Children are learning from the moment they are born: they will absorb whatever we can teach them. Even reading to baby in the womb is thought to have a positive effect. Apart from being a calming influence on mum it may even help baby develop a love of books!
The old adage ‘communication is a two-way thing’ is true also for preschoolers. Early and effective communication such as talking to preschoolers whilst walking in the park, or shopping for groceries will arouse his interest, keep his attention and inevitably help him begin to recognize letters, sounds and words. Naming colors, describing birds, animals, cars and buses – it all helps and it does not matter who hears! Preschoolers will store up this information. Providing them with paints, crayons and crayons they will offer them an opportunity to make their own colorful interpretation of the day. Making pictures is a precursor to writing as the preschooler learns to hold drawing and writing tools appropriately.
It makes no difference whether preschoolers are raised in the country or the city they will tend to ‘read’ anything that comes to their attention. In the city it may be street sign-age that catches the eye, for example ‘ONE WAY STREET’ or ‘NO ENTRY’, whilst country children are more apt to learn to recognize sheep, cows and tractors.
The next step is to teach them to love books. Children usually love the library. Given the right opportunity they will choose their own books and be able to identify all of those things they see as part of their daily routine.
Teaching preschoolers to read and write is about equipping them with the experience, information and tools to do the job.
Another idea on how to teach preschoolers to read and write is to encouraging them to ‘write’ letters to family and friends. An added bonus is that they maintain links with t relatives and friends who they may not be able to see very often. These first letters will be full of scribbles and strange pictures but Granny will love them so much that she will probably thrill your preschooler by replying with a real letter through the mail.
Adults and siblings are role model for preschoolers and it is important that all are positive role models. Preschoolers who ‘hang out’ around adults who enjoy reading and writing will want to have a go themselves. This means encouraging preschoolers early attempts at recognizing, marking, reading and writing. Lack of understanding and mocking has a devastating effect and the child is likely to either give up or make very slow progress.
Some say that reading is caught not taught. So start throwing some letters to your preschooler and chances are they will soon learn to catch.