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My first child made the connection between reading and practicing letters, and loved getting anybody and everybody to help practice letters (girl at 4, now 6).

My second child (boy at 4) is keen about reading, but doesn't see practicing letters as a priority - and thinks it is boring.

I want to make it interesting. I want him to make the connection between practicing letters and reading.

My question is: How do I get my child engaged with practicing letters?

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    I wish I had time for a full answer, but great ways are music and activities. For instance, a bug week where you learn "A" is for "ant" and "b" for bug, "i" for insect and so on. Do some crafts, say it out loud. Another way is just to explain letters when you do stuff. "We need forks for dinner. Forks start with f!" As for recognizing them, we use a lot of toys, especially magnets and apps on tablets. – user11394 Apr 24 '16 at 17:51
  • @CreationEdge Found the arthropod lover! – bjb568 Apr 26 '16 at 0:25
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My wife took the approach of letting our 5 year old learn at his own pace. She would ask him if he wants to write some letters. He said no for months. She honored that. He drew pictures and developed internal skills by doing things he wanted. Now he asks questions like "how do i write shush". His mom explains. "How do I write letter H". I can see that this self directed approach has resulted in us having a self motivated learner. I recommend study of Finnish schools as well. Shorter hours. Less pressure. Relax. Learning is like eating. Don't force feed. Watch. React. Enjoy your child.

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I would start by saying that different kids advance in different areas at different rates. With that in mind, forcing something on a kid can turn them off to it. However, at this age, kids tend to respond to lots of exposure and repetitiveness. If you just read a lot, especially books about letters and spelling, and if you show excitement, eventually he will too, and if it takes a little longer, that's okay.

  • But I would wonder about showing my child the wrong things or leading him in the wrong direction. I would want to know how to guide my child toward things which might be useful to him in the future, which might not be the same things I like and enjoy, or perhaps the things he shows most interest in. How to help him to have an enjoyable, free and happy life while also instilling a sense of the responsibility and importance that reading has brought to my life? – Peter David Carter Apr 27 '16 at 14:00
  • @PeterDavidCarter We are just talking about letters here, right? Unless I am missing something the age at which a child learns letters is pretty young... Easily before you would have to worry about misguiding their interests... – Anthony McCloskey Apr 27 '16 at 20:43

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