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Friday 29 December 2023

How to Help Your Child Develop the Pre-Literacy and Numeracy Skills They Need for Kindergarten

While kindergarten serves as the introduction to formal education for many young children, it isn’t always the initial place where a child receives their first learning experience. The home is often credited as a child’s first school because their parents—who are considered to be their first educators—provide them with a safe and nurturing learning environment where they can develop their motor, language, and imagination skills. Creating this environment is crucial during early childhood development, as it helps provide children with a strong foundation for academic success. It also gives parents the opportunity to equip their children with the pre-literacy and numeracy skills they need to prepare themselves for their kindergarten years.
how to help your child develop the pre-literacy and numeracy skills they need for kindergarten

Speaking, reading, writing, and counting numbers are just some of the important skills children must learn before they begin their educational journey at a  preschool in Singapore   or in any other country in the world. When they’re able to develop their pre-literacy skills and numeracy skills early, children can navigate the challenges of kindergarten with great certainty and cultivate a love for learning. They can also express themselves more clearly and engage with their peers and teachers more confidently. 

For a child to achieve good pre-literacy and numeracy skills, however, parents need to convey the lessons they want their little one to learn effectively so that they can absorb the knowledge in a manner they can understand. Parental facilitation  of early mathematics and reading skills plays a key role in the future of a child’s academic success, and as a parent, you want to ensure that you’re employing the right activities to provide your child with the best learning environment at home. If you’re looking for more ideas, here are some strategies you can implement to help improve your child’s pre-literacy and numeracy skills.

Create a Literacy-Rich Environment

One of the most effective ways to foster pre-literacy skills in your child is to create a literacy-rich environment at home. This means surrounding your child with opportunities to engage with written words and language on a daily basis. A literary-rich environment can lay the foundation for a positive attitude toward reading and support your child’s vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Consider creating a cozy reading nook that features a diverse collection of books that covers various topics, genres, themes, and reading levels. Providing them with this space can encourage your little one to read these books independently and find joy in this activity. You can also label common items around your house with their names as a way to introduce vocabulary to your child. This can help your child associate written words with the objects they represent.

Visit the Library

Taking your child to the library is a fantastic way to cultivate a love for books and reading. Libraries offer a diverse range of resources and activities that can significantly contribute to the development of pre-literacy skills. If your child is visiting the library for the first time, you can make their experience enjoyable and memorable by proposing that you look for books together. Letting your child observe how you search and select books can help them feel comfortable exploring the library, giving them the inspiration to choose books that capture their interest. 

After borrowing books, you can read to your child or encourage them to retell their stories in their own words so that they can express themselves verbally. While at the library, take the chance to teach them basic library etiquette, such as using a quiet voice and handling books with care. Instilling these behaviors early on sets the stage for positive and respectful interactions in shared spaces.

Engage in Maths Talk

Maths is all around us, and by discussing it openly, you can help your child build an affinity for mathematics. Incorporating maths talk into your everyday interactions, for instance, not only enhances their numeracy skills, but it also lays the groundwork for more complex mathematical concepts they will encounter in their formal education journey.

There are a lot of things you can do to make mathematical concepts more fun. One of the simplest ways is to inject mathematical concepts in casual conversations like discussing quantities, sizes, and shapes during everyday activities like mealtime, bath time, or playtime. You can also incorporate mathematical terms and mental math strategies into their daily routines. For example, if your child is tasked to set up the table, ask them to count the number of plates and cups they’ll place so that they can grasp the concept of numbers and their sequence. During playtime, you can use their toys to create scenarios where they can familiarize themselves with mathematical operations. Let’s say your child has two different types of block sets. Ask them to count how many blocks there are in each set before having them combine the blocks and counting the total. Remove some of the blocks, and ask them to count how many blocks are left. This is a simple way for your child to practice addition and subtraction. 

Practice Shape and Pattern Recognition

Shape and pattern recognition is a fundamental skill that provides a basis for understanding geometry. It also contributes to your child’s visual-spatial understanding, as well as enhancing their cognitive development and critical thinking skills. Here are practical ways to incorporate shape and pattern recognition into your child's daily activities:

Explore the Environment. Point out different shapes in the environment, both indoors and outdoors. Identify common shapes like circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles in everyday objects such as traffic signs, buildings, and household items.

Shape Sorting. Engage your child in sorting activities based on shapes. For example, you can have a collection of objects and ask them to group items that are of similar shapes.

Pattern Play. Introduce the concept of patterns by creating simple sequences using objects or colors. Start with basic AB patterns (e.g., red-blue-red-blue) and gradually increase complexity as your child becomes more comfortable.

Play with Puzzles. Choose puzzles that involve shape recognition. Jigsaw puzzles with distinct shapes or puzzles that require matching shapes help reinforce these skills in a playful way.

Establish a Routine

Establishing a routine that incorporates both pre-literacy and numeracy activities helps create a learning-friendly environment at home. The predictability of a routine provides a sense of security for your child and reinforces the importance of literacy and numeracy in their daily lives. It also gives you a way to track your child’s progress and celebrate their achievements. Moreover, you get to spend more time with them and strengthen the bond you share.

Preparing your child for kindergarten requires an active engagement on your part. Your involvement in creating a learning environment at home can have a profound impact on how your child develops their pre-literacy and numeracy skills. Additionally, ensuring that their early experience with learning is positive can start their lifelong love for exploration and discovery, which can lead them to academic success.