This week I want to share with you 6 things that are vital pre-reading skills. These are 6 things that your child needs to develop before they are ready to read. Many of these are skills that you develop with them through daily activities from the time they are babies until they are ready for school.
Today I want to introduce you to what these skills are. Then the next 6 days I will talk a little more about each skill and give you some ideas of ways you can encourage these skills to be developed in your child’s life from their earliest days all the way through preschool.
- Vocabulary – knowing what objects are called. Having a lot of words. Many studies indicate that a child’s vocabulary is 3,000 – 5,000 words when they enter school. A smaller vocabulary will make it harder to read. A larger vocabulary will make the task of reading easier.
- Print Motivation – I call this a love of reading. An enjoyment of curling up and hearing a good story. A desire to look through books and tell a story. To some degree this is innate (some people like to read and some don’t) but there are many ways to encourage a love of books and reading even for those who more naturally would like to be playing.
- Print Awareness – This is simply understanding how to hold a book and turn pages. This is learning that we read left to right. This is a recognition that those squiggles on a page are words.
- Letter Knowledge – Knowing the names of letters and the sounds they make. Simply knowing what A looks like (both lower and uppercase – A and a) and what sound(s) the letter usually makes.
- Narrative Skills – Ability to tell stories and describe things. The ability to recount what happened throughout their day, to tell what happened at the library or the zoo.
- Phonological awareness – The ability to hear and change smaller sounds in words. Hearing beginning and ending sounds. Changing a letter in a word to make a rhyme. Leaving a sound or chunk out of a word. Adding a sound to the word Putting two word chunks together to make a word.
This week those are the things we will explore. Each day I will explain a little more about each one and give you some ideas of how you can incorporate each skill into daily life from the youngest age in order to prepare your child to be a reader!