We all know that learning to read is important skill young children need to develop, but did you know that reading skills are directly correlated with success as an adult? Developing pre-reading skills improves your child’s phonological awareness, which is the ability to hear and manipulate sounds within spoken language. According to Ruth Rumack, creator of Alpha Mania Adventures, pre-reading skills have a significant impact on a child’s ability to read and understand.
“The stronger your phonological learning skills are as you develop – let's say before Grade 1 – the higher success rate you have to be a strong leader going forward,” says Rumack. “You can continue developing your phonological awareness skills as you age….and you can certainly remediate for children who do not have strong phonological awareness skills if they're after age five. But those really critical years are age three to five…their ears are like little sponges.”
So what are some ways you can help develop your child’s pre-reading skills?
- Practice singing the alphabet song together.
- Help your child recognize letters by reading with them often.
- Show your child the difference between uppercase and lowercase letters using fun games or flashcards.
For more on developing your child’s pre-reading skills, check out Rumack’s interview on the Preschool Podcast.