Reading is a gateway to future success in school and in life. Strong literacy skills are closely linked to the probability of having a good job, decent earnings, self-improvement, and access to training opportunities. Individuals with weak literacy skills are more likely to be unemployed or, if employed, to be in jobs that pay little or that offer poor hours or working conditions.
It is crucial to start early if we are to develop the skills our children need to be successful. The National Institute for Literacy identified the five most important skills to learn in the early years as: Alphabet knowledge, Phonological awareness, Rapid automatized naming, Writing letters and phonological memory. Here are ways you can use technology to help improve these precursor literacy skills:
1) Alphabet Knowledge. The ability to know about the names and sounds associated with printed letters. Use the keyboard to lead your child into recognizing letters of the alphabet. To make it extra exciting for your child, make the teaching session seem like a game. Propose a race in typing the ABC (in order). Let him beat you by a split second to motivate your child!
2) Phonological Awareness. The ability to detect and manipulate the auditory aspects of a spoken word. Sound out the letters as your child uses the keyboard. Start by letting your child type out her name and the names of your family members. Let her spell simple words as you sound out the letters, like M-A-T or D-O-G.
3) Phonological Memory. The ability to remember content of spoken language for a short period of time. Download an application with nursery rhymes and children’s songs. Help your child memorize these rhymes. As your child becomes more familiar with sounds and rhymes, open up a word processing program and write a simple word, such as NET. Let your child type as many rhyming words as possible (GET, LET, PET). Make finer distinctions and build new words by inserting or changing sounds. Focus on left to right eye movement as you rhyme, since both of these skills will be a big help with reading readiness.
4) Writing letters. Download a drawing or painting app. Drawing is a precursor to writing. Ask him to draw what he did that day. Let him dictate the story to you. Let him sign his name on his art work. As he becomes more familiar with the alphabet letters, download apps that teach your child letter tracing.
5. Rapid Automatized Naming. The ability to quickly name aloud colors, objects, pictures, and letters presented in random. Download applications that present symbols and illustrations to your child. Observe y how quickly your child is able to identify these representations. Speed may be a good indicator of reading competence.
Use what technology today offers to your child’s advantage. With the latest gadgets and kiddie apps, helping your child learn the essential skills for school has never been this fun, cool, and easy! Get valuable information, tips, and strategies on raising children in the digital age. Click here for FREE UPDATES