Guest Author - Alissa Moy
Parents of preschoolers today are eager and excited about teaching their child to read. Gone are the days that children learned to read once he or she enrolled in Kindergarten, these days children often enter Kindergarten knowing the basics of reading. So how can you encourage reading readiness with your young preschool child? It is not as hard as you might think- here are several suggestions for creating an enthusiastic environment for reading at home, and encouraging your child to love learning to read:
1. The first suggestion may seem obvious, but read to your child every day! Whether you create a bedtime story ritual, an afternoon before nap book, or both, spend time reading to your child each day. Even if your child seems inattentive try reading a short book, or one that he or she can interact with.
2. Choose two or three things in the house to label each day during one month or so. For example, use index card to label the door, refrigerator, a chair, a table or a closet. Every once in a while, ask, “What does this word say?” as you point to the word. Encourage your child to say the word aloud, and praise him or her when it is correct.
3. The next time you go grocery shopping use your trip as a learning adventure, but just be sure you aren't doing a major stocking up trip! While in the grocery store: ask your child to look for a specific color or a specific letter on products. If you can cut out ad pictures give your child a “picture” list he can “read”. Allow him or her to help you shop by “reading” his list to you.
4. Read and sing the classic nursery rhymes aloud. Show your child not only the pictures, but also the words as the rhyme is read. You will be surprised at how many of the sing songy rhymes are so easily learned and recognized in writing!
5. Play games that encourage reading like Match It! Memory - First Words 10 by
The Learning Journey International. This game is a great way to coincide your in house labeling with a game that is fun.
Another great game is POP for Sight Words Game by Learning Resources. While this sight word recognition game is more challenging, if your child is clearly mastering the basic words then this is a game worth implementing.
Reading readiness is truly different for every child, so don't fret too much about your child and don't compare him or her to other children. Encouraging a love of reading at home will give your child the best advantage later on!