Saturday, 3 September 2011

Reading Readiness - Is Your Child Ready to Read? Six Essential Pre-Reading Skills Your Child Needs

How can you tell if your child is ready to read?  According to research, there are six pre-reading skills that prepare children to learn to read.  Most of these skills are learned naturally through interactions with parents,  caregivers and friends, and through exploring and understanding his or her world.  However, you can and ideally should begin creating a learning environment as early as possible to help ensure your child will someday become a fluent reader.  Here is a list of the six essential skills your child should have before learning to read:

1. NARRATIVE SKILLS - Being able to describe things and events and tell stories.

2. VOCABULARY - Knowing the name of objects, places, people, actions, emotions, etc.

3. PRINT MOTIVATION - Being interested in and enjoying books and being read to.

4. PRINT AWARENESS - Noticing print, understanding that print is language, knowing how to handle a book and knowing how to follow the words on a page from left to right.

5. LETTER KNOWLEDGE - Knowing letters are different from each other, knowing the sounds the letters make and recognizing letters everywhere.  For phonics-based reading, a child can begin to read before knowing the names of the letters, as this can be picked up later on.

6. PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS - Being able to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words.  For example:  What rhymes with 'cat'?  or What sound does 'ball' start with?  Most children who have difficulty reading struggle with phonological awareness.

*More information can be found at:

Read more about developing these pre-reading skills in my article Creating a Learning Environment.  Also check out the great printables, activities, websites and resources I've posted.  Some are free and others would make a worthwhile investment for your homeschool library.  Of the products I personally own or have used, you can read my ratings and reviews on my profile page.

Recommended Resources:

A-B-C Fun & 1-2-3     

This e-book is available on the Shirley's Preschool Activities website.  I love this site!  It has tons of ideas and free printables for homeschooling and pre-reading skills.  You can sign up for her e-newsletter as well to get more great, fun learning ideas sent weekly to your inbox.