I think it's assumed that you have to spend a ton of time preparing your little one to be a reader. I'm here to tell you that's just not the case.
In fact, one of the key skill sets every child needs before he or she can read is phonological awareness. And guess what?
Phonological awareness activities only take a minute to do.
If you spend just one minute every day playing a phonological awareness activity, your little one will be on the road to reading.
Why is phonological awareness so valuable to reading? Let me break it down backwards:
If you want to comprehend what you read, you have to have word knowledge and automaticity/fluency.
If you want to have fluency, you must be able to decode sounds in words.
If you want to be able to decode sounds in words, you must know the code- the sounds (phonemes) for each letter or combination of letters (graphemes).
If you want to know the code, you must know the sounds (phonemes) and letters (alphabetic knowledge) of our language.
Phonemes are the smallest unit of sound. For example, the word 'chat' has three phonemes-/ch/ /a/ /t/. Having phonemic awareness means you can hear, distinguish, and manipulate sounds. Phonemic awareness falls under the umbrella of phonological awareness, along with hearing words, rhyme/rime, and syllabication.
Phonological awareness is so valuable because it is the foundation for understanding the spoken sounds in our language. If our littles don't have that, reading will always be a struggle.
Moral of my story, it just takes one minute each day to build one of the biggest literacy muscles your little one needs for reading and writing success.
Set the alarm, one minute each day. You can find activities here. I recommend: Count the Words, Two-Halves, Syllable Clap, all the rhyming activities, Tugboat Speedboat, and What's the First Sound?
Trust me, this daily minute now will pay off ten times more in the future. And remember, you're their first teacher, make it meaningful. XO- Kristie