Learning Letter Recognition

Updated on March 01, 2011
M.!. asks from Boulder, CO
16 answers

MY son had his Kinder readiness test today and only got a 16 out of 29 on his testing. The bulk of his missed answers were identifying letters. We have definitely struggled with him understanding this is an "A" and will always be an "A". We have tried flash cards, a few books geared towards learning letters, and a computer type game. His problem with the computer type games is that is asks to find the "A". Well, sure he can find the letter A... it is on the main screen and all he has to do is copy it. Thats the other thing. He can write his name and any other word you put in front of him - but he has no clue what he is writing. He doesn't know the letters in his name, yet he has been writing his name for a year now.

So, any suggestions on how to learn letter recognition?

He knows how to sing his ABC's btw, just has no clue what they are tho. And he just turned 5 in December and is in Preschool. Also, he does know how to read his numbers up to 100.


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answers from Los Angeles on

Try the Leapfrogs videos. I hear they have worked wonders for kids struggling with letter recognition =-)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

How did he learn 16? Teach him the other 13 the same way. That is how he learns best. Often the ones that they get wrong are letters that look a like, or sound a like and get they get mixed up. He might know more if the readiness test was given by you vs the teacher. C,B,P sound, look, he wasn't given the benefit, he could get mixed up, it was wrong on the test.

Try starfall.com and fisherprice.com fun games that letters sing and flash in front of him. Get a wooden puzzle, point and then sing and ask him to him certain letters. At the same time start saying A says aaa. Get him knowing the sounds too. Sept is a long time away keep at it every day and he will be more than ready.

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answers from Kalamazoo on

Another fun thing to do with flashcards (I always just made my own out of index cards) is to scatter them around the living room floor and then you say bring me the letter "A" etc. You could make or buy two sets, scatter one on the floor and put the other set in a paper bag. Either you or he draws a card out of the bag, he says the letter and then goes to find the matching one.

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answers from Salt Lake City on

My daughter loved the Letter factory dvd put out by leap frog. They teach letters and their sounds in a fun and creative way. Within a weeks time she had the sounds down. You should check this video out. It's both educational and entertaining. My daughter walks around the house singing " the A says A (the sound) the A says A, every letter makes a sound, the A says A" she'll going the whole way through alphabet. It's cute.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Did you ever read Dr. Seuss's ABC book?
"A is for Alligator. Aunt Annie's Alligator. A. A. A. " through the whole alphabet.

Also, if you have the time, you could try the workbook, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. It is available thru Amazon for less than $15. It actually does teach reading (not by sight words, but rather learning the phonetics and sounding out words) and the child does NOT need to know letter names to learn to read. However, near the end of the workbook (I think it is around lesson 75 or 80 out of the 100), it does put the letter NAMES on the "sounds" associated with that letter. It is an excellent tool. Both my children were READING (not memorized sight words) chapter books before kindergarten started.

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answers from Dallas on

Leap Frog "Letter Factory" video! It is awesome...there is also one that is about going to school that teaches the days of the week, months, seasons, etc.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Sometimes you need to make it fun and less like learning. A few suggestions:

Starfall.com helped my son recognize his letters in just a few weeks. He went from knowing 10 to knowing all 26 after a few weeks of playing around on the website. He loved it! Over a year later, he still loves the site.

Discovery Toys has two products that are great for helping learn letters:

1. Sounds Like Learning CD has a song on it that sings the alphabet "Apple, Apple AAA, Baby Baby BBB" etc. It comes with a sheet that shows all the letters and has neat pictures to go along with them where the letter is built into the picture. It really helps kids to associate the letter with a word and, as a result, start to understand that the letter itself represents something. http://www.discoverytoyslink.com/esuite/control/product?P...

2. Sounds Like Phonics Letter Fun Lotto is a bingo-style game using the same letter pictures as in the CD above. Kids love playing it and there are a few different versions of how you can play to keep the kids engaged and excited about it. http://www.discoverytoyslink.com/esuite/control/product?P...

3. ABSeas Fishing Game - kids fish for letters and match them to the letters on their game boards Make him name the letters as he does it and he will start learning them because he'll be having fun doing it. http://www.discoverytoyslink.com/esuite/control/product?P...

I would also talk to his teachers and see what they recommend. Maybe there are other ways of learning that they could suggest that would suddenly help it all click for your son.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My DD learned her letters in part from the fridge letters from Leapfrog. She could put them in the slot in any order.

I wonder, though, is this a form of dyslexia you're seeing?


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answers from Charlotte on


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answers from Honolulu on

Try matching games.
Get 2 sets of alphabet cards.
Then lay out a few on the floor. (only a few. Like 6 cards. IF you put out ALL the alphabet cards, it will be too overwhelming. Let him 'master' a few at a time. Then as he masters it, then put out a few more. Working on it gradually. That is what I do with my son).
Then with the other pack of cards, have him 'match' it to the same letter, while SOUNDING it out.

Memory games.

Kids learn via repetition.

Don't worry, he will get it. That is what school is for.

My son is the same way.

Other Moms I talked to who have 'boys' said the same thing. My daughter on the other hand, got it quicker.

It has nothing to do with 'intelligence.' It is just their development. Boys, are more physical and kinetic. They learn differently.

all the best,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I know you already tried a computer type game, but what really helped our son learn his letter was a website called Starfall.com. They have and ABC thing in there that was great for us. Sorry I am not more help. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Try learning a letter a week. Write the letter down an a large sheet of paper and hang it where he will see it several times throughout the day. Throughout the day, talk about the sound that letter makes, words that start with that letter, cut out the letter from a magazine, write it several times.

An alphabet puzzle is also a good way to learn.

I wouldn't be overly concerned. Many children do not know all their letters upon entering Kindergarten.

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answers from Washington DC on

my son has the same problem. His speech therapist identified issues with labeling at age 3. You could put a picture in front of him and ask him to identify a cow, and he can point to it, but if you put the picture in front of him and point to the cow and ask what it is, he has trouble recalling the name. Its the same way with letters too. If you ask him to point to the A he can, but if you ask him what the name of it is, he doesn't have a clue. We are doing repetition at this point. His kindergarten screen is at the end of the month so it will be interesting to see how he does. Sometimes I think he just remembers what he wants to remember. In our system they do that test so they can identify those that need some extra help when they start. Those kids will be pulled out a few times a week for a half hour at a time in small groups for extra attention until they catch up. I have stopped worrying about it.

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answers from Phoenix on

Keep doing what you're doing. I think reading and flashcards are a great idea! You can get different alphabet books from the library, any of them. It takes time and some kids take more time than others. I have 4 children in school and they all "got it" at totally different ages. Keep reading to him and working with his letters and he'll get it. Don't worry about the test. It might make your son worry whenever he needs to take a test. Stay positive and cheerful so he'll have fun learning! He's still pretty young and before you know it, he'll be doing great! Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

My son like ABC books--we had several. O. letter and object per page.
Also flashcards.
Also we used to look for letters on signs, billboards, buildings, etc while we were out & about doing errands, etc.
Make it fun for him--not a "job".

Don't sweat it too much--most kids level out in Kindergarten.

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answers from Chicago on

Maybe he processes differently than simply looking at things.
The way that I learn or absorb material is to write it down.

Maybe writing the letter, while saying it, over and over will help?
Find an alphabet on paper somewhere, and having him practice writing the letters while saying them aloud. 1 at a time.

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