The preschool years are the perfect time to lay a strong foundation for reading.
Though much of your child’s learning comes naturally as he plays and experiences life, there are some skills, like reading, that must eventually be taught. That may feel a little scary, but if you’ve taught your child how to pick up his toys or put on his socks, you can teach your child to read, too!
There are five skills your child should master before you begin formal reading instruction. Because they are so important, we call them The Big Five Skills.
In this post, you’ll learn what these five skills are, and you’ll discover more than twenty fun ways you can help your preschooler or kindergartner develop in these areas. Let’s dig in!
Print awareness is the understanding that the print on a page represents words that have meaning and are related to spoken language. To develop this skill:
Letter knowledge enables a child to recognize the letters of the alphabet and to know the names and sounds of each. To develop this skill:
It’s a big term, but it’s really quite basic. Phonological awareness is the ability to hear and identify the various sounds in spoken words. To develop this skill:
Listening comprehension is the ability to understand the meaning of words heard and to relate to them in some way. A child with good listening comprehension has a wide vocabulary and a growing understanding of the world around him. To develop this skill:
Motivation to read is a child’s eagerness and willingness to read. To encourage your child:
Have you been working to help your child develop these important pre-reading skills? If so, it’s very possible that your child is ready to begin formal reading instruction. But if you’re not sure whether your child is ready, complete this checklist to measure your child’s reading readiness:
After completing this checklist, you’ll be able to identify the pre-reading skills that need more work. The All About Reading Pre-reading program makes it easy to fill in the gaps and get your child ready to read. Is your child already ready to read? If so, All About Reading Level 1 is the perfect starting point!
I’m a strong believer in letting kids be kids and not pushing academics too early. But I also know from extensive experience that most kids don’t develop reading readiness skills on their own. The Pre-reading program strikes a good balance. In about 15 minutes per day (depending on your child’s attention span and abilities), this easy-to-use curriculum helps children develop all five of the Big Five Skills. The program includes crafts, rhyming and word games, alphabet charts, and lots of playful activities. And if you’ve never met Ziggy, you’re in for a treat!
Most of a young child’s day should be filled with play, real-life activities, and physical exploration. Add in just a touch of daily intentional instruction in these five reading readiness areas, and your child will have a huge advantage when it comes time to read.
Do you have questions about reading readiness? Post in the comments below or contact us!
Photography by Rachel Neumann