Getting Ready for Kindergarten - Buffalo Grove,IL

Updated on March 31, 2010
M.S. asks from Lincolnshire, IL
14 answers

My daughter turned five in Jan. We are having trouble getting her to learn her letters and remember them the next day. For example one day we may concentrate on three letters, two days later she has forgotten them. Should I be concerned? It seems to me that most of the kids in her class do know all of their letters. I am so worried that she will be the only child in her kindergarten class that does not know her letters. Any suggestions on how to help her???
Thanks you moms, you always have such great ideas!!!

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answers from Detroit on -- this si a great 2 year old son learned his letter with starfall. -- Now he was interested in letters and my daughter at 4 is nto interested in letters..

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answers from Dallas on

I taught my two nieces (6 and almost 5) theirs by the time they were 3 1/2 (of course, they'd mix some up, but got most right). What really helped was those Nickolodeon Dora the Explorer and whatnot. I don't like much using it when it comes to kids (tv), but it really helped and they can write and the 6 year old can now read some as well. The songs are catchy and easy for a child to remember. :) good luck

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answers from Seattle on

To ease your mind, please know that MANY, MANY children come into Kindy knowing NO letters and NO numbers - none of it! But, to help her out, my suggestion would be not to focus on more than one letter a day. I haven't taught in a kindy classroom in years and years (I teach third grade), but when I did, we would focus on one letter for a whole week when they first started learning the alphabet. They would color pictures with a's and items that started with a. It was all about that one, single letter for what seemed like forever! We would find "hidden a's" in books - just having kids point to every 'a' they saw. As they got used to learning letters, we would introduce more each week. If I were you, I think I'd focus on one letter for several days before moving on to the another letter. Once she starts learning one, two, three letters she will feel proud and motivated. Then, you can teach her more each week and switch to flashcards for practice once she's got several of them down pretty well. Good luck and have fun! Don't worry - she'll be great!

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answers from San Antonio on

Every child is different. For instance my daughter knew her abc's before she was 3 and my niece is a week older and still doesnt know hers. My daughter will be 5 in June and she can spell her full name. I couldn't do that when I was 5. I know it goes against what pediatrians say but my daughter loves to watch Sesame Street and Blues Clues. They go over so many letters and they have so many catchy songs and that is how my daughter learned her letters and numbers. She still sings the songs to this day and has not seen those shows in over a year. I never sat down and went over the letters with her until right before she turned 4 and to my surprise she knew every letter I wrote. So as you can see EVERY child is different. I believe she is doing so well because she has a great memory.

Maybe go to your local library and find some dvd's with some catchy tunes about the alphabet and then sit with her and ask her if she remembers what letters they went over.

Here is a website that i was introduced to a few weeks ago as well... my daughter loves the little activities on there. Good Luck.

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answers from Charlotte on

I wouldn't worry. My son started kindergarten this year, he knew his letters, but about half the class did not. Now every one has caught up and knows their letters. You still have all summer to work with her. This is was I use for my 4 year old twins and used for my now 6 year old:

Start with the vowels singing "A E I O U" to the tune of the song BINGO. "A E I O U, A E I O U, A E I O U, I know my vowels and so do you"! Then have them sing the song with the vowel sounds "Ah, Eh, Ih, Oh, Uh" This will help them learn what sounds these letters make. Since all words have a vowel sound in it, this will help them when they begin to form words.

After they have the vowels down, introduce the remaining letters to them as an animal. B - Bubba Bear, C - Cathy Cat, D - Donald Dinosaur, and so on.

My oldest son learned this way and was reading at age four. My twin boys just turned four and are well on their way



answers from Los Angeles on

Another suggestion: What I did was on my computer in Word, typed each letter in a large font so that the letter took up the whole page, made it colorful and cut & pasted a cute picture that matched the letter (an Apple for "A"). I laminated each letter (which was on 8 1/2 x 11 paper) then taped them on the wall in the living room. I did a Letter of the Week but started with the letters of my child's name and then went to 'A'. I started this when my kids were young so I only did 1 letter a week. Since your daughter is 5 you can probably do 1 letter every couple of days. Point to it a lot during the day, make it a game and say “let’s see who can find the letter ‘A’ first and point to it. Your child will visually see the letter throughout the day so just keep naming it and make it fun! Repetition is key!!!



