Learning continues even during times of great crises, like this pesky pandemic. Nevertheless, let’s not forget that learning is the key to a bright future for everyone. And for young kids, learning starts with an eagerness to read. That’s why as a parent, you need to know how to reinforce kindergarten reading at home.
Without a doubt, it’s very important to send young children to kindergarten. It’s a critical period in your child’s development, and a lot of child experts back the claims that sending children to kindergarten help them develop physical, social, and mental skills.
But what about now when the world is busy dealing with an unseen enemy?
Obviously, children’s safety comes first. And as a parent, part of the responsibility is to look for alternative ways to make sure your child continues to learn. Enrolling in a great online reading program, like the Dicker Reading program, is one. But in addition to that, you also need to step in and reinforce kindergarten reading lessons in your own home.
Reinforcing Kindergarten Reading at Home
The best way to cultivate a love of reading in your children is to make it fun. But most people forget the process of learning to read until they decide to start instructing their own children at home. Because contrary to what most people believe, learning to read does not come ‘naturally.’ It’s not something that eventually happens. If there’s no constant learning or reinforcement, you’ll run into problems in the long run.
Reading is a complex process that needs proper teaching of various skills and strategies. This includes phonics and phonemic awareness, where your kids know the relationship between letters and sounds.
The good news though is that even if reading itself is a complex process, the steps you can take to build these skills are fairly simple and quite straightforward.
Here are some things you can do to reinforce kindergarten reading at home.
#1 Build phonemic awareness through songs and nursery rhymes
Songs and nursery rhymes are more than just icebreakers or loads of fun. They help kids hear the sounds and the syllables in words, which aid in learning how to read.
One good way to build phonemic awareness (which is one of the most important skills for learning how to read) is to rhythmically clap together and recite the songs in unison. This type of playful and bonding activity is a great way for kids to implicitly develop literacy skills that could set them up for reading success.
#2 Cultivate a print-rich environment
Create daily opportunities to build your children’s reading skills. One of the best ways to do so is to create a print-rich environment at home. Posters, charts, books, labels on things, etc., enable kids to see and make connections between letter symbols and sounds.
One other thing to do is that when you do go out, don’t fail to point out letters on billboards, posters, and signs.
#3 Play word games
Further reinforcing the point in the last number, it’s good to introduce simple word games on a regular basis. Focus on playing games that would encourage your kids to listen, manipulate, and identify the sounds in words.
For instance, you can try asking questions like “What sound does the word ‘cart’ start with?” Another is, “What sound does the word ‘cart’ end with?”
#4 Create simple word cards at home
This is going to take some creativity and effort. It’s when you cut out simple cards and write a word that contains three sounds on each one. Good examples are: cat, top, pot, fin, pig, sun, rug, etc. Invite your kids to choose cards, then read the word together while holding up three fingers.
Ask them to make the first sound they hear in the word, and then the second, and then the third. An activity that sounds as seemingly simple as this requires minimal prep-time, and it builds essential phonics and decoding skills.
#5 Know the core skills needed for teaching kids to read
Learning to read is important and it involves various different skills. There are 5 essential components of reading:
- Phonics – the recognition of connections between letters and the sounds they make.
- Phonemic awareness – the ability to hear and manipulate different sounds in words.
- Vocabulary – involves understanding the meaning of words, their definitions, and their context.
- Reading comprehension – understanding the meaning behind a particular text, both in informational books and in storybooks.
- Fluency – the ability to read aloud with confidence, speed, understanding, and accuracy.
#6 Read together daily
Through the simple act of reading to a child, so many skills can be picked up. Aside from showing your child how to sound out words, you’re also building key comprehension skills, letting their vocabulary grow, and allowing them to hear what a fluent reader (you) sounds like.
But above all, regular reading can help cultivate in your child a love for reading, which is one of the best ways to set them up for reading success.
You can strengthen children’s comprehension skills even further by asking questions while reading. Engage them with pictures and ask questions about the story.
#7 Be patient
Every child learns at their own pace. So keep in mind that the single most important thing you can do as a parent reinforcing kindergarten reading is making it enjoyable. Read regularly, mix it up with fun activities, and let your kids pick up books they want to read. Couple this with patience, and you can instill a love of reading in your kids.
Harness the Power of Technology for Teaching Reading at Home
In addition to the parents’ efforts, the benefits of expert outside help can’t be overlooked either. In light of continuing learning at home, the Dicker Reading program has gone the extra mile and has deployed its successful methods via a one-on-one tutoring on Zoom.
Reinforcing kindergarten reading and learning is an important task for parents and reading tutors from our reading center.
Together, we can help keep your child’s learning continuous with live online tutoring sessions.