Big A and Little A" or Momma A and Baby A" Make sure to incorporate lots of things for that week on that letter for repitition. For example, abc stamps, stencils, workbooks, etc. This week my students are learning the letter O. So I have them do O stamps with my stamp set, stencil the letter O with my stencils, do O worksheets (I have 5 workbooks, so they do one a day), you get the idea. Also if you dont have the dvd "Leap Frog: The Letter Factory" I strongly recommend that you get it. It really teaches letter recognition and phonics amazingly! Good luck! : )

Upper case first.
:)

Hi S.,

I suggest starting with lowercase and starting with the sound of the letter not the name. I used to teach pre-k in a Montessori school and now tutor privately so I can be home with my son. I have several resources I can give you to help you. Learning the phonetic sound first helps so much in the reading process. If you would like copies of some of the lessons or suggestions about different ways and or things you can do feel free to pm me.I'd be glad to help.

I think the case is best made for upper case first. They're more likely to be in easily-spotted places in day-to-day activities (signage, store-fronts, warning messages, etc.), they have less of a chance to be confused with one another (i.e. p, g, b, d), and most phonics-teaching toys I've seen are uppercase (i.e. magnets, blocks).
HTH!

When your child is 3 or 4 and learning to recognize letters, I would use only capitals. But when they start reading and writing, say 4 1/2 or 5, then teach them both together.

I do both. My children in the day care are average age of 2 and they are sponges at 3 in learning this. Most repeat it but recognizing the letters are for about age 2.5. Two they are still learning a lot about words and what they mean but at about 3 they seem to hold attention and want to learn on a daily lesson they ask to do it and want to know it and are great copy cats. So do both we are working on the sounds of it. My 20 mo sang the song before she got all the letters right. I know an 18 mo old who knew it at 18 mos. G. W

capital letters are easier for kids to learn and write. once he gets those down, start lower case. a good thing to do is have him start tracing the letters.

Dear S.,

My children both learned their letters early. I don't remember a lot of "work" with them. We just found interesting ABC books. When we needed some down time, my boys picked out a book. Often it was an alphabet book. I had several. Get ones that YOU think are interesting, so that you don't mind reading it 500 times. As my children reached the upper preschool years, I liked ones that had several pictures so that we could say each thing that was pictured. The letter sound was then repeated many times while they looked at the letters. I think the books for younger children had uppercase letters while the ones for older ones had both upper and lower case letters.

With my younger son, we bought a Leapfrog learning pad. He could press the letters for the sounds and put sounds together into words.

I think children are naturally drawn to what they are ready to learn. I don't believe in drills, just making the material available and interesting.

PS. My older son started to read at age 2 and my younger one started to read at age 4 - I did have to shut the younger one in a room while I began to read. He would start off running around and soon would get interested. First he would look over my shoulder, and soon he would be cuddled up next to me, looking at the pictures while I read.

Good Luck

Jen

I know this is not what everyone else is saying but I would do lowercase first. You see lowercase letters much more then you see uppercase. My sons teacher told us to work on lowercase letters. Now my 6 and 4 year old can read.
Just a thought
H.

I am a Kindergarten teacher so I hope what I say helps! I would teach both at the same time. Children naturally learn the uppercase first. If he is having trouble with both I would focus on the uppercase, but still introduce the lower case. I would also start with the letters in his name first. He will love learning the letters in his name because it is something familiar to him. I would teach the letters in his first, middle, and last name, focusing on the names one at a time until he knows the letters. It's okay to sing songs with all of the letters and, but only really work on about 5 to 6 at a time. Signing the letter as he says it may also help to solidify the concept. Hope this helps!

Usually upper case and lower case letters are taught together. Educators have learned that if you are going to focus on upper or lower first, then go with lower case because those are the letters you write most often. You only use upper case at the beginning of a sentence, proper names, holidays, etc.

Hi S.,
Both my kids have worked on this. My son is also 4 and my daughter will be two tomorrow. I worked with them starting with the capitol letters because they are easily identified but I've also shown him the lower case along side of it so it was not foreign to him once he started identifying the lower case letters. My daughter is not there just yet. Also while your teaching him the letters sound it out but don't expect him to sound it out for you just enough to start putting it in his head.
For example Look Johnny this is A short a sound a as in apple.
Work Daily with him while at the store point it out on a cereal box. What letter is that or Look Johnny that is the letter B (ba) B.
Also if you like let him play on http://www.starfall.com/n/level-k/index/load.htm?f
GREAT WEBSITE!
Ok Sorry for the lesson.

My daughter's private preschool taught uppercase only to the 3-4 year olds, and upper and lower to the 4-5 year olds.

I took a tour of our public school and they highly recommended that we get our kids ready to do both upper and lowercase for kindergarten because the teachers spend a lot of time trying to undo the idea that words are written in all uppercase letters.

My daughter is recognizing/reading words that are both uppercase and lowercase, even though she still writes primarily in uppercase.

Schools tend to work on upper case alphabet first. As a first grade teacher, I aplaud you for working with your son already.

