There are six early literacy skills that children must have in order to be ready to read by the time he or she enters Kindergarten. These skills are:
Print Motivation: Your child’s interest in and enjoyment of books.
Letter Knowledge: Learning to name letters, knowing letters have sounds, and recognizing letters everywhere.
Narrative Skills: The ability to describe things and events and to tell stories.
Print Awareness: Noticing print everywhere; knowing how to handle a book and how to follow written word on a page.
Phonological Awareness: The ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words.
Vocabulary: Knowing the names of things.
The names of these skills might make them sound difficult, but don’t be discouraged. These skills can be taught by using five very simple practices that you can do with your child every day. The five simple practices are:
Talking: Children learn about language by listening to other people talk and joining in the conversation.
Singing: Because of their rhyme and rhythm, songs are a natural way to learn about language.
Reading: Reading and sharing books with your child is the single most important way to get them ready to read.
Writing: Reading and writing naturally go together. Writing is anything from making marks to drawing pictures and finally writing letters.
Playing: Pretend and dramatic play are fun ways to develop language skills.
Remember, you are your child’s best teacher!