Literacy education is vital to a person’s ultimate success academically, socially and in the workforce. Begin literacy education at a young age with your child, and they will grow to love reading, writing and even grammar! It’s never too early to introduce important literacy building blocks, such as alphabet recognition, communication, syntax and proper grammatical structure. Enhancing kids’ schooling at home when they are in preschool or lower elementary grades will help to build their confidence and increase their understanding, knowledge and grades. It doesn’t have to be a chore, and when done properly will be an enjoyable and fun experience for you and your child. Whether they attend private school, a charter school, public school or are home schooled, here are 5 tips for supplementing your child’s literacy education for ages 3-6 that can help you out.
1. Know the benchmarks and developmental norms.
Use these as guidelines as you watch, teach and learn with your child. Every child learns differently, but these developmental benchmarks are there to help raise red flags – so pay attention to them! Additionally, these milestone markers help you to understand what you can reasonably expect from your child. (The following articles from WebMD outline these language and cognitive milestones by age group: 3-4 Year Old Milestones, 4-5 Year Old Milestones)
2. Know your child.
Each child learns a little differently, and one teaching technique does NOT fit all. Figure out what kind of learning-style your child has, and gear all your supplemental teaching towards that. Know what techniques, methods, approaches will help your child feel confident and at ease and which ones to avoid because they cause frustration and stress. (Here’s a wikihow article than can help to determine your young child’s learning style.)
3. Don’t underestimate the mundane.
Literacy development in preschool age kids involves language acquisition and communication skills, as well as letter recognition and letter sounds. So supplementing their education can be as easy as talking to them. They need to hear proper communication in order to learn it! Sing, talk, read – basically just interact with your young child and you’ll be well on your way!
4. Keep it simple.
Don’t use overcomplicated methods to aid in your child’s education. At this stage, short, simple, easy lessons and activities are best since your child has a short attention span and can be easily distracted, bored or frustrated. As you introduce new lessons, pay attention to your child’s cues and know when to stop or move on. Frustration at this early age can make you AND your child want to give up!
5. Encourage discussion.
Even before your child begins to grasp proper grammar, when their utterances are not fully developed or standardized, encourage conversations with your child. When someone asks them questions, allow them to answer, don’t answer for them. Clarify only when necessary. Correct them by expanding on their sentences and ideas rather than telling them they are wrong – for example, if your child says: “Her go school” you can respond, “Yes, SHE WENT to school earlier today” instead of “No. SHE, not her.” This way, you are emphasizing the correct grammar for your child, showing them prepositional use, and expanding their vocabulary by example and avoiding negative associations with correction.
Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com