A new way to teach alphabets to children

Spanish alphabet (j for jirafa — giraffe)

From 2–3 years old, we started teaching kids to learn alphabets. Learning alphabets is one of the first steps to educate our children. And we’ve been following the same old pattern to do that. There are several challenges to this system of learning alphabets. The first and obvious one is that kids find it really boring to use their pens or pencils over and over again on top of pre-determined lines.

Kids don’t see or understand the meaning of learning these alphabets. And no amount of motivation saying that you will learn to write…wow that’s a great ‘A’ there…etc… going to keep them interested for long.

And finally many children find the existing process challenging and difficult to master. Children with learning disabilities find themselves in an unknown territory and don’t see any way to get out of it.

The old style we are following to teach alphabets to children

With new alphabet app where children can use their fingers to draw alphabets, things even got worse. There are lot of research that shows why it’s important for children to use physical medium like pencil or pen to write on paper during first days of learning language.

But what can be an interesting alternative to this existing method? I think we’ve found an interesting one.

Children are natural artists — they learn to draw before they learn any alphabet. Even when we start teaching them the alphabets, they see them as drawings, pictures. So, a group of young educators came up with an interesting concept of ‘Letter to Picture Series’ as a ‘fun project’. In this series, each alphabet is considered as part of a complete picture of an animal, material or other things. And then by a step by step process, the full picture is completed.

German alphabet learning: b for biene (bee)

When they publish the whole series in English (both Capital & Small letter), they shared this on Facebook. It got amazing responses, shared over 3 million times. They started to get all kinds of amazing responses from parents and teachers.

The summery of all those responses are:

  1. The kids are learning the alphabets faster and spending more time willingly to learn them.
  2. The content is self-explanatory and need almost no supervision from the adults. Imagine you can teach the whole alphabet series without spending any time.
  3. Children with learning disorder are picking up this concept very fast. And their process of learning alphabet became more effective.
  4. Overall, it’s such a fun activity.

Inspired by these responses, the group started developing Alphabet Series for more languages. Now they already completed Spanish, German, Bengali series beside English. You can get these e-books from their website: http://lightofhopebd.org/?post_type=product

Download them and print them out as many as you can.

The series is developed using hand-drawing. Kids love hand-drawing more than Illustration-based series — Light of Hope’s first hand research showed.

What Light of Hope develops is not a completely new approach. Teachers in many schools have been doing similar activities using paper and craft to teach alphabets to children. But this is the first such complete series developed as an e-book.

Kids drawing with ‘Letter to Picture Series — English’

It’s been too long that we’ve teaching our same old method of ‘A for Apple’ and ‘B for Ball’ to our kids. It’s not engaging, fun and voluntary. Hopefully this new ‘Alphabet to Picture Series’ will inspire teachers and parents to come up with more creative ways to teach alphabets to their children.