Greetings from the other side of summer! It’s been a while since we’ve checked in, but that’s not for lack of trying. It’s been a busy couple of months at Book Nook Enrichment. We had an amazing time with our students, engaging in storytelling and exploring our imaginations throughout our summer program. But all good things must come to an end, and new beginnings are always right around the corner… like the start of the school year, for example! In just a few short weeks, we’ll be opening our doors once more to students new and old, and we can’t wait.
The lead up to a new school year is always a challenge, albeit an exciting one. Preparation is key, and organization is a must — both in ensuring our classrooms are tidy, open spaces conducive to learning and that our lessons are ready for students of all levels. We welcome children from 18 months to 7 years old into our literacy studios, and having such different age groups requires an understanding of what each child needs, and how best to support and encourage their individual growth. As our students get older, we begin to introduce reading — which is truly a personal journey, and something that everyone experiences at their pace. Because of this, we bring independent reading into play early on with our Kinder Hoots tier. Kinder Hoots — ranging in age from 4 ½ to 6 years old — continue to work on handwriting and grip, but also on reading and more advanced comprehension skills. Inviting them to explore this aspect of their education before heading to kindergarten allows for their confidence to thrive early on — which makes children more eager to continue reading on their own.
But how do you help instill confidence? What practices can be laid in place to ensure future success and an overall joy when it comes to learning? As always, we have some tips.
Ease into it. Many parents realize that their child has started recognizing words and blending sounds independently and get very excited — and we understand! It’s a big step in a child’s education. But taking this step and turning it into a leap can often deter children from wanting to continue on their own. They realize it’s a skill to be learned rather than, say, a game to be played and it puts them off of it, which puts them several steps back. Encourage them to continue this discovery process on their own, but don’t turn reading time into an extension of the school day. Allowing them to come to these places on their own will only help and build their excitement and confidence with reading.
Let them in on certain tricks of the trade. Something as simple as helping them remember sight words or introducing digraphs can incite an eagerness in a child. These types of tips can feel like little secrets when it comes to reading… why does “sh” make that sound?, why can’t we sound out the word “the?”, and so on. They’re pieces of the process that are more straight forward than the act of reading itself. Give them those tidbits to hold onto so certain aspects of said process can run smoothly.
Encourage re-reading. Reading a book over and over again allows children to build fluency, and with fluency comes a reading experience that is less stalled. Going over the same passages more than once gives kids the chance to try again on words they struggled to decode the first time. And when children feel that they’ve gotten the hang of one book, they begin to realize that the same will happen with another. This practice is huge when it comes to strengthening the belief in themselves that they are capable. But rereading also allows children to more deeply understand the material and story structure itself. It is beneficial all around.
Book Nook Enrichment’s Kinder Hoots classes begin at 43 months and continue through 60 months. It is a great supplement to a child’s educational journey, and provides the stepping stones needed for success in kindergarten and beyond. Getting acquainted with reading is just the beginning for these students. Interested in learning more? Check out our website and inquire within!