Going to school is one of the most significant milestones in a child’s life. As parents, we do the best we can to prepare our kids as they embark on this new journey. This is why the concept of preschool literacy is so important.
“Preschool literacy” means teaching preschoolers the fundamentals of reading and writing, as these are the skills that precede subsequent academic learning. Because a parent is a child’s first teacher, there are things you can do at home to introduce your little one to the foundations of reading and writing early on. In order to begin tackling preschool literacy with your child, it’s important to become with the different stages of a child’s developing reading skills, which include:
Introduction to the alphabet
This vital first stage of developing literacy skills is all about exposing kids to the letters of the alphabet. You can make this fun and exciting by trying out various activities. For example, you and your child can play with games or toys like alphabet puzzles, or sing alphabet songs. You and your child can also read plenty of books that focus on learning the alphabet.
Learning the alphabet
The second stage is where the actual learning of the letters happens. The exciting thing about this phase is that there is an extensive range of activities your child can do that will help make learning more fun and engaging!
Instead of relying solely on workbooks, or pen and paper, try using other fun materials at home. For example, your child can play with letter blocks in a sandbox. Ask your little one to randomly pick out a letter and recognize which letter it is. Or you can write the letters on the sand and ask them to identify each one.
“Phonological awareness” refers to one’s ability to identify sounds in a spoken language. While this skill is one that comes naturally to some kids, others may need more help with it.
During this stage, children learn how to do things like picking out rhyming words, and noticing how the sounds of words repeat, or are similar at the end. This stage is also where children learn concepts such as alliteration (identifying words that begin with the same sound) as well as sound-matching (picking out among several words the ones that begin with the same sound.)
During the “emergent reading” stage literacy development, young kids are encouraged to learn how to read books. This is when they learn the fundamentals of reading and literacy. To support your child during this learning stage, you can try various strategies.
For example, you can encourage your child to pay more attention to particular sounds around him or her, like the sound of the phone ringing. Or you may direct your child’s attention to the similarities between the sound of one word and another word. You can also spend more time reading books together as you engage your little one in learning new vocabulary. Talk about the pictures your child sees in a book, and ask questions along the way.
Introducing your little one to the foundations of early literacy doesn’t have to be difficult, as there are plenty of fun activities and practices you can use as you prepare your child for reading, speaking, and writing. Take a look at these tips!
- Encourage your child to practice speaking by inviting him or her to help out at home. For example, let your little one help you in the kitchen. Engage your child in conversation by asking about the colors of the fruits or what the food you’re preparing smells like.
- When you’re out together in a store or restaurant, find moments to point out letters or simple words your child may recognize.
- Encourage your child to practice his or her fine motor skills by encouraging your little one to draw or scribble. Provide some fun to make drawing and writing more fun.
- Surround children with fun reading materials. Even better, let them choose books they find interesting. Take them to a bookstore or library, and let them pick out some books that pique their interest.
Devoting time to preschool literacy early on gives young kids a head-start that they’ll carry with them throughout their academic years. Help your little one achieve success in school and beyond by following these preschool literacy tips!
If you’re looking for a preschool that focuses on strengthening your child’s literacy skills, Wee Care Preschool is your best choice. Contact us for more information.