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Pre-Reading Skills

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Learning Play, Child Development, Kids Activities , Tags: letters, reading skills, words

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Before any child can even attempt to read, they need various basic skills which will stay with them throughout their reading career! Some of these skills come naturally through every day life. They hear and use words themselves, they have seen books and heard teachers or parents read from them, they have enjoyed the thrill or comedy of a good book etc. But there are also things you can do as a parent or carer to help your child come even close to that magical day when they pick up a book, and read it for themselves!

Tips

1. Read, read and then pick up another book and read!

  • Reading to your children is the best way to get them interested.
  • Use silly voices, choose exciting and a varied selection of books, act them out, dress up, find books with great illustrations and make reading fun!
  • Read in bed, under a tree, in the car... wherever you can, but make it fun.
  • If ever they are too tired, just accept it and do it another day.

2. Practice rhyming words.

  • This a great way to introduce new words, and show children that words rhyme.
  • Sing nursery rhymes together.
  • When singing songs, stop and see if your child can finish the rhyme. Then change the words and see if they can think of a new word to rhyme?
  • Play I Spy With My Little Eye but use rhyming words: try I Hear With My Little Ear Something That Rhymes With Tree... etc

3. Recognition and Matching.

  • Matching letters with their sounds is a vital part of reading.
  • To help, try playing some matching games Play Snap! and Pairs.
  • Try playing Dominoes.
  • Do some puzzles, and even try tricky ones together.
  • Match socks when doing the washing and sort the cutlery into drawers when doing the washing up.

4. Letters.

  • Letters are vital when reading, so learning to be comfortable using letters and confident talking about them is vital.
  • When you go out, stress the first letter as you get ready. So, put on your s-s-socks, j-j-jacket, g-g-gloves. As you walk down the road, see the h-h-house, and the c-c-car.
  • Spot letters as you walk about round your home. Shop signs, traffic signs, road names etc.
  • Sound out and using your fingers trace the letters on road names if you can reach.

5. Use words.

  • Having chats about things you see and do is a great way to develop language.
  • Try to use new words, describe things in an exciting way and encourage them to talk to other children about their experiences.


Shocking Literacy Levels in London

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting, Child Development , Tags: books, illiteracy, literacy, london, reading, reading skills

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Last summer on a family outing to Buckler's Hard in Hampshire, our children were enthralled by the tale of a ship builders daughter who, 300 years ago, would stand in the window of her cottage, reading a large antique bible. She stood in the window for two reasons, first because 300 years ago, before electricity, it was the lightest place at which to read, but second, her proud parents wanted her to be seen by the whole village, so that they could show off their affluence in society by demonstrating that they were wealthy enough to educate their daughter who, in a time of widespread illiteracy, was able to read. Most likely, the bible was the only book that this family owned.

This week the Evening Standard is running a special report uncovering shockingly low levels of literacy in some parts of London.  The stories are desperately sad. In one instance a class was asked to bring in a book from home. One nine-year-old brought in an Argos catalogue saying that it was the only book in his house. At one level we might laugh and think this is an amusing anecdote, but the Standard goes on to state that as many as one in three children are growing up without access to books in the home. This doesn't come about because of a shortage of money - 85% of children have games consoles in their home, and most have televisions and hi-fi's. No, this lack of access to books is the result of parents making certain choices, choices that could have a fundamental effect on the lives of their children.

In this modern day, there is absolutely no excuse for parents not to expose their children to books. Books are more readily available today than at any other point in history. If family's cannot afford books then they can borrow them from libraries or school.

The knock on effect of children not being encouraged to read is that 16% of adults aged 16 - 65  living in London have the reading skills of an 11 year old.  40% of employers in London claim that poor literacy skills has a detrimental effect on their business.

Read the Evening Standard's report here.



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Hi! I'm Tikal the Toucan, the mascot for ToucanLearn. Follow my blog to find out interesting things relating to babies, toddlers and preschool children!

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