Ready for School ~ Language & Cognitive Development ~ Literacy Skills

October 31, 2011

A child who is ready for school generally:

  • understands and uses words
  • knows how to handle a book
  • knows some letters, sounds, and rhyming words
  • knows print direction (left to right, top to bottom of page)
  • can write own name
  • is interested in books and reading
  • has no difficulty in remembering things
  • reads and writes simple words or sentences voluntarily

Why is this important?  Children who enjoy stories and being read to are children who are prepared to learn and succeed – both at school and throughout life!  You are your child’s first and most important teacher!  Here are some things you can do together to enhance your child’s early literacy skills:

  • Play together!  Play is children’s work – it is how they learn about the world.  Encourage your children to explore their world under your care and guidance.
    • Play memory games like “I Spy”
    • Cut out pictures of different animals.  Ask “what sound does a ___ make?” and then answer by making the sound.
  • Read together out loud every day.  Remember it’s never too early to read to your baby.  Sharing books helps your children develop a love of reading.
    • Ask what will happen next in the story
    • Point to key words and letters
    • Change the endings of well known stories
  • Have fun with language! 
    • Find letters and words on cereal boxes, McDonald’s arches, street signs, catalogues, flyers…
    • Make grocery lists by cutting pictures from flyers
    • Look at photo albums.  Tell stories about who is in the pictures and what they might be doing
    • Make simple books, with pictures and simple sentences
    • Ask your child to tell you a story using pictures or words
    • Listen to music, sing action songs and nursery rhymes
    • Rhyme a word as long as you can – bat, cat, fat, hat…