How Parents can Help at Home
Home Reading Guidelines for Parents of Kindergarten Students
The extensive research done in the past 20 years on pre-reading identifies skills that need to be developed in kindergarten. Three have been identified as critical to the reading process:
a) Phonological awareness
b) Understanding of print concepts
c) Knowledge of letter names
These skills are teachable at home and at school.
A phoneme is a single speech sound that carries no meaning by itself. Phonemes are the sounds we “hear” in words. Phonemic awareness is the understanding that speech is made up of a sequence of sounds (phonemes) that are recombined to form other words. It is also the ability to identify and manipulate those sounds. Phonemic awareness is the best predictor of learning to read between kindergarten and second grade. Phonics means the relationship between sounds and their symbols. In phonics instruction, students learn that phonics is about the letters we “see” in words and use in reading and writing. Phonics is also the method of instruction used to teach those relationships.
There is a strong correlation between a child’s phonemic awareness development and his/her success with phonics. There are six components of phonemic awareness taught in kindergarten and first grade. Included are some activities for home reinforcement.
Rhyme is considered to be the most fundamental of the phonemic awareness skills. In this subtest, children are asked to provide a word that rhymes with the word given.
Example: Tell me a word that rhymes with dig. __________ (example: big, pig, tig)
Note: Answers that are nonsense words are considered correct.
Home Activities to Reinforce Rhyming
Read nursery rhymes to your child over and over until he/she can recite them.
Read rhyming books, overemphasizing rhyming words
After repeated exposure to rhyming books, read a line, then pause and ask
child to fill in the missing rhyming word.
Use the same procedure with songs.
Example: Jack and Jill Went up the __________.
Play rhyming games constantly.
Example: What rhymes with blue? __________ (shoe, you, too)
Key to Pronunciation
/f/ /a/ /t/ Letters between / / indicate the sounds.
f – a – t Letters with dashes between indicated the letter names.
2. Beginning Sounds
In this subtest, children are asked to provide a word that begins with the same sound as the word given.
Examples: Tell me a word that begins with the same sound as fun. /f/
Tell me a word that begins with the same sound as man. /m/
Home Activities for Beginning Sounds
· Read books that emphasize alliteration (use of phrases and sentences whose words all begin with the same sound). Many alphabet books use alliteration. Emphasize the beginning sounds when you read these.
L – Lovely Laura
N – Nosy Nancy
P – Precious Peter
· Ask your child for a word that begins like his/her name.
Example: Funny Frank Jumping Jennifer
· Play beginning sounds games constantly.
Example: Give me a word that starts like game.
3. Blending Onsets and Rimes
A rime is the vowel and the consonant/s that follow the first consonant/s:
/m/ /ap/ /bl/ /ock/
/h/ /ouse/ /fr/ /og/
In this subtest, the children are asked to add a sound to the beginning of a word.
Example: What word do I have if I add the /s/ sound to the beginning /eat/? (seat)
What word do I have if I add the /f/ sound to the beginning of /ast/? (fast)
Home Activities to Reinforce Blending Onsets and Rimes
· Lots of word play, beginning with rhyming sets.
Example: I’m thinking of a word that rhymes with man. It can make you cool. (fan)
I’m thinking of a word that rhymes with cool. You swim in it. (pool)
· Make sure the child understands the concept “beginning.”
· Progress to items just like the above examples. If I added /b/ to the beginning of /et/ what word would I have? __________ (bet)
4. Segmenting Onsets and Rimes
This is a very challenging task for young children and may require repeated practice.
In this subtest, the children are asked to take away a sound from the beginning of a word.
Example: What word would I have if I took the /t/ sound from the beginning of take? (ake)
Home Activities for Segmenting Onsets and Rimes
· Make up questions just like the example.
Example: What word would I have if I took the /j/ sound from the beginning of your name Jason? (ason)
5. Phoneme Blending
This task is highly predictive of success in learning to read and is very challenging. The children must manipulate sounds (phonemes) which are abstract to them.
In this subtest, children are asked to put together individual sounds to make a word.
Example: What word would I have if I put together the sounds /b/ /a/ /d/? (Be sure to pause between each sound so the child has to do the blending.) (bad)
· Home Activities for Phoneme Blending First begin with compound words and ask your child: What word do I have if I put together cup and cake? (cupcake) Butter and fly? (butterfly)
· Next, progress to activities with two syllable words.