4 Ways To Encourage Language Development And Kindergarten Readiness
A study from the U.S. Department of Education found 6 out of 10 kindergartners were not prepared for school. This means 40% of children are starting school at a disadvantage and behind their peers. Encouraging language development and literacy in your child are key in making sure they are ready. Here are four tips to help them prepare.
1. Talk To Your Child
When your child is in utero, they can hear the sounds of their mother's body, and they can hear the sound of their mother's voice. In fact, by the third trimester, a fetus can recognize their mother's voice.
Communication should not stop or regress once they are born. Parents often make the mistake of talking gibberish, cooing, and babbling to their newborn rather than speaking normally. Baby talk will not build your child's vocabulary, and it will likely stunt their language development instead.
2. Read To Your Child
Children should be read to from the moment they are born. Parents often run out of things to say to their baby, especially if they are home with them all day. Reading a book out loud relieves some of this strain. It also exposes children to new words they may not normally hear in your daily conversations with them.
Don't be afraid to use an animated voice, varying your pitch and tone, or bringing the different characters in a story to life. This helps children to eventually realize they are being read a story. Read an assortment of books. They needn't all be books that are specifically for children. Choose fiction, poetry, nonfiction, classics—whatever interests Mom will interest baby if it is read with exuberance.
3. Dance Together
Listen to music and develop dance routines and hand movements. Putting nursery rhymes and movement to music can help a child learn the different types of syntax the English language has. This activity also sets the stage for using different methods to learn. For example, when they are older and need to remember something, they may resort to putting the complicated list to a melody.
4. Enroll Them In A Preschool Program
If you want to ensure your child is ready not only academically but socially as well, enrolling them in a preschool readiness program will help considerably. A preschool setting is typically less rigorous than their first year of formal school. Preschool will give your child the opportunity to adjust to being away from you, interact with others, and continue learning and expressing themselves.
To learn more, contact your local preschool programs.