There are two sets of physical skills that lay the foundation to learn to read and write. Adults often take them for granted, since we mastered them a long time ago, but they must be learned by a young child before he or she learns to read.
- Visual Sequencing – The first skills involves the visual realm and it covers the left-to-right sequencing skills that are required for scanning words and sentences. This seems so obvious that we often take it for granted. But what is generally not realized is that reading is the only activity that ever demands this skill. For example, a mug is a mug regardless of whether the handle is facing to the left or the right. That’s not the case with letters (such as b-d) or words (such as net-ten, post-stop, item-time).Because this skill is never demanded in daily life, children are not prepared for it when they start dealing with the printed page.
- Motor Coordination – The other readiness skill involves the motor realm. Writing is an essential partner to reading-and writing requires that a child execute the fairly complex motor patterns needed to form clear, legible letters. While lots of effort goes into having young children learn to recognize letters, remarkably little effort goes into teaching them how to create those letters.This often creates difficulties for the children. For example, letters are commonly taught in alphabetical order with “a” first, “b” second and so on. But those letters also happen to be among the most difficult to construct-because they involve multiple, interconnecting strokes. By contrast, single stroke letters such as “o” and “l” are much easier.When the teaching is organized to start with the simplest and then to move on to the more complex letters, children easily master this realm.
Both of these readiness skills should be taught. Fortunately, they are easy to teach.
In our online program, the Reading Kingdom, we teach them in ways that are like games so the children enjoy the activity. If you’re looking for an excellent way to teach a child to read, check out our online reading program. It works with children at multiple levels including preschool reading, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade. Each level teaches all the skills and abilities required to be able to progress to the next level. With Reading Kingdom’s comprehensive 6-skill system children’s eagerness to learn will rise significantly even as they experience the lessons as fun reading games. Sign up for the Reading Kingdom’s 30 day free trial today.