Is Your Child Reading Ready?
With so much focus on reaching milestones, and learning more quickly,are we setting our children up for an academic uphill struggle?
From the day they are born we seem to be using very available moment to teach our children sounds,letters,words, using a variety of sources such as alphabet toys,letter cards,word books,iPads and computer games.
A child’s brain from pre-birth is developing and learning everyday and the best kind of attention,nurturing,and stimulation that parents/caregivers can provide is touching,holding,comforting,rocking,singing and talking. Infants and children who are conversed with,read to and engaged in lots of verbal interaction may show more advanced linguistic skills than children who are not verbally engaged by their caregivers.
Children are only reading ready when they have developed their vestibular and proprioceptive sense (sensory-motor)-without this more children especially boys may be labelled with attention deficit disorders, and challenges with visual and auditory processing.
The vestibular sense means our sense of balance, and our proprioceptive system is our sense of the body in space. Is your child able to do these activities and movements?
- Balance on one foot and count backwards without losing balance
- Balance on one foot for seconds with eyes closed
- Walk forwards and count five steps
- Walk on a balance beam
- Skip – with cross-lateral arm/leg
- Jump rope by themselves
- Sit still without fidgeting on a chair for 15 minutes.
If children are unable to do these then their sensory-motor systems may not yet be integrated and they may have difficulty focusing their eyes,focusing attention,listening,sitting still and remembering letters and numbers.
How to Help Your Child Become Reading Ready:
Gross-motor Activities such as walking,climbing,running,rolling down hills,hopping,skipping,hanging from monkey bars,catching a ball,playing ball games,clapping,bike riding,jump rope, carrying shopping bags.
Fine-motor Activities such as drawing,painting,sewing,cutting with scissors,picking weeds,knitting,threading beads,old fashioned games,’Jack Straws’.
Encouraging participation in healthy,rhythmic, and non-competitive activities will help our children develop the connections between their brain and bodies, which will later enable learning for reading,writing,spelling,numerical skills, and creative and imaginative thinking.