Focus on Literacy

Many questions arise from parents as to what literacy skills are necessary for a child as they enter Kindergarten.  The purpose of the following information is to provide guidelines for parents to consider as that important entrance into Kindergarten approaches.  Please note that not all children develop at the same rate or time, nor do they master skills along a rigid continuum of reading.  What is important is to provide the opportunities and environment that fosters and supports the natural growth of each child. 

The following skills are recommended for children as they end their preschool years and enter into Kindergarten. These skills provide the foundation for learning to read and write:

  • Listen to and discuss a variety of stories;
  • Retell stories that have been read to them;
  • Choose a variety of books to enjoy for themselves;
  • Participate in rhyming and word games;
  • Write meaningful and familiar words, such as their own name and family member names (Mom, Dad, etc.);
  • Recognize and name at least ten letters; and
  • Identify and make some letter-sound matches.

Parents can prepare for successful Kindergarten learning by doing the following:

  • Talk with your child as you go about your everyday routines. Provide new language and ideas that are unfamiliar to your child.
  • Listen patiently to your child's questions and provide answers that help in having a conversation.
  • Read and reread stories. Talk about favorite parts and characters and make the connection between the print and the pictures.
  • Provide books that your child has access to on their own.
  • Play rhyming and word games with your child. Sing nursery rhymes or make up songs with rhyming.
  • Provide opportunities for children to draw and print, using markers, crayons and pencils. Have your child share their writing and drawings with you and other family members.
  • Limit TV watching. Use that time to engage in talking, reading or creative playtime. Take a walk, go sledding or just look at the clouds while you enjoy each other's company.