Getting Kindergarten Ready: Must-Have Pre-Reading Skills for Kindergarten - Tips from a Speech Langu

Hey there parents of future kindergarteners! Ready to dive into the exciting world of pre-reading skills your little ones need before stepping into the classroom? Here’s the lowdown on what typical schools will expect and how you can make sure your child is all set. 

1. Let's Talk Sounds! 
Okay, so before kids start reading, they've got to know their sounds, right? We call this "phonological awareness." It's about playing with sounds, like rhyming words, squishing sounds together, and breaking words into parts. Think nursery rhymes, clapping out syllables, and making up rhyming games. Fun, right? 

2. Words Galore! 
Imagine reading a book and not knowing half the words – not much fun, huh? That's where vocabulary comes in. Kids need to know and understand words, which happens when you talk with them, read books aloud, and show them the world around. The more words, the merrier! 

3. Letters and How They Work 

Before diving into reading, kids need to get cozy with letters and how they work. This means knowing letters have sounds, and they make up words. Help your child spot letters everywhere – on signs, cereal boxes, you name it! Plus, show them how we read from left to right and top to bottom – it's like following a treasure map. 

4. Let's Get Phonemic! 
Wait, phonemic what? Phonemic awareness is like super hearing for sounds in words. Kids should be able to play with sounds, like saying the first sound in "cat" or swapping sounds in "dog" to make "log." Silly games that make them giggle while learning – yes, please! 

5. Stories, Stories, Stories 
Who doesn't love a good story? Kindergarten's all about that! Kids need to know how stories work – beginning, middle, and end. So, chat with them about their day, ask them about the stories you read together, and watch their storytelling skills bloom. 

6. Let's Spell It Out 
Letters? Check. Sounds? Check. Now it's time to match letters with sounds. Like, knowing "C" says "kuh" and "S" says "sss." Make it a game – find objects that start with a certain sound and give each other a high-five when you nail it! 

7. Listen Up! 
Good readers are great listeners too. Can your kiddo follow simple directions? Chat about what happens in a story? Engage in chit-chats? If so, you're on the right track. Listening games and story time will make them listening champs! 

In a Nutshell 
Off to kindergarten? High five! Pre-reading skills are your child's passport to reading success. Get cozy with sounds, words, letters, stories, and listening. You're their guide, their playmate, their first teacher – so let the pre-reading adventures begin! 
If you have more questions about any of these skills or want to get your future reader’s pre-reading skills checked out, working with a speech language pathologist is a great place to start! Call our office to schedule an evaluation or consult!