Teaching Your Preschool Learners to Read to Succeed
What can you do to start to develop your child's preschool reading abilities? At 3 to 5 years old, are you wondering if preschool is even too early to start teaching reading?
Experts may differ in their opinions on when a child should start reading, what types of books they should read, and what tools are best to teach reading. But the one thing ALL experts agree on is that reading aloud to your children from the get go is critical.
Teaching reading at this early age doesn't mean formal lessons that are common in later school years; it simply means exposing very young children to language and books in a very natural way. Teaching kids to read used to be the sole responsibility of the schools. This is no longer the case.
If you want your kids to excel and have every possible advantage in life, you can't just send them off to school and hope for the best. You have to be an integral part of their learning experience and teaching children to read from birth and beyond is essential to get your kids on the path of a life long love of learning.
So, what are some typical preschool reading skills? Your preschool learners should have the ability to:
- Recognize the following:
- Whether words rhyme
- Difference between upper and lower case letters
- Colors, shapes, sizes and numbers
- Print in their every day environment
- Different names and sounds of the alphabet letters
- Letters in their name and may be able to write those letters
- Decode words using phonics
- Replace one letter of a word to make another word
- Begin to read simple 2 and 3 letter words
- Start to develop reading comprehension by following the story line of a book
- Sing the ABC song
- Start writing, which helps strengthen their phonemic skills. Kids with good writing skills become good readers.
- Understand and follow verbal direction
- Connect stories to their everyday life experiences
Studies show that children who are encouraged to use their imagination during their preschool years develop into better students.
Teaching reading to your kids is important, but how you teach them can mean the difference between success and failure. Your kids have to think that reading is a positive fun activity. Here are some suggestions:
Teaching Preschool reading: Tips for parents
- Read your child's favorite stories over and over; it helps them develop language skills, memory, and self confidence.
- Use reading games to make learning to read fun
- Use reading activities to make it more interesting
- Point to words as you read them to your child
- Alphabet and phonics worksheets are great tools for teaching preschool reading - but make it fun; not a drill.
- Read nursery rhymes together. Kids who enter kindergarten already familiar with nursery rhymes have a much easier time learning to read.
- Motivate your kids to read for the pure enjoyment of it. Read early and often to your child to encourage their love of books.
- Ask questions about stories you read and encourage their imagination and creativity.
- Point at words you see throughout your day - on signs, food labels, toy packages, newspapers, posters, etc.
- Be a good role model. Do they see you enjoying reading? Do they see you look forward to your reading time together instead of being a chore?
- Pay attention to the clues your child gives you. Notice what subjects and books they love, what time of day works best, or when you've lost their interest.
Important Preschool Reading Links:
See our Favorite Preschool Books
Learn the Benefits of Reading Aloud
Our favorite abc kids games
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