About the speaker: Dr Valerie Muter is a consultant clinical psychologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital where she specialises in working with children with both developmental and neurologically based learning disorders. Visit Val's website at www.psykidz.co.uk.
Further information about this Talk
Visit Val's website at www.psykidz.co.uk.
To get hold of Valerie Muter's and Helen Likierman's latest book on how parents can prepare their child for school please click here.
Key Points Covered in This Talk:
- You don't need to teach your child to read before they start school but it is a good idea to build up their reading readiness. This ensures that when children do start learning to read at school they find learning to read that much easier.
- Three useful tips to get your child ready:
- Concepts of print (how books work): When you are reading with your child introduce them to how books work. Show them the front of the book, the title of the book, who wrote the book and get your child to turn the pages. Show them that sentences in books work from left to right. While you are reading point to the words as you read them. This will give your child a sense of what reading is actually about.
- Games with sounds in words: This builds up phonological or speech sound awareness. Children need to have phonological awareness so they can make sense of phonics in the early years of school. A lot of phonological awareness training can be done during the preschool years by playing sound based games such as I Spy or rhyming games (get your child to name as many words as possible that rhyme with a certain word or start with a certain sound).
- Recognising letters: You do not need to teach your child all the letters of the alphabet but it is useful that they learn the letters that are in their name, together with some of the most common vowels (A, E, O). Perhaps also teach your child some of the most common consonant sounds. You can introduce children to the alphabet and get them familiar with it by using plastic letters, alphabet books or even alphabet magnets on the fridge.