Preschool reading skills are developed in order to set the groundwork for your child’s reading for the rest of their life. The skills they learn in preschool can help them be excited about reading, and prepared for it, or can scare them. The following is a guide to successfully developing preschool reading skills:
Stories: Reading skills start with stories. As you teach your preschooler reading skills, it is important to remember it is more than letters that form words on a page, it is the message those words convey. Tell your child stories, and have them tell stories in return. It helps them instinctively understand what they are hearing or reading when they have used the thought process of developing a story. This is important, so practice telling stories, and listening to them tell stories.
Comprehension: Part of successfully learning to read is learning to comprehend what you read. So, the best way to help a preschooler to develop this skill is to read out loud to them. As you read to them, ask them questions about what is being read. Ask them what they think about it. Ask them what they think will happen next. As you discuss what you read, it helps children to instinctively learn to comprehend what the words mean, and how they can infer additional meaning from them.
Letters: Of course, one huge aspect of preschool reading skills is the ability to identify letters. As you work with a preschooler on letters, make sure they understand both upper and lower case. This can be very confusing to a child, so show them plenty of examples, and work on it. They should be able to identify and distinguish between the letters.
Sounds of letters: One important reading skill is that of understanding the sounds letters make, and how combinations of letters can make unique sounds. It might be a bit much for a preschooler to understand how “P” and “H” can make an “F” sound, but it is still important to lay the foundation of letter sounds. Let them practice identifying letters and the sounds they make.
Printed words: A huge part of developing reading skills is just being surrounded by and inundated with the printed word. Preschoolers should have words surrounding them. Buy them clothes with words on them, put words up in the classroom, on walls, in books, etc. Send home notes, write instructions on the top of papers even if they can’t read them. The more exposure, the faster they learn how everything combines, and how to read. It also helps them recognize that we read left to right, and that on a page it is read top to bottom. It will help them be able to identify the correct positioning of letters, and better understand how they combine.
Writing: As your preschooler learns the above things, let them practice writing. Writing and reading go hand in hand. As a preschooler understand that letters make sounds, and that they combine to form words, let them practice trying to create words on their own.
Practice, practice, practice: The more they practice, the more they read aloud with you, look at printed words, etc. the better reader they will become.