Parents want to give their Kindergarten or First Grade child a "jump start" for reading and math success, but are often overwhelmed on how to do it!
Experience has taught me that there are three main skills to master. This skill set forms a solid foundation upon which most learning can be built and sharpened. These three main skills are what I call the "Triangle Base."
These skills are:
- One-to-One Correspondence
Why does mastering these skills form such a solid educational foundation?
- Rhyming promotes Phonemic Awareness. Simply put, this is the ability to hear sounds in spoken language. Hearing sounds is a crucial pre-reading skill.
- One-to-One Correspondence applies to both reading and math. In math it means that a child sees the numeral 8, for example, and can correctly count out 8 objects. In reading it means that the child is saying what he or she is seeing.
- Patterns can be both visual (Example, tile placement on a floor) and auditory (Example, the refrain "EIEIO" in the song "Old MacDonald")
My best advice:
- Rhyme all the time (no pun intended!)
- Count out small objects often. (Pennies, shells, or small snacks like Goldfish crackers, raisins, etc.)
- When reading to your child always use your index finger in a left-to-right sweep, under the words. This helps your child focus on the print.
- Go on a visual "pattern hunt" in your house or yard! Listen for, and identify sound patterns in songs and stories.
Whenever possible turn these simple guidelines into a game. Children love learning when it’s fun and engaging!