Your child will be reading and writing this school year, we want to ensure that both home and school are places where your child can learn and grow. Check here periodically for helpful activities you can do with your child to support the reading and writing that they are learning at school.
Children this age like to talk, listen to stories, sing, and act out dramas. They like to dress up, pretend, and play games. All these activities help them practice the language skills they need in school. Here is a list of reading and language skills students learn:
Listening and Speaking
- follow simple directions (such as where to put the toys)
- listen to stories read aloud and retell stories
- understand words naming numbers, colors, shapes, and directions
- ask meaningful questions and take part in conversations
- develop phonemic awareness (a child's awareness of the sounds in words) by identifying words that rhyme (sat and mat) and playing rhyming games
Identifying and Knowing About Words
- name each letter of the alphabet
- understand that words are made of letters that represent sounds (b stands for the sound at the beginning of bat and bug)
- read words by using their knowledge of phonics (the study of how letters stand for sounds) to connect letters to sounds
- read high frequency words (one that appears often, such as see, the, and, and to) by sight
Reading Many Kinds of Literature
- become familiar with a variety of reading materials, such as stories, poems, and nonfiction
- know that print is read from top to bottom and from left to right
Responding to Reading
- join in or read along when familiar books are read aloud
- retell or act out the order of events in a story
- draw their own conclusions about a story (for example, tell why the fox ran away)
- print letters of the alphabet, both capital (A) and lowercase (a)
- write simple messages
Listed below are some suggestions for developing a reading routine with your child. Establishing a routine will help your child become a better reader.
- Daily Reading Routines
- Preparing for a Test
- Reviewing Schoolwork
- Technology at Home
- Using the Library
- Family Times Newsletter
- Supporting your child at School
- Reading at home
Some of the most natural and successful preparations can come about as you do normal daily activities together. The following suggestions offer ways to focus on reading skills during your daily routines.
- Make a Grocery List Together
As you make your grocery list, sort the items by type: meat, dairy, produce, canned goods, and so on. Have your child help you decide what item goes under each category. This helps your child with the reading skill of classifying.
As you prepare a meal, ask your child what letters he or she is learning in school. Help your child identify letters on the packaging of the ingredients for the meal.
As you clean the floor, whether you vacuum, sweep, or mop, ask your child if he or she can tell you what you need to do first. Guide your child in sequencing the steps. Sequencing is an important reading skill.
As you travel to different places by car, bicycle or, on foot, point out familiar signs and symbols as well as the words that they represent on stores or other businesses. Have your kindergartner tell you how she or he knows these words.
As you sort laundry, invite your child to help you sort darks from lights. This will give your child practice in classifying.
Students may be taking test for the first time this year. You can help make test-taking a relaxed and positive experience by preparing your child at home. The following suggestions may offer ways to help your child approach test-taking with confidence.
Talk with your child about why the teacher gives a test. Explain to your child that the test lets everyone know how well they are doing. It gives the teacher a chance to decide what reading materials are the best for each child.
Start off with a simple game of Simon Says. (A leader gives commands. The players follow the command only if the commands started with the words, “Simon says.”) Explain that when the teacher gives directions, everyone must listen carefully. Tell your child to raise a hand if he or she doesn’t understand the directions or needs help.
Explain to your child that a good night’s sleep will help him or her feel rested and ready for tomorrow’s work. Make going to bed at a reasonable hour a routine. Most five-year-olds still need eleven hours of sleep each night. Help your child bathe, brush teeth, and clear the bed. Then after your child is under the covers, a bedtime story may help him or her fall asleep.
- Serve a Nutritious Breakfast
Oatmeal, dry cereal, or toast; fruit or fruit juice; and milk are good choices for a healthy breakfast. After a long night’s sleep, the body is ready for refueling to start the day.