In the previous article we spoke about the need to boost your child’s literacy from the day they are born. Starting good reading habits and making learning and adventure will help kids stay fired up about attending school and learning in a group setting. To build on the positive habits once your child is out of preschool, there are a few activities you can indulge in to help increase overall literacy and academic performance.

Kindergarten
At this age, children will start to have more structured instruction that moves away from picture based forms to more of the written type. Chances are your child will have mastered the memorization and identification the alphabet, but that doesn’t mean that you should abandon letters. Keep several books that have single pages dedicated to each letter on hand. Ask you child to point to letters and make their sounds, this increases sound formation in improves literacy building blocks. It may sound like a simple exercise, but each English letter has on average over five different sounds! Allowing your child to show off their skill build their self esteem which leads to more confidence in the classroom. When your child is confident in school, they are more likely to participate in education actives and increase their overall performance. Reading to your child isn’t only a good way to bond, but it’s a good way to practice literacy. Humans learn most things through repetition, so the more you read and point to words, the faster your child will be able to identify them alone. If your child has a favorite book, don’t hesitate to read it to them over and over, when they are enjoying a subject, their brains are able to absorb information much easier. If you tire of the same story, be innovative and make up new part to the book that correlates with the pictures. This will also help children to build their creative thinking skills which will later help them in their problem solving skills.

First Graders
First graders are full of natural confidence and a bit of newborn freedom. They are no longer “babies” and are tasked with homework, in class assignments as well as small projects. Many kids at this age also have after school activities that support their in class activities. Pictures books are still a good choice for this age range, but opt for ones with longer strings of sentences. Encourage your first grader to point or say words out loud that they recognize, this means you will have to read at a slower pace to allow them to say the words before you, but after a while, they will be on the path to higher literacy. For added fun, have your child read the words they know when you are out and about. For example, if your child can recognize the word “chicken” ask them to point that word out to you every time they see it. If you pass by a Kentucky Fried Chicken, they will alert you to the presence of the word. Respond in a delighted fashion regardless of how often they alert you, this give them a sense of accomplishment and reinforces that learning is fun.