In this dyslexia blog article I want to share some tips on how children can learn letters and numbers.
Dyslexic children may have problems distinguishing letters and numbers as well having difficulty in remembering the correct sequence of numbers and the alphabet. My own child always forgot 7 when he was counting and we used to make a joke with him to help him remember “you ate seven” ( “yediyi yedin” ) !!
Here are some ideas of ways to help your child to learn letters and numbers :
Buy letters and numbers made of plastic or wood ( lower and upper case if possible) .Magnetic letters can be found in toy shops here.
Put plastic or wooden letters or numbers in a bag and ask your child to feel the shape. Afterwards ask them to say the letter or number.
Get your child to make a alphabet arc.Ask your child to place the letters from a to z in an arc .If they make errors try to get themselves to identify their mistakes.Practice this regularly till they know the alphabet .
Another activity is to get your child to put the letters from A to Z in an arc on a large piece of card. Trace around all these letters for your child and get your child to colour them in.Once it is finished you can ask your child to match the plastic or wooden letters to the template that you have created.
Tactile letters : Make lower case letters out of strong card . You maybe be able to find letter templates on the internet .Choose some textured materials such as fine sandpaper, fabric, rice and pulses, textured wallpaper, carpet offcuts to cover the letters. Stick the covered letters on some card, making sure that there is a good contrast between the colour of the card and the colour of the letter.It may be a good idea to put the vowels and consonants on a different coloured background. You can afterwards use blindfolds and encourage your child to feel the shape and texture of each letter..
The same idea can be done with numbers.
Playdough or clay is useful to use to help your child to learn their letters or numbers. Ask your child to make letters etc from playdough, after they can decorate or paint them.
Print large letters or numbers on a piece of paper and cover them with sticky back plastic.. Now have the child roll out the playdough in a snake and have him trace over your letter, learning how to form the letters with the playdough.
Children also enjoy painting, so get some large sheets of paper and paint letters or numbers.Alternatively you could cut out a large letter or number and decorate it using collage material eg glitter, stickers, fabric etc.
Ask your child to write the letter or number they are practicing on unlined paper with their eyes closed.
Do some cooking with your child and make alphabet biscuits etc !!
Letters and numbers can be finger-traced in the air and on carpet squares.
You can also trace the letter or number with your hand on your childs back in order to reinforce learning.
Fill a tray with wet sand and ask your child to write individual letters or numbers in the sand. Alternatively you could use rice or beans.Another fun thing to do is buy a can of shaving foam and spray it on your kitchen table – after get your child to write in the numbers or letters you wish to practice.
Music is a good way to learn the alphabet
The CD “Okumayı Çok Seviyorum “ – contain an alphabet song ( alfabet sarkısı).You could also get the ABC Müzikli Alfabe CD by Tekin Özertem ( Umut Sanat – Sony )
You could make flash cards of upper and lower case letters and ask your child to match the right cards together.This could also be done as a memory game.Turn all the cards face downwards . After get your child to turn over two cards at a time .They must find the upper and lower case letters which match.
You could also do this with numbers eg 3 /three.
NB : once your child has started to master lower case letters, you can introduce upper case letters. You can also use some of these activities listed to help your child learn cursive letters.
All these activities involve using a multisensory approach to consolidate learning. A multisensory teaching approach means helping a child to learn through more than one of the senses. Most teaching in schools is done using either sight or hearing. A dyslexic child may experience difficulties with either or both of these areas. The answer is to involve the use of more of the child’s senses when you are teaching them.