Remember when your teacher gave you 20 spelling words to memorize within a weeks time in middle school? The spelling test was always held on fridays for some reason and monday was when you had received the words . Do you remember how you memorized your new spelling words? What did you do to make sure you scored perfectly on the test? That's right, you studied! You did everything you could each day to install the words in your brain. I remember my teacher giving us the same words all wEek long to help prepare us for the test on friday. Monday we'd get the new words. Tuesday we were writing them 10x each. Wednesday we had to find the vocabulary meaning of all of them. Thursday the class would then write each word in a sentence. And Friday was our exam. By then the teacher had helped us develop a photographic memory of all 20words in our brain.
My point is that in order for your little youngster to learn exactly what their ABC's all look like, it takes consistent repetitive practice without stress. I began teaching my baby the minute I seen she was old enough to mimic me. She was 3mos old when I clapped my hands, she copied and clapped also. When I stuck my tongue out at her, she'd do the same back to me :) Its was awesome watching her developmental skills become more enhanced with out much effort from me. So I began thinking to myself, "Humm what else can she learn if I put time and effort and actually taught her?" Even if she still appeared to be quit young, I dared to try just for the sake of fun.
So I began by doing what all mothers do. I began by singing and dancing the ABC's song out loud to her. At first my 3mo. old would just stare and smile. She knew it was something she wanted to play along and mimic because it seemed to be fun. With patience she learned the song. Once we would finish the song I would show her how excited I was that she had completed it with me. Children loved to be praised because it makes them feel loved and appreciated.
Next, it's was time to introduce to her what these ABC's actually looked like. There are many ways to do so that aren't costly at all, plus just as fun. You can get flash cards with the alphabets or even make them your self. If you are going to make the letters on an index card make sure you make the letter on the card very big. Making it noticeable is key in this process. You can be creative and color in the letter and teach your child colors is also optional.
By the time your baby is 6-9mos old if you have followed your own system on a day to day basis on showing your child their flash cards and saying the letters out loud you are now ready to have your little one repeat the letter one at a time along with you. This take lots and lots of enthusiasm, time and patience. Please don't pressure your baby or it will no longer be something that is enjoyed. Once your baby gets distracted and wants to do something else then simply put the cards away because I've learned that they can get bored at times which is completely normal because of how young they are. Always begin with excitement and tell your child that you want to "play" with letters. Using the word play sounds fun and not boring. Make sure u have their full undivided attention. You can tell if your child is paying attention if they are sitting or standing still focused on you and that fact that you are holding up a card on front of them.
Just as my example about the spelling exams were emphasized earlier above. It is important to change the form in how you will teach the ABC's. Another way would be during bath time. Children are more relaxed and not as hyper during bath time. I brought letters made out of foam. They float in the water which can be interesting. Try not to put any other toys in the tub when you have all the letters floating around it leads to distraction. You want your child to think, "Yaaay, its time for letters!" And not "oh no , not again with these letters". So please I emphasize on letting your child learn at their own pace. No stress what so ever and before you know your baby will be the few out of many that will either recognize half or if not all of their letters by the time the are 2 yrs old.
My daughter turned 2 yrs old in the beginning of July. By then she already identified about 20 letters with no problems. She identified basic shapes such as squares, circles, ovals, triangles, a diamond, a star, a heart and rectangles. Now we are working on colors and the sound of letters. Again I know learning the sounds of letters might take time but I know its something that can be achieved before she begins pre-k next year :) Remember its strictly repetition. My daughter says please and thank you and God bless you if you sneeze lol. Along with lots of other words. Hope this blog was a bit helpful! Child development is very important to me. Good Luck