ASL and Phonics

When I taught my daughter how to read I used the ASL alphabet. She was more interested in learning those letters than she was in learning the written ones. When I first started teaching her the ABCs this is the process I used: I started by just singing and signing the ABCs to her. When I saw that she was singing along with me and trying to sign it then I taught her how to identify each letter. This was a long process as you have to really take your time and not push the learning. You need to make sure your child is interested, ready and having fun. I started by showing her the ASL letter A and I’d ask her, “what is this?” and she’d say, “A”. Then I would move on and add B. I’d hold up the letter B and ask her what it is. I didn’t add C in until I saw that she truly understood what B was. I would go back and forth asking her A and B. Then I’d add C. I wouldn’t move on until she knew what C was. I’d go from A to B to C asking her to identify the letters. We only played this game when she was ready to, she enjoyed being quizzed and was so proud of herself. When we finally reached Z and she knew all of her letters down pat I then started asking her to identify them out of order. Many kids know what letters come next in the alphabet (they’ve memorized them) but they might not know them out of order. Once she knew them out of order then I introduced the sounds of the letters. I did this in the same way as teaching her the letters. Keep your process slow, don’t rush or your child won’t pick it up. Make it fun! Finally, once my daughter knew all the sounds of the letters I would then start putting them together. I would show her the letter C then A then T and she would make the sounds as I held up the letters. I would go faster and faster until she realized she was reading the word CAT. This is a really fun game for kids to play. It is espeically useful in waiting rooms or at restaurants when you need to keep your child entertained. Here is a video I made with my daughter that teaches you the sounds of the letters in a fun way!

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