Between the ages of 4 and 5, your child will conquer one huge milestone: starting school. What speech, language, play and social skills do they need to know? We get asked by many parents whether they need to know their alphabet, or how to read before they get to school. Let’s see what communication and play skills 5 year olds should demonstrate and how you can continue supporting your child’s learning. Keep reading or listen to the blog below:Continue reading “What do I need to know about 5 year olds?”
My house has been swallowed by a toy-nado! Like many new parents, I am again eating my words from a past life. I swore I would not spoil my children with ‘stuff’ nor let every space in my house be ravaged by a toy-nado of plastic, but I have failed miserably. It is well established that play is vital for children’s emotional, social and cognitive growth and “Toys are the tools of play”. So tonight’s blog will attempt to address the following: What are the best kind of toys to buy and how do you get the ‘biggest bang for your buck’ when it comes to toys?Continue reading “Help! Toy-nado alert!”
At this time of year, we know that parents may be wondering, “Is my child ready for school?” coupled with potential doubts about their child’s abilities – “She only knows a few letters of the alphabet.”. If that is you, read on!
Firstly, we need to put it out there reading is not a natural process. It is a taught skill and in contrast to learning to talk, which is a wonderful development that happens (for the most part) naturally.
Nearly four decades of scientific research on how children learn to read supports an emphasis on phoneme awareness and phonics in a literature-rich environment. These findings challenge the belief that children learn to read naturally. (Lyon, G.R., 1998).
What is a literature-rich environment?
Having books read to them and having access to looking at books themselves is a good starting point however a literacy-rich environment demonstrates how literacy is useful in everyday life by allowing children to interact with print/texts independently and with parents/educators. This helps children understand WHY they need print, WHAT they use it for and HOW it is useful in everyday life. In other words, it needs to fun, engaging and meaningful to them.
What are some examples of print in everyday life?
- Your child’s name!
- Common shop names (e.g. McDonalds, Woolworths)
- Street signs (e.g. SLOW)
- Symbols (e.g. arrow, cross)
What do I do after I find this print?
Point it out and be excited when you discover it!
“Oh, look at this letter S on the SLOW sign. It’s just like the S at the start of your name, Sam.”
Talk about symbols and what they mean.
“A symbol is something you can read but it doesn’t have any words. See this arrow – I know that the way it is pointing is the way I need to go.”
Use the terminology
“Ah yes, that is the letter ‘M’ and underneath it is the word ‘McDonald’s”
There will be more posts coming about phonemic awareness – another very important foundational skill that supports learning to read.
Thanks for hearing our call,
Your Little Birdies
Lyon, G. Reid. (1998). Educational Leadership, v55 n6 p14-18.