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Worried about Kindergarten readiness. Tips to get her engaged in learning letters?

My oldest DD is going into Kindergarten this fall. She is less interested in learning letters and more into other things, such as science and social studies. She is very intelligent, but how do I get her past this barrier before Kindergarten of not knowing all of her letters? I feel like if she knows them and her sounds by the end of the summer, she will excel in Kindergarten, and it would give her a great jump start to her education.

Anyone have tips for teaching letters and letter sounds that is engaging for a child who isn't extremely interested in it? lol

Awww, and I just realized I bumped up a category from preschoolers to school agers :( awwww!


Asked by Kword at 3:31 PM on Jun. 4, 2013 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 27 (29,610 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • Have a letter of the day each day this summer. You can do things that start with that letter; eat foods that start with that letter; have her find that letter on street signs, boxes at the grocery store, books around the house - for every 1 or 5 (depending on how common the letter is!) she finds she can get a sticker or a jellybean or whatever small prize. Get her a workbook from the store on letters, for every 2 pages she completes give her a small prize (ie 30 mins tv). Tell her if she completes the whole book by the end of summer she can get a special surprise (when my kids finished I always took them out for a personal pan pizza at pizza hut and ice cream).

    Answer by missanc at 3:36 PM on Jun. 4, 2013

  • Kword, I have some of the same concerns. My five-year-old is bright, but reading doesn't really grab her. She knows a lot of letters by sight but she isn't consistent, and she hasn't seem to grasp the idea that each letter makes a unique sound. She's always been read to, she has alphabet puzzles and CD's and those magnetic phonics sets for the fridge, but she's just more interested in physical and imagination activities than she is in reading.

    One thing that has helped some is to have her spell out the letters on cans of food and figure out the words. She likes to pick out what fruits and veggie to have, so at least it's a way for reading to gain her something positive. Stuff lik pushing "bake" and "start" to turn the oven on, read the letters on the jug of soap bubbles if she wants to play with them. Here's hoping.

    She's interested in that ABCMouse Web site because she's seen it on TV. I'll have to look into it.

    Answer by Ballad at 3:42 PM on Jun. 4, 2013

  • I wouldn't worry about it too much. When my son was is kindergarten (about to finish 3rd grade now) there were kids that know NONE of their letters or sounds, and kids like my son who could already read chapter books.

    My daughter is about to finish Kindergarten this year and there are kids that STILL don't know all their letters and sounds.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 4:10 PM on Jun. 4, 2013

  • Oh! I don't know if she'll be interested in this, but when my little guy was learning his alphabet he LOVED this video :

    And Leapfrog is awesome. DS LOVES them, even though he's kind of outgrown it. They have videos that teach the alphabet and how to sound the letters out phonetically. And a letter of the day sounds like a great idea, too. :)


    Answer by bandgeek521 at 4:12 PM on Jun. 4, 2013

  • Abc is 7 bucks per month and awesome. My dd loves it and it helped her tremendously.

    Answer by PandaGwen at 3:32 PM on Jun. 4, 2013

  • I think Missanc is right that's the best advice i think.

    Answer by Sillylins at 3:39 PM on Jun. 4, 2013

  • Starfall works well, too. Or there are tons of apps for the phones, tablets, etc - many are free, if you have a device like that.

    I've always just read a lot to my son, I've taken him to story time every week at the library, we have tons of books in our house and I've always encouraged reading. When I first started teaching him to read I started with color words, and he was on starfall at the same time and practically taught himself to read.

    He does workbooks, too. I had a system where for every page he did (front or back, not both) he'd earn 5 minutes of game or tv time, which he could trade in once he reached 30 minutes or more. We haven't been as strict about it since he's getting ready to start kindergarten, too, and I'm trying to let him enjoy his summer now before he goes. But it really worked. :)

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 4:02 PM on Jun. 4, 2013

  • My 3 year old and I say the letters outloud a lot during normal conversation. What do you want for breakfast? B breakfast. Cheerios? C cheerios. B banana. B B banana. Y yogurt. Y Y yogurt.

    And the alphabet magnets with the base that says the letter. Those are fun. Also good for hand washing. Mine has a button that sings the abcs and she can wash her hands to the song. (Off topic)

    Answer by staciandababy at 6:16 PM on Jun. 4, 2013

  • When my niece started kindergarten this year, she was completely indifferent to reading and letters. Now, with a week and a half left of school, she can read just fine. There was no catch up, there was no stigma either. I think you're overthinking this one just a bit.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 10:00 PM on Jun. 4, 2013

  • What a wonderful idea, Missanc! Thank you! :) We will both enjoy this without anyone getting frustrated. lol. :) You win.

    Comment by Kword (original poster) at 3:42 PM on Jun. 4, 2013