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5 Tips for Teaching Letter Sounds

In this blog post, I’m going to share five things to consider when choosing your little one’s first letter sounds!

“What letter sounds should I teach first?”

This is one of parents’ most common questions when they’re just starting to teach their little one how to read. 

Although there isn’t one specific order in which you have to teach the sounds, there are sounds that make learning easier and can help build your little one’s reading confidence from the very start. 

In this blog post, I’m going to share five things to consider when choosing your little one’s first letter sounds!

The Letter Sounds That Are Easy to Pronounce

I always recommend starting with sounds that are easier for your little one to pronounce. 

For example, /m/ is usually easier to learn because it’s a sound babies often make when they babble. On the other hand, the /l/ sound is more difficult to pronounce, which means it can be harder to learn.

The sounds that are easiest to pronounce can vary from kid to kid based on their speech development, so keep this in mind if you are the parent of multiple little ones!

The Letter Name and Sound Are Connected

When a letter’s name includes the letter’s sound (like how /t/ is the first sound in the letter name T), that sound tends to be easier to remember. 

This can be especially helpful for little ones who already know some of the letter names, because they can connect the sound to their letter name knowledge. 

The Letters’ Uppercase and Lowercase Look Similar 

The letter sounds of C, L, O, S, U, V, X, and Z can be easy to learn because the upper and lowercase letters look so similar. 

When the uppercase and lowercase letters look the same, there is less information for your little one to remember!

The Letters Are at the Beginning of the Alphabet

The letters at the beginning of the alphabet can be easier to learn because the ABC’s are displayed on so many books and toys. 

After being exposed to the beginning of the alphabet so many times, those first few letters start to feel familiar and their sounds become easier to remember. 

And while most folks know I don’t believe in teaching the letter sounds in ABC order, introducing the sounds at the beginning of the alphabet can help build up your little one’s confidence right from the start.

The Letters’ Sounds Are Familiar

The sounds that your little one says or hears more often are a great place to start.

For example, the first sound in your little one’s name is something they hear all the time. This is true for other sounds at the beginning of words they hear all of the time, too—whether it’s a name, an animal they really like, the place they live, or their favorite activity. 

How to Teach Letter Sounds the Right Way

Even more important than deciding what letter sounds to teach first is teaching those letter sounds the right way.

Teaching letter sounds correctly helps make the most of your learning time and leads to faster growth- both of which will motivate both you and your little one. 

And if you’re not sure how, I’ve got you covered. My free Beginning Reading Workshop covers exactly how to get started in a fun, engaging, and developmentally appropriate way—no teaching experience required.

Click here to take my Beginning Reading Workshop today!
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