The Best Preschool Curriculum is Not only Found at Preschool – It also Begins at Home.
When it’s time to send the little one off to kindergarten, it is generally expected, especially from the future teachers of these children, that the child has had some exposure to reading already. Though this may be a given to the vast majority of parents it is still nonetheless important to point this out, as there are certain expectations that the teacher will have when she receives her new class of preschoolers at the beginning of the year.
To give your child the best preschool curriculum is to understand the importance of reading as early enough as the child is able to handle it. These prerequisites are things like reading her or his own name, reciting the alphabet and recognizing some or all letters in the alphabet, make rhymes, echo simple text that is read to them, recognize that text holds meaning, correspond some or all letters with their correct sound, and others.
In the beginning of kindergarten, it is not so much the reading that is important but more the concept of reading. The child will first be exposed to “concepts about print”, whereby the written word is linked to a story and happens in a certain order (left to right, top to bottom). Helping the child at home or in class for pre-reading skills can include the following:
- Vocabulary developement
- Phonemic awarenss
- Knowledge of the alphabet
- Letter-sound correlation
- Concepts of print
- Listening comprehension
- Comprehension skills
DURING THE YEAR
There are many activities to do during the year that can help with pre-reading and reading. It is also important to note that these pre-reading exercises shouldn’t necessarily stop once reading practice begins – the more it can be ingrained into the in childs’ developing the mind, the better. The various reading and pre-reading strategies include:
- oral language activities, meaning to teach pre-selected vocabulary words
- phonemic awareness, whereby the sounds of words are broken up to understand them better
- alphabet knowledge, inasmuch as the concept of words are broken up into sounds and letters
- concepts of print, meaning the basics of the composition of a book and how to read it is taught
- listening comprehension, where the child can hear what reading sounds like, and
- decoding and comprehension, where a kindergartener uses decodable books that are interesting to read even though they can only read a few words – this will make the rest of the story imaginable and thus readable, once the words become known and understood.
These are all tools that can be used to help preschoolers understand the written and spoken word in the world before they tackle those words in full sentences. You can also use creative and fun ideas such as poems, songs, and chants. These will help the learners carry over their knowledge gained thus far from one stage of learing to another.
At the conclusion of the year most kindergarteners can read some words and simple books, can recognize and write upper and lower case letters, they can understand more than just the plot of the story but can also recognize consequences, and will also know that writing goes from left to right. There are many ways to help your child along so that they can enjoy the best preschool curriculum. Read with them and keep these sessions short, encourage your child and track them, and most of all, have fun with them while doing it!