If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ve likely picked up on the fact that I’m not at all worried about teaching my girls to read before they start kindergarten (and, then, I’m not worried about teaching them myself… I trust our teachers to let me know if we need to work on anything from home!). But, I know that kindergarten readiness is at the forefront of many parents’ minds over the course of that year leading up to kindergarten. Step back and take a relaxing breath, though, because if you follow me, you’re likely already doing all that you need to do to help your child be ready to read and write when the time comes!
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According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC’s) publication Learning to Read and Write: Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Young Children, reading and writing goals for preschoolers include:
*enjoy listening to and discussing books
*understand that print carries a message
*engage in reading and writing attempts
*identify signs and labels in their environment
*participate in rhyming games
*identify some letters and make some letter-sound matches
*use known letters or approximations of letters to represent written language (especially meaningful words like their name)
(Learning to Read and Write, 2000, page 20)
Notice that before kindergarten, children are only developmentally expected to *attempt* to read and write, as well as know *some* letters and their sounds.
And guess what? The NAEYC even lays out things parents can do to help this along! I’m guessing you’re already doing these, but here are some ideas:
*talk with children and show an interest in what they say
*read and reread stories with predictable texts (yes, rereading is good!)
*encourage children to tell stories about their ideas and lives
*visit the library regularly
*give them chances to draw and print, using markers, crayons, and pencils
So, you can sit back and relax! Your kindergarten readiness “job” is easy — talk to your children, read to your children, and let them have fun with books and writing materials! 🎉 if that makes you feel great!