Getting Ready for School: How to Prepare Your Child to Learn to Read!

Speech Therapy and LiteracySummer is a great time for children to relax and enjoy a break from the pressure of school. But it’s also a great opportunity to bolster academic skills that your child may need work on. In early education, learning to read is a main focus. But literacy starts much sooner than when a child reads their first book in school. There are experiences you can provide for your child at home that can help them prepare by developing critical skills which will help them to learn to read more easily when the time comes. Helping children to develop these skills is essential: children who don’t have early literacy experiences before starting school typically start behind other children and frequently remain behind. How can you help your child get on the right track? Take a look at these three tips for developing early literacy skills:

Build Sound Awareness: Help your child to notice the smaller sounds that make up words and learn to manipulate them. Rhyming games are a great way to draw attention to how some words are alike and different. You can also practice taking the sounds of words apart and putting them together to make nonsense words, or making lists of words that all start with the same sound.

Build Letter Knowledge: Learning that letters are different from each other and each one has a different name and sound is essential for early literacy. Provide your child with toys that include the letters of the alphabet, and point out the sounds that each letter makes. Have your children compare letters and decide if they are the same and different. Let them gain additional, multisensory experience by tracing letters with their finger, or making letters with clay, food, or even their own body.

Read to Your Child: Reading age-appropriate books to your child not only helps to increase their interest in reading, it also increases their awareness that written words have meaning. Help build this awareness not only through story reading, but also drawing attention to print in other situations. When you are out with your child, point out signs or other text and read it aloud. When at a restaurant, instead of just telling your children what food is available, look at the menu together, and run your finger along the print as you read. Little experiences like this can go a long way towards helping a child make a connection between print and meaning.

Do you think your child may need help developing early speech and language or literacy skills? Give us a call! For information on our New York based Speech-Language Pathology services, please call Speech Associates of New York today at (212) 308-7725 or visit our website at and find out how our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help!

© 2015, Speech Associates of New York – All Rights Reserved

Want to learn more? If you have any questions or would like to know more about speech-language therapy, give me a call at (212) 308-7725 or send an e-mail to I’d be happy to chat and answer any questions you may have.

© 2015, Speech Associates of New York – All Rights Reserved

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