By Carol Lloyd
Sometimes kindergartners skip an important step when learning to read— a crucial step that, if missed, makes reading harder later. In teacher speak, it’s called phonemic awareness, and it means learning that every word is a combination of sounds. Before kids learn to sound out words on a page, it’s best if they first get that every spoken word — big, small, or silly — is made up of sounds.
Do this: Practice breaking some spoken words into sounds. “What sounds are in cat?” you might ask your child. “Let’s say the word slowly together. Cat: kuh-a-tuh. Cat.” Don’t even worry about connecting this to the spelling of the word. (That’s another lesson.) After you’ve practiced with a few easy words, try some harder ones like breakfast or window. Again, don’t worry about linking this to a spelling or reading lesson. The important thing is for your child to feel confident in his ability to hear the sounds in words.
Read more about your kindergartner and reading.
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