Most kindergarteners don’t know how to read yet, at least in a traditional sense. That doesn’t mean that they are unable to follow many of the rules of language. For instance, they know what capital letters are, can formulate sentences, and can even follow basic books. Besides that, they’ll be required to read actual books and write stories within a few years, so they need a solid basis of skills to build on.
This is why when your child is in kindergarten, it’s a great time to get proactive in their education. Sure, they have only been in school for a short time, but the more involved you are, the more you can help them with problems, and you can be sure they are learning the things you want them to learn.
Since it is such an important time in a child’s life, there are some reading activities you can do with them to make the transition into reading much easier.
- Assisted reading: Anytime you start reading something, let your little guy or girl help you. Have them read aloud, but don’t help them pronounce something unless they ask you. This will help them with problem solving and grow their reading and literacy. They’ll probably also learn words they have not seen before, which is a great thing. This can be anything from an article to a children’s book, as long as it isn’t anything with offensive material. It’s also a good idea if it is broken down into words that they are likely to understand.
- Engage with them: After you read something with your child or they read something by themselves, ask them questions about it. This can allow them to reflect on what they read, which is a good way to start building their comprehension skills. Even if they haven’t read anything that day, maybe you can talk to them about what they want to read or are planning to read.
- Workbooks: There’s no shortage of workbooks you can buy that are great for childhood reading. They can teach kids useful words, sentences, pronunciation, and a wide range of other things. Depending on if your tyke likes school, they may love or hate that they have to do extra work at home.
- Apps: One positive aspect of technology and smart devices is that there are so many different apps for kids that you can download. Check out the highest rated ones for reading and let your child borrow your tablet and get to work. These apps are interactive and fun to play, so your tot won’t even realize they are learning. When they complete all the content on one app, just get them a different one. There’s no shortage of educational apps, and many of them are free.
- DVD programs: Another product you may want to look into when you are seeking reading activities for kindergarteners are DVD programs. They range from 1 disc sets to larger sets that have charts, workbooks, and much more. Generally, the more information they cover, the more expensive they are, but even some of the most extensive collections are rather affordable. You can check online to find the best ones and read reviews, to make sure they have what you are looking for.
These are just some of the ways you can encourage your 5 year old to read. If you don’t want to employ any special products or don’t have a lot of money for extras, that doesn’t mean you can’t help them out.
Out of all these things, the best thing to do is just read with your child. Let them pick out books that they like and read them to you. This will let you see first-hand what your child’s strengths and weaknesses are. Then, you can make a plan to work on the things they need help with. Perhaps they need to learn more words or are having trouble saying certain sounds. Those are things you can personally help them with, which will allow them to feel more confident about their reading and they’ll enjoy the time they got to spend with you.
Try to always keep books around the house and let them know that you expect them to be read. They’re even more likely to want to read if they see you reading, so don’t stop reading even though you are an adult.
Finally, don’t stress out about it and don’t let your baby stress out. They’ll learn how to read, but everyone learns at a different pace. There’s no reason to rush or get upset that something hasn’t been mastered yet. If there are problems, you can always get extra help or a tutor, but the truth is kindergarteners are usually not expected to be fluent readers, so they don’t have to be perfect or understand everything. Relax and let your tot learn at their own rate.
Kindergarten is a crucial time in a young reader’s life because they have many skills that help them on their way to learning more words and being able to pronounce all the sounds they need to know. Some of them are also able to read simple books. At the same time, there is still a lot of work to be done before they can officially read. That is why it’s rather important to know what is going on with your child and their education, so you can help fill in the gaps.
This can be in the form of buying them special educational tools, or simply working with them to reinforce their skills. Either way, you’re helping them to be good readers and hopefully good overall students.
The bottom line is that it can be a really positive experience when you sit down and let your child read to you. It will make them feel good about themselves and make you a proud parent.