This text is a bit down the page because I figured that kids wounld't be interested in this adult text...
I do not have an education in education. My 'Learn the Alphabet.org website is a small (smallish!) independent project created to teach children the alphabet the way I would've liked to learn the alphabet. Quickly, efficiently and enjoyably.
The site as it now stands is the first phase in a much more complete site which will include lowercase letters as well as a complete phonics section for English.
But for now...first things first!
Recognising the big letters.
Spoken language is represented by written words. Words are formed of groups of letters. These letters all have a sound associated to them. Letters are the smallest unit of written and spoken communication.
In theory, to learn the English alphabet and each letter's use requires a knowledge of both the symbol representing that letter and the phonetic sounds associated to that letter. That is why the teaching of each letters is an equal portion of the letter's name and the sound associated to the letter. Starting with Uppercase letters on the site for now.
I say in theory simply because English phonetics is riddled with exceptions.
Learning the phonetics of the English language is extremely complex. Let's put it this way...there are few letters do not have exceptions in their main sound. Actually, most cases there are several phonemes for each letter of the alphabet. The letter B can sound like 'bat' or might just have no sound like in 'crumb' or 'dumb'. The letter C for example can sound like C for 'cat' or C for 'ceiling' or C for 'Church'. And the list of these exceptions is endless. English is indeed an awful exception ridden language...compared to most.
It is not important which order you learn the alphabet in. It does help however to include the more used vowels initially. As long as your child can recognise the alphabet letter and its primary sound that is the main goal here.
That's a big step to learn to read and write.
No website or computerised learning system can replace, or even approach, the effectiveness and value of one-to-one communication
Attempting to make a child meet targets set by an authority (be it school or government) without taking each individual child's abilities into consideration is a major long-term detriment to that child's desire and ability to learn.
Plunking a child in front of the computer and sticking an educational DVD or parentally controlled website (like this one) is not the solution to education. It is an easy way however to vary the content of the subject being learned.
Before a child is forced to conform to the rigid predefined educated mould forced upon him by "targets" he must be free to explore and delve.
... ability in the curriculum is key to achieving optimal learning possibilities to the fullest of the child's potential
Learning the alphabet is an essential step to learning to read or write. Only if you learn the alphabet can you read and write.
Just a little help from family members and friends makes learning the alphabet fun and productive
In my mind there are far too many discussions on forums etc. to try to determine when the best time for a child to learn the alphabet is. The simple and only response: as soon as your child is ready. Trying to match your child to a recipe is a bad idea. You want your child and spent time with your child and you know when they're ready.
Starting with small steps (steps as large as your child can manage) mastering the alphabet is the 1st step in learning to read.
Learn the alphabet.org teaches your child the initial most basic building blocks of the English language. Capital letters. (See long term plans for Lowercase letters) Letters are represented as the symbols that represent the most basic or obvious shapes of the letters.
With the alphabet I've presented in Learn the Alphabet I have attempted to vary the scenes and characters as much as possible. I tried to keep the content active and in motion without losing objective of the challenge.
Each video on the site is divided into different scenes. What I call a scene from learn the alphabet.org is either an animation teaching the letter been learned or slideshow being led by one of the puppets: learn the alphabet.org website. The learning alphabet.org videos are an average of 2 1/2 min.
The scenes and content of Learn The Alphabet are in no particular order. But Koofy (the Green Dragon) does more of the "teaching" then Beaky (the gray bird) does. Koofy repeats the letter of the alphabet it's fun and rewards associated to it in the slideshow. This seems this is why Koofy almost always appears before Beaky in the scenes. This scenes in learning alphabets.org change quickly so as not to bore the child.
I have avoided using the usual words found when children learn the alphabet. On learning the alphabet.org I have selected words would not only be intriguing, but new and original. I do not find that learning letters should remove the child's ability to learn new words at the same time. I have not find this to be impeding in the child's ability to grasp the alphabet with ease.
Working through the learn the alphabet website you will find that there are actually 27 letters. I have created both the British version and the American version for the letter Z.
I've created all the puppets on the learn the alphabet.org website. (Pictures)
Here they are:
Kloofy is the Green Dragon. Make completely of latex skin. Kloofy has a foam skeleton. His teeth and eyes are an ultralight resin. His arms are controlled by the aluminium rods at the wrist.
Beaky. Is the great bird with the long yellow beak. It is feathers are actually fur. His beak is latex. He is a foam skeleton. And his beak is manipulated within internal cable.
Hairy monster: is the hairy black one eyed monster. He is made out of black for material within internal expandable foam filling. His eye is polymorph and epoxy resin. He does a little teaching… that is main job is to distract from the learning.
Learn the alphabet.org website interface is simple and straightforward. There are 26 letters to choose from. In these 26 letters leadoff to 27 videos. All the videos on learning alphabet.org are streamed from YouTube and through the learning alphabet website interface.
I hope very strongly that your child/children will find contents on learning alphabet.org useful. And that they will learn it quickly so as to move on to the main reason… to read and write!
Reason why I picked a less obvious vocabulary for the teaching of letters. You want to pick boring usual tiny words like ball and bat etc. is my belief the children have the ability and desire to not only learn the letters of the alphabet to learn other things at the same time.
This text needs a bunch of changing and effort but for now...these are the quick thoughts I have had about the website and some other things....
I hope you enjoy it and find it useful!
If you have any suggestions etc please do not hesitate to write to me at :