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It always makes me cringe to hear a toddler, kindergardener, preschooler or other young child burst into the traditional “A, B, C…”.  Now, its not that I dislike kids singing, or off key tunes, its the song itself I dislike.

As a preschool teacher of six years, this song has no educational value.  Its not teaching children how their vowels sound, or what sound CAT starts with, its just a sing song chant with the letters names.  This can confuse a child who is just starting to identify letters and their sounds.  A doesn’t say Ay, it says aaaa. If you know anyone under five years of age, it can be quite a situation when they believe they are saying it right, and it can lead to problems in school when they start trying to learn phonetically and  C A T doesn’t read cat, it reads,  See-ay-tee.  Yes, I have seen this.  Or, worse even, they try to just memorize words.  So reading goes ” c…. a…. t….  Tap!”, where instead of reading phonetically, they assume the last sound is a whole word to fill in the blank.

Another problem, is the children tend to combine sounds together to make new letters (and I have heard four year olds arguing over this one).  When they get to the letter L in the song.  Example “H, I, J, K, LMNO, P”.  They tend to think that it is all one letter, and funnily enough they will say it with such a flourish that they can convince anyone.  But, again, its teaching the sounds incorrectly.

Now, there are other great songs that introduce children to the proper sounds (that go great flash cards and objects) such as A says Ah.  These I love hearing! Especially when they hit the letter h with Ha Ha Ha!

Now, yes I dislike the song, but only when it comes to people teaching children the alphabet with this song, or teaching this song before they understand their letters or sounds.  Good luck out there!

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