My boys are now 7 and 8, reading and writing. I am confident in their reading abilities, knowing it will help them excel in school in the coming years, from comprehending nonfiction to enjoying fiction and solving math to learning science and geography facts. Reading is not just part of language arts, but an important part of a complete educational curriculum.
As a parent, it is our job to provide the building blocks for building early literacy in younger years. I remember when all I had to do was say the line from one of my son’s favorite books and he would be able to find it on the shelf and bring it to me to read! Once he was in Kindergarten, we would use white and chalk boards to practice sight words or practice writing spelling words in shaving cream and a variety of colors. It was play and learning!
But it turns out that some parents aren’t confident in how to teach their children those literacy building blocks that prepare them for school. Don’t worry! It can be nerve-wracking, especially when it’s your first. But there are tools online that can help you assess your child’s reading readiness level, provide a list of recommended books and suggest activities for children up to the age of 5 years old – ReadingBrightStart.org.
I attended an online seminar to learn more about the program designed by Nemours. Unlike other online reading programs, this one is completely free.
As a parent, I suggest first taking the FREE Preschool Reading Screener which was designed for children in the 3 – 5 age range. The screener asks the parent 31 YES or NO questions in regards to Oral Language, Letter Knowledge, Phonological Awareness, and Beginning Writing.
Once you submit your answers, it will let you know whether your child is on track, along with a customized action plan to help them in areas where they can continue to improve. It will give you tips and examples on how to employ those tips.
The support doesn’t end there, though. You can search through different age groups to see where they should be with motor skills and what warning signs to look for. Then there is my favorite part, suggested books and at-home activities.
You can sort activities by skills or age. For example, with a baby you may just want them to imitate the sounds you make. You can have 5 year olds race to rhymes, make and illustrate funny sentences, create an alphabet book together and more. There are lots of brilliant and creative ideas that will keep your kids learning, creating literacy and fun memories with you!
So whether you are a Stay-at-Home Parent wondering if you are doing enough with your child or a parent who is about to send their child to Pre-Kindergarten next year, use the FREE resources available from Nemours to make sure your child is on theBright Start for Reading Readiness and success in school!
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