It is normally the time when a child becomes of the age to enter kindergarten that reading becomes a concern. Many parents wonder if their child is ready to read and worry if their child is not on target. Let’s discuss the basic skills a child will need in order to be ready to read. If your child does not possess some of the skills, there is still no need to worry.
Reading Readiness Skills
Letter Recognition: The ability to recognize and name letters and the phonics associated with each letter.
To develop this skill, you will want to familiarize your child with the alphabet. You can do this through singing the alphabet song, letter magnets, letter blocks, etc. Have your child create letters out of clay or Wikki Stix. Point out capital and lowercase letters to your child. When you discuss a letter be certain to introduce the child to the sound it makes.
Print Awareness: The understanding that printed letters represent sounds and printed words have meaning.
To develop print awareness, you can point out words on signs, boxes, and books. Teach your child how to hold a book properly, that books are read from cover to back and sentences are read left to right.
Listening Comprehension: The ability to understand that words have meaning when spoken or read aloud while being able to relate to such words. The ability allows a child to understand, remember, and retell a story.
Reading aloud daily to your child can aid in enhancing this skill. Ask your child his thoughts on the story and have the child narrate the story or parts of the story back to you.
Phonological Awareness: The ability to hear and distinguish different sounds within spoken words.
Practice Makes Perfect
Rhyming games and reading nursery rhymes are a great way to encourage phonological awareness. You can also play a game where you ask your child to name animals that start with the letter “a” and so on. Encourage your child to distinguish between beginning and ending sounds of words. Ask your child what beginning sound he hears in the word “cat” and which sound comes at the end. Continue the exercise by asking your child to blend the sounds “sl” and “eep” and see if the child can say “sleep”.
A motivated child can overcome obstacles presented while a child whose readiness to read has not caught with his willingness to read will make the process harder. It will make things more productive if you encourage a child to read gently. Read books to your child that provokes his interest. Make reading more interactive by asking questions or creating activities to go along with the stories.
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