How to Sneak in Pre-Reading Skills for Young Children

pre-reading-skillsAs a School Psychologist, I often field questions about what parents can do to help a child learn and be ready for school. My answer is simple – read to your child. However, when you have a child with learning, social and/or behavioral challenges reading time can be tricky!

I know what is like to have a child with attending disorders. I clearly recall trying to gather some books for reading time only to have the child racing out of the room as he was mentally ready to go on to the next activity and didn’t want to sit still. So, perhaps parents with children who don’t like to sit and go through conventional books may enjoy these hints to help “sneak in” pre-reading skills to their young children.

  1. Go on a walk and read the signs you see along the way. Show the letters of the alphabet. Think about carrying an alphabet book with you. And in our family we often would use the sign language alphabet to add a kinesthetic approach to learning to read letters.
  2. Go shopping with your child with the sole reason to learn to read letters and numbers. Have the child guide you through the store. Let them outline the letters on cereal boxes with their fingers. Don’t force a long shopping trip on them that is not child centered. Come back and tackle your grocery list later. This is a time for education.
  3. Look for books that have an interactive property. The library is a great place to do this! Choose a book your child can hold, touch, or that is visually interesting, such as with photography.

Resources

Personal Child Stories will make a book especially for your child using family photos (or others) and laminate it for durability.

The Let’s Get Ready Series is great for teaching children readiness skills for kindergarten and first grade. Stacey Kannenberg is the author and these are workbooks, not storybooks.

 

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Louise Sattler, NCSP, MS About Louise Sattler, NCSP, MS

Louise is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and a contributor to the JustAsk forum on Education.com. She has been teaching American Sign Language for over 20 years and can be found at Signing Families.