Start with upper case letters. You can go to a Teachers store(sometimes Target has Kumon books) and get some workbooks that are age appropriate for your son. You get to play "school"...kids love that. Flashcards are easy to work into a daily routine. He needs to know his letters and numbers to 9 before he gets to kindergarden. You should start him in preschool before you send him to kindergarden. good luck

My daughter could write her name & the alphabet (in CAPS) when she started kindergarten. The teacher had a dickens of a time teaching her lower-case letters - Peggy wanted to do it the way Momma taught her. With my son, I tried teaching both and he was better off when he started kindergarten. It wasn't 'perfect' like it was with my daughter, but he had the general concept and did well with his writing. Maybe try Aa, Bb, Cc method when teaching him. He probably won't fully comprehend the reason for the difference, but that's ok. Good Luck!

From an ex-teacher of elementary school, I think you should show both "A a" when introducing them. Too many children reach 2nd grade & are still having trouble remembering to use lower case where needed. If they are taught that their name is Bill not BILL they begin to realize early on when to use caps

There are alphabet banners that are hung in day care and kindergarten rooms that include both upper and lower case letters. One of the banners might be helpful.

the library and amazon.com has a dvd called Meet the Letters also

Although we didn't focus on one set or the other, my kids recognized uppercase first. We use letter blocks and letter magnets. I'll put my vote in for www.starfall.com. Wonderful site. Also check out www.literactive.com.

I would do both at the same time, it's less confusing than teaching them one way- then saying- oh hey- these too! I just teach either "big A little a" or use the real words of capital and lowercase. Kids really don't seem to question why there are 2, they accept and move on.

get the magnetic alphabet and place on your fridge. during the day when your child is in the kitchen, tell him to pull a certain letter whether it is capitable B or lower case b. also, you might want to read to him every night prior to lights out. good luck.

I would do both at the same time. That is how I always taught it. I would not worry about explaining why it is that way (if he asks then come up with a simple answer). Just help him learn letter recognition.

I have a series I'm teaching my son that's called Get Ready, Get Set, Go For the Code. The alphabet is taught upper and lower case together as well as the sound each letter makes. He LOVES it. He asks me if he can do more pages every day. I love the way it's laid out. After he completes all 3 books, I will begin to teach him to read.

The Letter Factory Leap Frog DVD is very good. My friend has a child who has some learning challenges and they had been working on the alphabet for over 6 months with little progress. She bought the DVD and had her listen to it three times a day. By the end of 6 weeks, she knew all her letters and sounds. Her 3 year old son knows them too. So I know that program is good too. My son didn't care for it so I went with the Explode the Code series. You can order it or pick it up at Mardels.

Blessings!
L.

My kids was taught with both at the same time. They also taught them the sound also added a item with it like a is for apple and b is for bear. You can find abc and 123 books at dollar tree to make copies of the pages. They are cheap. They have them in pooh bear and disney pricesses

Wow, I never really thought about it. I did upper case with my son though and he picked up lower case very easily afterwards. He is in Kindergarten now and has no problem. I've already started my just turned 2 year old with upper just by habit.

Hi S., both of my kids learned both at the same time. They learned a letter each week and also reviewed all previous letters that week. I think learning both together is important because they are the same.

Also, both of my kids preschool teachers were extremely aggravated at parents that taught their kids how to write their names incorrectly. Teach your son how to make each letter in his name correctly and with the first letter as a capital because important words start with important capital letters. :)

My son learned all of his letters by age 2. I worked with him everyday, twice a day after lunch and dinner. How did I do it? Earth's Best letter cookies. You can buy them in the baby food isle at Target or the organic baby food isle at Kroger. They are only made with upper case letters. He loved eating them as much as saying the letters. It was great! I pulled them out of the bag randomly and helped pronounce it if he needed help. He never knew there was any order to them until later after he started day care where now at 2 1/2 he sings the ABC song.

Also you can buy a wooden puzzle board that has letters, but they are all caps too I think. Another thing to get are the magnetic letters you can put on the frig, but I think those are all caps too. But it's a start, and your son will never know that he's learning. He'll think he's playing.

Once he's mastered the upper case, then work on the lower case. Most flash cards out there have printed on them both the upper and lower case side by side. Those you can pick up at most book stores, including Half Price Books.

Definitely lower case because of the frequency of their use.

Sorry for the late response, I am a kindergarten teacher, our curriculum (in the 3 schools-and 2 districts I have been in) we teach both capital and lowercase together. The students that I recieved from prekindergarten had a very hard time transitioning from all caps to putting the lowercease with the caps. It is a long, slow, process for many children. It will be hard but it will be more benificial to teach him both. Take it slow, teach him about 3 caps and then their corresponding letter, then move on to the next set, possibly adding more or maybe adding only 1 or 2, and then teach their corresponding lowercase. Make it fun teach some chants, songs, videos are fine, use edible letters-the reward is he can eat the letters he reads.

Hope this helps.

Hi S.

I was a Preschool teacher for over 15 years and no matter what you are teaching you son, the most important thing is to make it fun so he will look at learning as an enjoyable experience.

Starfall( http://www.starfall.com/n/level-k/index/load.htm?f ) is a good resource you could use and it's free, it teaches both upper and lower case letters at the same time. Books are also a great resource, they teach children that letters make words and words make sentences, so read to your son as much as possible.

Have fun with your son! Remember, everything at this age is a learning experience for him!

My daughter just started kindergarten this year and they started out with upper case letters and once she learned them as well as learned how to write them than they began to introduce the lower case and she does practice sheets that show both lower and upper case letters. Hope this helps.

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