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Just like physical development, cognitive development also plays a key role in your child’s life. One of the biggest indicators of this is the love for reading. This is in turn tied to their understanding of letters, sounds, pictures, stories, colours, etc. and putting them all together to form a sensible mental picture. So, is your child developing normally when it comes to his reading skills?
For 3-4 year old pre-schoolers, this checklist will tell you if your child is developing reading skills appropriately for his age.
At This Age, Your Child Should be Able to
- Predict simple plot points in a story when you are reading to him
- Turn pages in a book while holding it
- Name some of the letters, especially those in his name
- Match the letter sounds to the letter – e.g. monkey to the “m” sound
- Display interest toward trying to read on his own and asking you to read out to him as well
This is What You Should Do to Encourage Reading
1. Reinforce his Letter and Letter Sounds Training
Starting with his name and then moving on to the rest of the alphabet is a good plan. This needs to be done every day.
2. Match Household Objects to Letter Sounds
There’s so much at home that allows this. Your keys have the “k” sound while his teddy bear starts with the “t” sound.
3. Have a Reading Session Daily
This involves both of you reading out to each other. It is okay to make errors. What is important is learning from them.
4. Expose Your Child to the Huge World of Books
Show your child that the world of books is vast, like in a library or bookstore. Point out different types of books to him and tell him about the stories there are in them.
5. Keep the Letters Practice on Even Outdoors
Signboards of shops, ice-cream flavours and names of animals– letters can be such fun things! Point these out to your child so he knows he is surrounded by letters and wants to unravel them himself.
When to Seek Expert Help
It is possible that your pre-schooler is facing reading challenges due to a deeper problem such as defective vision, a speech delay, etc. If your child keeps confusing letters and numbers and is unable to match them to sounds, even after repeated practise, you should seek expert help. The doctor will be able to suggest the right therapy and exercises to fix this. Rest assured, this is a very common and easily rectified problem.
Very soon, you will have a little reader at home who will books of his own and repeat facts and stories to you with unparalleled enthusiasm. Enjoy this time and keep encouraging the habit. Reading is a glorious habit which will serve your kids throughout their life!