Caring for Little Minds by Teaching the ABC’s of Literacy
Caring for preschoolers can be one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs imaginable. A devoted, loving caregiver spends time meeting the physical demands of an active young child by creating and feeding healthy meals and snacks, teaching toilet skills (and cleaning up the accidents) and encouraging active play indoors and out. The caregiver meets the children’s emotional needs by helping them get along with their peers and giving them warm hugs when they feel lonely. A child care provider helps develop preschool kids’ natural talents by letting them make art, tumble on mats and play and pound on musical instruments. All of these things are important, and they each make a big impact in school readiness for young children.
Another role that preschool and child care providers have is promoting literacy in young children. Many preschools offer a curriculum that sets the child on a course to reading, but even outside of the structured format, providers can work lessons in literacy into the child’s day.
Perhaps the easiest and most common way to promote literacy is to read to children. In a large group of preschoolers, gathering them in a circle for story time is ideal. With just one or two children, the caregiver can share a couch to read a story.When children listen to an adult reading, they pick up on the cadence of sentence structure, which will help them read full sentences correctly someday.
Another common way to promote literacy in preschoolers is to teach the alphabet song. Kids love music, and they memorize facts easily by singing them. Just imagine trying to learn the twenty-six letters of the alphabet by speaking them one at a time. What a challenge that would be, but when set to the familiar tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” the ABCs are quickly memorized.
With older preschoolers, the care provider can teach letter sounds by incorporating simple lessons into regular conversation with the children. When a child picks up a ball, the caregiver can mention that the word ball starts with the letter B, and make the B sound. Alphabet cheers are another great way to teach letter sounds. For instance:B saysb.Bear at the beach, b, b, b.Young children love the cheers, and will gladly chant them to anyone who will listen.
Trust your childcare provider to meet all of your preschool child’s needs, including promoting a love of reading. Visit this website to learn more about the role of preschool and child care providers in promoting literacy with Carden method education in Sunnyvale.
Jade has years of experience in dealing with children and also as a teacher. You can find her thoughts at: creative-learning-for-preschoolers.blogspot.com
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