Family First: Reading

Posted: Wednesday, March 3, 2010 --- 5:40 a.m.

In our family first - did you know that 37% of children in our country start school without basic pre-reading skills?

That's according to the experts from "Parenting" magazine.

And that's why events like "Read Across America" day are so crucial.

It's a celebration of Dr. Suess' birthday and dozens of people like me had the honor of reading to kids at school.

The kids in Miss Rothering and Mr. Woz's second and third grade class at Olson elementary in Madison were excited about books, proud to tell me what they like to read.

But the study on kids who don't read *before they enter school shows that the children who enter kindergarten without pre-reading skills never catch up.

Here are the simple steps to success when you read to a young child.

First, experts say to focus on print concepts - showing that you read words and not pictures, plus the direction you go in when you read.

Number two is alphabet knowledge. The letters and the sounds are key.

Three is phonological awareness, preschoolers need to understand the sounds in words like the "c" sound in cat.

Number four - oral language.

Talk to your child about what you're reading and ask basic questions about the story line.

Finally, writing. Experts say to encourage any drawing or scribbling from the very beginning.

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