What reading experts say:
Reading and writing go together. Children learn a lot about reading when they understand that spoken words can be written and read by others. Talk about why it is important to communicate a message through written text.
Model purposeful writing. Let your child see you writing a shopping list, a letter, an email, a reminder note. Learning to write letters and words can help your child begin to make the visual discriminations necessary to learn to read.
What good readers know:
Good readers enjoy using spoken as well as written words to communicate. They enjoy writing their name and making lists using their newfound writing skills. They enjoy writing letters using not only pencils and crayons but also creating them with clay, food, chenille sticks and blocks.
What parents can do to help children Grow Up Reading™:
Write about going to school. Use photos from magazines or drawings to picture what the first day of kindergarten will be like. Write captions. Have your child "read" the story to you. Write a to-do list to prepare for the first day of kindergarten: buy school supplies, write name on supplies, choose what to eat for breakfast, practice saying your address and phone number.
Keep your child busy while you're waiting at a restaurant or in a doctor's office. Pull out some coins. Count them, and sort them by color and size. Play "I Spy" with the coins: "I spy a coin worth 10 cents."
Read five books from the "Writing" booklist.
Go to a Library Summer Reading program.
More Great Books to Read(click on a title to check for availability at the Library)
- Promote letter knowledge and eye-hand coordination. Print your child's first name at the top of a piece of paper. Attach it to a wall at your child's eye level.
- Each morning have your child "sign in" for the day. He can practice writing his name just below the printed name or trace over the printed letters.
- Use other fine motor skills such as cutting, drawing, scribbling, or using tweezers to sort items. These all help hand eye coordination and increase finger strength for writing mobility.
- Label items, such as toy bins, around your home. Have your child draw pictures to represent what belongs in each bin; label each picture and tape it to the bin. Your child will know where toys belong and can make the connection between objects and written words. As you write grocery and other lists, give your child paper and have her create a list, too. Your child can draw pictures of items and you can help write the word next to each picture. This makes important connections between printed letters and spoken words.