Preschool programs introduce reading to children in a variety of ways, using interactive activities, learning games, reading activities, and reinforcement activities. Preschool reading programs also include vocabulary development, reading comprehension, and writing applications. Preschool teachers also conduct guided reading with children, helping them with any words they may not understand.
Here are some of the components of a good preschool reading program:
- Foundational Literacy, (activities that promote early literacy skills) include interactive storybook reading, games that help children identify the letters of the alphabet, and interactive experiences with language and print through poems and nursery rhymes.
- Read-Alouds – a systematic method of reading aloud helps children understand the book being read and teaches vocabulary and concepts.
- Repetition – A story book is read several times in slightly different ways to increase children’s analytical skills as they answer carefully crafted questions about the book.
- Alphabet Knowledge – children are taught how to recognize upper and lower case letters and associate them with the sounds they make.
- Phonetic Awareness – children learn to manipulate the sounds that make up language, including recognizing sounds in words and matching those sounds to letters.
- Print Awareness – children are taught to understand the features of books and print, including how printed words run from left to right and top to bottom and the parts of a book.
- Rhyming books – Children enjoy books with rhyming patterns and find the use of nonsense rhymes playful and fun.
- Books with a variety of characters – fantastic characters, like talking animals, build on children’s love of pretend play.
Preschool instructors read to children every day, ask them questions about the reading material, play rhyming games, encourage children to sound out short words, and encourage them to memorize a few sight words each day. They read a variety of books and make a game out of guessing the genre.
The magical process of reading involves teaching children to turn letter symbols into meaningful language. Literacy is the single most important skill children learn at school, so in preschool they are taught to translate visual symbols into speech sounds to master the difficult skills of comprehension.
Educational Playcare’s preschool programs include a strong reading and early literacy program that introduces your child to books and language skills.