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Ask Jan

Founder, Jan Z. Olsen, answers all of your questions!

Jan OlsenQ: Should I teach lowercase letters in Pre-K?
 Yes—but only if your Pre-K children are ready. Make sure children know all of their capitals first. Capital letters are easy:

  • All start at the top.
  • All are the same height.
  • All occupy the same vertical space.
  • All are easy to recognize and identify.
  • All are big, bold, and familiar.

For lowercase instruction, begin by teaching lowercase recognition and the capital-lowercase association. Use your wall cards, ABC Touch & Flip Cards, Word Time activities, and My First School Book (pp. 72–75). Teach lowercase writing with a pencil only when children are ready.


Remember to keep the following in mind before you start teaching lowercase: 

  • Lowercase letters start in four different places (a, b, e, f).
  • Lowercase letters are not all the same size:
    • 14 letters are half the size of capitals.
    • 12 are the same size as capitals.
  • Lowercase letters occupy three different vertical positions: small, tall, descending.
  • Lowercase letters are more difficult to recognize because of subtle differences (a, b, d, g, p, q ).


Q: How do I know what grade level to choose in Keyboarding Without Tears?
A: It’s easy! Choose licenses that match your students’ current grade level. Each program includes foundation skills for inexperienced students, and the ability to skip ahead for more advanced students. Try our free demo →