March 2010 Archives

Helping your child become a reader can be encouraged by using the home environment to support literacy. Here are some simple ideas to try with your child:
  1. Develop phonological awareness (the relationship between letters and groups of letters and the sounds they represent) through the following: rhyming activities (nursery rhymes, songs, and poems); games that point out words that rhyme and/or sound alike ("Jake's Cakes" and "blues clues"); showing how sounds blend together to make a word like your child's name ("B-ell-a makes Bella - your name!"); playing naming games that use beginning sounds ("Let's see what we can find that begins with the letter 'b' while we take a walk."); using clapping as a way to denote syllables or sound units ("C - A - T spells CAT" with three claps for three letters, "FAM-I-LY makes FAMILY" with three claps for three sound units (called phonemes).
  2. Develop comprehension by reading stories and asking questions (how many kittens were there?; where did Suzie want to go?; what do you think will happen next?; etc.). Re-read the same story several times to develop mastery of the details and concepts introduced by the text.
  3.  Develop print awareness: words are different from pictures; words are everywhere; books are read left to right and top to bottom; words can describe pictures; spaces between words allow the words to be separate; reading involves spoken language written down.
These ideas may seem simple yet they are the underpinnings of beginning literacy. So take a walk to the library and have some fun: what are you waiting for?
There are many things you can do at home with your preschooler to develop readiness skills for school. These include the following:
  • read books to and with your child;
  • spend time together - don't forget to play and cuddle!;
  • follow a routine at home and stick to it;
  • talk with your child, and don't use babytalk;
  • encourage questions;
  • read and count as you go about your day;
  • have the alphabet and numbers posted in various places;
  • allow time for creative play (unstructured, dress-up, self-talking, fantasy);
  • model and insist upon respect and courtesy;
  • have chores (if they can talk, they can do a chore!);
  • set up play dates and watch how your child interacts with others;
  • provide materials for creative expression: paper, crayons, clay, paint, etc.
  • enjoy the journey! 
All of these ideas can occur organically - as you go about your own busy day. Children are hardwired to learn: we just need to set the table for the learning to happen.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

February 2010 is the previous archive.

May 2010 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.