Give your child the greatest headstart in learning to read

Oak Brook parents, we are starting a monthly blog which will cover topics relating to early childhood reading and writing. The school has partnered with Dr. Kim Southwell who is the founder of The Reading Ranch which is a robust literacy program with multiple locations in the N. Dallas area. Hope you find these blogs educational and informative. Enjoy!

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Today, parents are greatly concerned in giving their young children the greatest head start in learning to read.  Entering kindergarten many children are beyond their ABC’s.  In fact, many are walking in the classroom door as a reader and/or legible writer.   If your child is not there yet, do not panic.  Below are some basic literacy activities that will enrich a child’s foundation in learning to read and write.

Letter RecognitionUpper & Lowercase.  Identifying Letters and Sounds.  Before students can read, they must associate sounds with the correct letter.  This is the basis of phonics ad is the foundation that all students need.

Phonemic Awareness: is the ability to recognize the individual sounds in words.  Phonemic Awareness is a good predictor of later reading success or difficulty.  a – apple /a/, b – barn /b/.  Letter Factor by Leap Frog is an excellent DVD video for Letter/Sound Recognition.

Vowel Sounds: (learn short vowels first)

vowels1

Word Play: Build basic words with letter magnets.   p – i – g.  Using a few letter magnets, asks your child to recognize and tap the beginning sound, middle sound, ending sound.

Rhyme:   Research has shown that familiarity with the nursery rhymes helps children to develop pre-reading skills, the first step in becoming successful readers.

Book Awareness.  Enjoy cuddling up with a terrific children’s book and read aloud everyday.  Use his finger under each word as you read aloud to help encourage the awareness of how to read. He’ll be watching your finger skate across the page as you read left-to-right, top-to-bottom encouraging reading readiness skills.

Writing. Write on lap sized white boards (office supply stores) with new slender dry mark erasers is a fun way to begin writing letters, then (3) letter words, eventually building to emergent sentence writing.  For example:  write the alphabet in all upper case letters, then lower case letters, numbers 1-10, 1-20.  If she makes a mistake the eraser is fun to use and less frustrating than a traditional pencil with eraser.

Enjoy this special time in developing early literacy skills.  This is the most important gift a parent can give to a child is the ability to read and write.

Written by,
Kim Southwell, PhD
Founder, Owner & Director 
Reading Ranch Tutorial Center (Frisco, Plano & Lucas, Texas)

For more information: info@readingranch.com

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