answers from Houston on

My DD , now three, has known her letters since 26 months. The answer? FLASHCARDS!!! I LOVE those things!!! They are a game, learning, one on one time and fun all wrapped into one!!! You really dont have to do TOO much at once. Just make it a game. I would take out a pack of cards (bought at walgreens or walmart) and only use about a third of them. Once they master that 1/3 or so...move on to the next. The key is to make like its some game, like blocks or dolls. I actually sometimes give the ol' "I guess we can play THIS now"....
Another thing that makes mothers krenge is TV. I also think Sesame Street is great teaching tool.



answers from Atlanta on

When my daughter was about to start three year old kindergarten, we were having a hard time with letters. I took a picture of her holding something from our house for every letter of the alphabet ("v" was her holding her vitamins, etc). Putting that in a little photo album with a sticker of the corresponding letter attached helped her quickly. Until it became "real" to her, it didn't sink in. Now she is doing well (just turned five last week--will begin K in the fall). As a first grade teacher, I do know firsthand that the pressure on kids as young as preschoolers is HEAVY. At our school, there is not a lot of emphasis on learning each letter (as there was when I was in Kindergarten)--if they don't come to K knowing their letters, they do struggle. Immediately in K they begin working on "sight words"--220 words that they need to recognize by "sight" rather than by decoding ("sounding out"). I would definitely tell you to work with her, but to be still have another 4 months so there is still time! Not everyone's child is going to be on the exact "learning schedule" as everyone else's! And on top of that....what I have learned, is that many, MANY children who are very advanced academically seem to struggle in other areas (socially, making friends, maturity, etc). It may be that up until this point she just hasn't been all that interested, especially if she is gifted in another area (like creativity). My daughter continues to enjoy Starfall on the web and I have heard other friends swear by the Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD as well.



answers from Seattle on

My daughter also turned five in January and is having a hard time. It too seems like some younger kids in her preschool class know them! You're nt alone...I just work on it all the time, pick a word and ask her what it starts with and we just got a placemat with the alphabet on it to read during meals.



answers from Minneapolis on

Has she been through her kindergarten readiness assessments? They are required in MN and administered free of charge by the school district where you reside. They will be able to give you a better feel for how ready your daughter is emotionally, socially, academically, and physically.



answers from San Francisco on

If you're not totally against video/computers for kids, I back up the idea of
My son is not 3 yet and already knows his ABCs and the letter's sounds and he is allowed only limited time (around 30 minutes of either computer or video a day).
They learn because they are playing (not studying). My son also enjoys some PB shows like Super Why...
Keep it fun. Don't put enough pressure on her. This would only backfire.
Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

They should know the numbers one thru 10. try doing 1 number a week. rather than trying to do to many. you can tie it into so many things during the day. Ex" can you get me 1 spoon for the table, can you fold this 1 washrag for me go get 1 movie for us to watch. this is only 1 of your shoes" etc and stick with the 1 theme for the whole week. write the number one outline her a big 1 to color make a big deal out of Mr 1 for the whole week. you have enough time before school starts up to get thru the whole numbers 1-10 get some things for her to count so she can associate an amount with a number. its great to be able to spout off 1-10 but if you don't know that 3 items makes up 3 then really you just have the names of the numbers memorized. As for the letters same kind of thing. not more than one at a time. let them get used to 1 before moving on. good luck



answers from Chicago on

I agree with those who have recommended and Leapfrog products. I also wanted to add that most libraries have the "Hooked on Phonics" program and Level 1 teaches all of the letters / letter sounds. It includes a workbook, story books, flashcards and a dvd that all reinforce the letters. We also love the shows Word World and Super Why on pbs. You can also have her make her own "ABC" book that you can read every night (make one page per day and review it every day before you make the next page). Also outside you can use chalk or write in the sand to practice letters- make it fun! Good luck!



answers from Salt Lake City on

I bought my daughter "Leap Frog Letter Factory" All of my children liked watching it-even the older ones. I also like the Fridge Phonics also by Leap Frog. My daughter had learned the alphabet song by the time she was 2 and had her alphabet and the sounds they make down by 3. She writes her name and other small words (mom, dad, cat etc). I wouldn't worry too much about your daughter. My neice is a year older than my daughter (they just had birthdays and are now 4 and 5) and just learned the alphabet song. We are just getting to where she can recognize letters that are not in her name. It just took some time to click. Instead of focusing on the actual letters, help her to learn the alphabet song so she knows what the letters are and then she can focus on what the letters actually look like. Also, teach her to spell her name. Children love things that are speciific to themselves. I know this rambled a bit. Sorry, I'm tired but I did want to tell you about the leap frog video and games.

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