This post is part of my at Home Pre-School Boot Camp. For more information about the series, click here.
Assuming that you are working with the English alphabet, there are fifty-two characters that your child needs to know. Twenty-six letters with upper and lower cases. There really is no need to know exactly which ones she does and does not know, unless she knows them all. The goal of this assessment is just to find three or so to target. Once she has mastered those, look for a few more.
Quick side note. Some of my friends who use the British system teach sounds ahead of letter names. I did not choose this route, but if you want to use it, just substitute the sound for the name in this exercise. Then you go back to names later.
Pull out your alphabet set. Show one of the letters of your child's name to her. Ask, "What letter is this?" If she tells you, hand her the letter. If she can not tell you, tell her the name of the letter and put it aside. Pick another letter from her name and repeat the process until you have three letters that she does not know. If you finish her name, continue with other letters.
Once you have three she did not know, choose one and show it to her again. Wait quietly for at least fifteen seconds. If she says it, give it to her with a word of praise. If she does not say it, return it to your pile and say nothing. Repeat with the other two.
Make a note of which letters you are going to target. Offer to read her a book of her choice or spend some time playing together.