Early Literacy & Emerging Readers
Kindergarten – Second Grade
As a parent, no one needs to tell you how important literacy skills are. The more your child can read, the more self-sufficient they are, the more knowledge they seek and the easier it is for them to express themselves using the written word.
One of the best skills you can help your child with is phonemic awareness by helping your child understand that words are made of chunks of sound. Create word “families” such as “it”, “sit”, “bit” and “pit”. Play rhyming games based on this theme, where your child must rhyme as many words as possible off of one starting word, such as “bake”, “cat” or “star”. The ability to identify certain sounds in relationship to the letters used to make them is critical in establishing fluency in reading.
Another valuable reading skill is the ability to recognize “sight words”. Sight words are a group of words that are used regularly throughout your child’s age-appropriate text. Sight words change per grade, so ask your child’s teacher for a recent copy. A group of 220 sight words comprises a whopping 70% of all text so when your child recognizes all 220 words instantly, he’s 70% closer to fluent reading.
Most importantly, read! Read as often as you can with your child and to your child. Offer a large array of printed materials – books, magazines, newspapers, so that your child can explore different types of media. Studies show that good readers do well not only in reading but also in all sorts of other areas, like sociability and showing initiative. There is no better way to instill a love of reading in your child than by sharing a book for 15 minutes every day.