By Joe Quirk
Demands on kids start so early! Soon after learning to walk, they are being scrutinized for their language skills. By four they sure do chatter a lot, but are they on the right track? How do we prepare them for kindergarten?
Children at this age are developing "metacognition," which is thinking about thinking. Building verbal fluency helps children develop emotional fluency. Well before they are writers, children should be storytellers.
Try this: Tell a short story about something that happened to you, and then ask your preschooler to tell a story about something she remembers. Don't worry about putting words on paper yet. Parents should model the fun of storytelling as if the family is sitting around a campfire.
Ask your kid to tell true stories with "remember when" questions: "Remember when you went on a class trip? And then what happened?" Inspire imaginative stories of possibility with "what if" questions: "What if you could fly? Where would you go?" If your preschooler is stuck on relaying facts only, ask: "How did that make you feel? And how do you think the other person felt?"
Next: Kindergarten »
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