Capital Letters vs Lowercase Letters: Which One Should We Teach First?

Should we teach capital letters vs lowercase letters first preschool handwriting early writers

Trying to decide if your kids should learn capital letters first or lowercase letters first?

You’re not alone.

I was recently giving a talk at a local preschool and the everlasting debate on teaching capital letters vs lowercase letters came up. The director wanted all the preschool teachers to be on the same page and there seemed to be a bit of discord between who’s teaching what and when. 

The handwriting readiness activities in the LHK Handwriting Readiness Club are just what every preschooler should be experiencing at school and at home.

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The Capital Letters vs Lowercase Letters Debate

There’s lots of information on whether to teach capital letters vs. lowercase letters first.

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One side of the debate, which specifically comes from the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum, supports the value of teaching straight capital letters all the way through and then transitioning them to lowercase letters.

I actually prefer this capital letter first method.  

  • Capitals are made of lines and curves, so the kids can make most letters once they know how to make the basic shapes. ✔
  • Capitals are all the same size, so it’s a slam dunk to introduce letter size when the letters are all the same size. ✔
  • It’s easy to experience and build capital letters with blocks, patterns or even Legos. ✔

On the other hand, so many curriculums, like Montessori, start off with lowercase letters only.

  • The world is in lowercase – books, signs, labels, etc.
  • There is no confusion in transitioning to full handwriting since most lowercase letters make up most words. 

So this becomes one of those, there’s no right, and there’s no wrong. 

What was needed in this particular situation was for the school, the teachers and the directors to all be on the same page. More importantly, for the kids in all the classes to be getting the same instruction. So as they travel through the curriculum, they’re getting the right information. 

What Really Matters When It Comes to Teaching Handwriting 

At the end of the day, capital letters vs lowercase letters is equivalent to nickel and diming. And nobody likes that.

It’s not really about the capitals and the lowercase.

It’s really about having a rock solid foundation.

What are the foundations?

We want motor skills to be solid. 

We want fine motor skills to develop. 

We want visual perceptual skills to be easy. 

Having these basic foundations in place first is crucial to avoid future legibility traps in the handwriting.

We want all those things to be rock solid so that everything else can fall into place. Specifically when it comes to handwriting and handwriting readiness, we want to make sure at this age that they have letter recognition of both capital and lowercase. 

We want to make sure before they start making letters that they can trace their shapes – the circles, the squares, the lines, etc.  Then we want them to be able to copy the shapes and then write them independently.

Then letter formation will be SO easy with the right instruction, of course.

The Handwriting Readiness Club for Early Writers

Do you want a step-by-step guide on exactly HOW to correctly prepare your early writer for handwriting success and avoid any future legibility traps?

Enrollment is now open for my virtual Handwriting Readiness Club!

handwriting club - capital letters vs lowercase letters

The Handwriting Readiness Club makes it easy for parents and teachers to know which prewriting activities are necessary and which skills are most important for early writers to develop.

You’ll be provided with a step-by-step game plan, video demonstrations, printable handouts, and tons of fun hands-on activities for your kiddos that have been tested by real students, all in one easily accessible online portal. 

The Handwriting Readiness Club includes activities to develop the most important prewriting skills for preschoolers and early writers such as gross motor skills, fine motor skills and visual perception skills. 

Students who struggle with messy handwriting (who often lack basic handwriting foundations) can also benefit from the skills and activities in the Handwriting Readiness Club!

Here’s a little video introduction to the Handwriting Readiness Club:

Click here to sign up for the virtual Handwriting Readiness Club now!

Enrollment is open for a limited time until this Thursday, October 28, so don’t delay! 

Got a question about the Handwriting Readiness Club? Send me an email!

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