>Dear Dr. Hackney,
My four year old son recognizes all of his upper and lower case letters. What is the next step?
Mother of two, ages four and three years
That is great he recognizes his letters. The next step, if he is interested, is to pair the letter shapes with their sounds. This means when he finds an “A” you say, “Yes, that is an ‘A;’ the ‘A’ makes the ‘Aaaa’ sound like ‘aaaapple’ or the ‘Eeh’ sound like ‘aaaacorn’” Then, you might think of all the words you know that start like apple or acorn. Strive to make this learning fun. You might go for a letter hunt in the grocery store by finding all the things you can that start with the B sound, and then really stress the B sound when you say, “Yes that is a BUHnana.”
To reinforce the shapes and pairings, you might also play some upper and lower case matching games such as Memory or Go Fish with pairs.
Rene Hackney, PhD.
Parenting Playgroups, Inc.