surf asks:

My 5 year old child is in grade K and his teacher said his literacy needs attention. What can I do as the parent?

In Topics: Helping my child with reading, Helping my child with writing
> 60 days ago



Apr 28, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Literacy refers to reading and writing.  There are some simple things you can do to help your child in those two areas and prepare him for first grade in the fall.

Read daily at least two books.  You can choose one and he can select the other.  By you selecting one of the books, you can expose him to all types of genres: fiction and nonfiction.  Chance are he will want his favorites to be reread over and over again.  This is ok.  Because when he is listening to the same story, he is learning other things and not worrying about comprehending it.  He might find words that rhyme, start with the same letter as his name, match the pictures or just observe you and what good readers do.  Because you will be reading a lot of books, I suggest going to the public library.

Have him tell you stories about things you have done together.  This could be trips to the bank, food store, etc.  When he does that, he is practicing reading and writing skills: retelling, sequencing events, and cause and effect.  You can point them out when he is finished.  For example, you might say something like, "That's great, you told me all of the events in the exact order that they happened." or "We have to pay for the food before we could take it home to cook."  Just mentioning those little things will help him in making connections.

Point out how you read a book, newspaper, flyer, phonebook, or anything else that is in print.  Be explicit when you explain your thought process.  For example if you are reading a book to him, point out that you start with the title, you notice the author's name and illustrator, you read from left to right, how you turn the pages, etc.  Also explain what kind of information you can get for the different materials.

Make connections to characters, events, problems and solutions.  This might happen when you are reading a book and the character asks in the same manner as you or your son.  Point that out.  It might also be in a similar situation, problem, or event.  If the book is about a birthday party, you can compare it to one of his birthday parties.  Discuss what you and he are reading.

I would find out from his classroom teacher what areas she suggests he need additional help with from you.  Ask her specific questions like:
What specific problems do you see with him in reading and in writing?
Are there any physical, mental or emotional developmental delays? (This might include hand-and-eye coordination, problem solving, speech, listening, etc.)
What approaches has she used when working with your son that work and don't work?
Don't be afraid to ask questions.  Go in with a list.

We put a lot of pressure on our kindergardeners today.  But, with your love and support, I bet your son is going to be just fine.  

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Additional Answers (2)

professor87 writes:
Always appreciate him whatever he reads or writs. Praise a child for his works he gets motivated to work better. Pl apply it and see the change.
> 60 days ago

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polinakry2015 writes:
I agree with the previous commentaries, you have to make reading be something exciting and discovering. It’s good to make a game out of your reading session. Check out the to find out what innovative techniques you can use. E.g. who will read faster (of course here you have to pretend to read slower that your child), or who will find more words with the same letter, or who will remember the most synonyms and antonyms to the words. When reading a story you can predict what will happen on the next page and do that writing, which also helps develop literacy skills.
46 days ago

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