Encouragement for preschoolers

Think About It

May 23, 1999|By Scholastic Parent & Child Magazine

As your preschooler gets ready to read, keep these guidelines in mind:

1. Trust your child's natural interest in and desire to learn about letters. Children are curious about printed symbols and will proudly identify letters in their names or on signs. They also love to create new letters from ones they already know and play games associated with their letter discoveries.

2. Actively reinforce your child's learning. Kids need lots of exposure to the same words before they really "own" them. So when your child asks questions or wants to listen to favorite stories, play word games and make books, encourage and support him as much as possible.

3. Skip workbooks. Look instead to some of the beautifully illustrated alphabet books that are now available, which appeal to children's imaginations as they introduce sounds. Select ABC books based on interesting themes. Pattern books and repetitive rhyming books also reinforce phonemic awareness.

4. Look to your child's own writing for the best insight into her progress as a budding reader and writer. Keep a folder of your child's work to document over time -- for yourself and for her -- how her writing skills grow stronger as she experiences more opportunities to "play" with language.

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