As parents most of us want to do the best job we can. However, it is difficult to know how you can help your child especially when they are very young. Most of us were raised with the mentality that the responsibility for education lies with the schools.
I have been surprised to find how young children are when they begin learning advanced concepts and how important parents’ involvement is.
There are many publications available for parents with respect to teaching children. One skill where a lot of assistance is available is reading.
What skills should children have developed by various ages? No question is harder than that regarding kindergarten.
Whatever a child’s exposure or experience, when they enter kindergarten they are entering “real-time education” and the clock starts ticking about how well and what they will learn.
The partnership between The National Institute for Literacy and government education publications has yielded a wonderful series called “The Shining Star Series.” This particular series focuses on individual years of reading maturation and how parents can help get their children to the right place.
The booklet we’re looking at is “Shining Stars Kindergarten Learn to Read.” If you follow the links provided you will find how to get the publication for free and that includes the cost of postage.
The booklet has several parts that help parents, not by giving “do this”; “do that” commands, rather allowing the parent to use their own methodology; giving the parent the opportunity to think “outside the box.”
The publication begins with a story as relayed by a parent and how they feel reading the story. Further it tells about how the children they are reading to feel about stories and what each one individually gets from it.
After reading the story, which may take a couple of different sessions, the booklet provides activities to perform.
Among these activities are rhyming words, defining words and analyzing synonyms for words. As an example a child may be asked to rhyme the words “stock” and “mock.” This may have been built from “dog” and “frog.”
Along with these activities is another very short story. This story reinforces the activities as far as rhyming and defining words however, the questions become more abstract. The parent may ask how a character may be feeling about what is going on around them.
After reading both stories, the child has had an opportunity to learn new words, to rhyme words and to compare words with similar or the same meaning. Further, they have had a chance to identify character’s feelings as it relates to the story.
This series is so valuable because of a “checklist” that has been developed for each age group defined. This tells a parent what “average” is for that age as relates to skills so they can measure them.
The kindergarten checklist includes such points as “My child listens carefully to books read aloud.” “My child knows that spoken words are made of separate sounds.” My child can sound out certain letters.” My child uses what he knows about letters and sounds to write words.”These are just a few of the 19 points listed that will give the parent a great way to measure where their child stands.
Today it is easy to fall behind quickly if a child doesn’t have the basics to build on. It’s a fact that no one can teach them like their parents.
This program is a wonderful opportunity.
“Shining Stars Kindergartners Learn to Read,” National Institute for Literacy