We have 52 letters in our English alphabet, 26 capital letters, sometimes called upper case letters (A,B,C) and 26 lower case letters (a,b,c).
Any Kindergarten teacher will tell you that the children don’t use capital letters very often, or even at all during most of the Kindergarten school year. However, which letters do parents and preschool teachers teach first? The capital letters! You will not see any text in books that are written exclusively in capital letters, nor do we write in all capital letters. In order to read text your child will need to know all 26 lower case letters. The alphabet letters that your child will be using in Kindergarten are the lower case letters, with the exception of the first letter of your child’s name. Capital letters are taught first by parents and preschool teachers because the simple sticks and curves that make up most of the letters are easier to learn. My own philosophy is that since the capital letters are not used often in Kindergarten, we should start with the 26 lower case letters when teaching children the letters and leave the capital letters off to the side for awhile. In Kindergarten, we have to re-teach children who have learned to write their name in all capital letters. We have to re-teach children who have begun a little writing at home in all capital letters. These skills are very challenging to re-teach and for the children to re-learn. Our job is to teach the letters that the children will need to know and be able to function when reading a book, or writing in a journal. After your child learns the lower case letters, then, teach the upper case letters and the process will go very quickly. If you are just starting to teach your child his/her alphabet letters, please start with just the lower case letters. Your child’s Kindergarten teacher will thank you and your child will thank you.
Re posted from July 2009