Raise your hand if you have a little one entering preschool or kindergarten in the upcoming school year. Now raise your hand if you’re just a little concerned that they may not be ready.
That’s a lot of hands! Rest assured, this feeling of concern is completely normal. You want the best for your kid and guess what: we do too. The good news? If you have created a culture of reading in your household, you have already taken critical steps by laying a reading foundation. This reading foundation grows incrementally. Reading aloud to your little one helps with memory and familiarizes children with words and concepts. And when your little one points and says, “bunny,” when they browse pages in a book on their own, they’re showcasing key development skills essential for reading.
We’re passionate about two things here at Zonderkidz: faith and literacy. That’s why we invest so much time in delivering Bibles, books, and resources that help produce confident Christians and readers, such as our 100 Tips for Beginning Readers.
We’ve pulled 10 tips from our 100 Tips for Beginning Readers, and we encourage you to download this guide as you get your little one ready for kindergarten.
- Read every day. Carve out a consistent time to read with your child, like before dinner or at bedtime. This will help your child develop good reading habits.
- Make shared reading a fun experience for your child. Set up a reading outing. Bring your child to a café, order a hot chocolate, and read together.
- Find a place to read that will help your child focus. Turn off the television, radio, cell phone, and computer.
- Looking for a more creative way to interact with a book? Encourage your child to create a puppet show of the story. Create simple finger or sock puppets, and act out scenes from the story. Don’t forget to applaud at the end!
- Make flash cards of high-frequency words like “a,” “not,” and “to.”
- Books for beginning readers have pictures designed to help your child comprehend the story. Before you start reading, look at all the pictures. Discuss what the story might be about.
- Ask your child what the first sound of the word is, and what word would make sense that starts with that sound.
- Sign up for a library card! It teaches your child responsibility and encourages reading.
- Write new and intriguing words on a wall calendar. Each day, learn to spell them and talk about what the words mean.
- For beginning readers, it’s helpful to emphasize the sounds in the middle of one-syllable words. Point out words that have the same middle sound, like pet, pen, and step. Ask your child to find more examples of words that have the same sound.