HELPING KINDERGARTENERS BUILD ON LANGUAGE
Read Every Day
Perhaps the single most important thing you to do is to foster your child’s early reading and writing skills is to read to her every single day. Do your best to make reading time a fun experience that is enjoyable.
Highlight Names of Authors
When you sit down to read a book with your child, start by reading the title and the name of the author. This will help children to familiarize with important attributes of the book. Soon they may have favourite authors and learn to recognise their work.
Read the Same Books
Make sure to read the same books to children over and over again, over extended periods. The better she gets to know a book, the more ways she will find to enjoy it. During one reading they may just focus on pictures, a week later attention may move to the story, a couple months later, they may notice the rhyming patterns of words or focus on new vocabulary words.
Make Reading Engaging and Interactive
When you are reading to your pre-kindergarteners, make it as engaging and interactive an experience as possible for them. Pause from time to time to ask questions about what you’ve read so far and what is to come. Enquire about their feelings for a character or what they think will happen next. Make sure they understand to miss in guessing but the fun is in thinking in different ways.
Once you’ve finished a story, have a little discussion with about it. Ask what they liked best about the story, who is their favourite character was. Learning to talk about what they read will be an important foundation for communication and critical thinking skills that are important throughout life.
Make sure to include non-fiction books in the titles you choose. Pre-kindergarteners are fascinated by the world around them and learn a lot about how it works from non-fiction books. They especially love books about animals, birds, trees, transport and machines.
Establish Good Reading Habits
Reading skills will always be essential to childrens’ academic success, so do everything you can to make sure that they develop good reading habits. It’s especially important that children see adults enjoying reading. This will help them view reading in a positive light…. avoid using laptops and mobile phones for nursery rhymes and stories.
Use Songs and Lyrics
Reading to children isn’t the only way to ensure that they become strong readers. Singing songs and familiarizing children with a range of lyrics also helps develop language skills.
Make Eye Contact
Make sure that you make eye contact with your children when you speak to them. Adults are often so busy sitting at the computer, checking our iPhones, or doing household chores that we don’t pause and look directly at our children when they’re speaking. Try to stop what you’re doing and give undivided attention when your child speaks to you.
Fill in the Word
Fill in the word. When reading nursery rhymes, poems, or books with rhyming words, read the verse then let your children “read” by filling in the rhyming word. When reading “Hickory Dickory Dock, the mouse ran up the _____,” pause to let your child fill in the word “clock.” This will come naturally and your child will enjoy helping you read.
Encourage Writing and Drawing
Encourage your children write and draw as early as possible. Make sure they have access to plenty of crayons and markers. Don’t worry about whether they are holding them correctly at this point. The important thing is that they learn to love using writing and drawing tools.
Using play dough / clay and toys that require them to manipulate small shapes will encourage the development of dexterity in her fingers that will be important as she learns to hold a pencil correctly and to write.