Making characters from Supertato
The first topic when your child starts school, is based on stories. These are usually familiar stories that children like to hear over and over. It will help your child if they can retell some stories, and know some of their own favourites. This is an important early-reading skill. At school, there are many opportunities to read each day and there will be a 'class book.' In addition, we use the Oxford Reading Scheme, which is a graded scheme, becoming more difficult in terms of vocabulary and story line. You can help your child by practising their reading by listening to them and by reading to them. (You will discover that your child will love you reading to them all the way through school and it is one of the most important things you can do for them. See Reading with Older children.)
You will hear about 'phonic' lessons which teach children about the alphabet and letter sounds that you need to know in order to read words. The English language is very complicated! Children are split into very small groups for these sessions, which last about 15 minutes each day.
As children become aware of print, they will naturally want to imitate it. Their first attempts are important and precious. (Continue the Baby Book by sticking in your child's first 'drawings' and 'writing.') They will look like scribble but your child will thrive on your encouragement!
In school, the scribble with gradually become words and sentences. The books you read, the games you play and the things you talk about will give your child lots to write about!
How you can help your child learn to read and write
Teach you child to recite nursery rhymes. (this is so useful- children develop their memory, learn about rhyme, and love them!)
Read to you child every day. Re-read favourite stories at bedtime.
Listen to your child read. Reading is a skill and needs practise.
Play word games like I-Spy. (Good for car journeys, or supermarket shopping)
'I Went to Market' is good for memory and alphabet order, 'The Ministers Cat' is good for these and adjectives (google them)
Use fridge magnets to put words to learn on the fridge so your child can practise while you get dinner. Or magnetic letters for word building
Buy foam letters for bath-time. Make words and names.
Buy your child books. (The Charity Shops are great for this. Keep a couple in your bag to amuse your child when out.)
Always have pens, pencils or crayons handy with scraps of paper. Collect old diaries, notebooks, wallpaper ends etc. for drawing/writing)
Buy children's stationary for treats instead of sweets.
Make up 'Travel Goody Bags' for holidays. These can be a wallet with books, pens, notebooks, stationary etc. Keep them as a surprise and produce at the first 'Are we nearly there yet?'
Join the library. Your child will love to choose their own books and its free. Make it a day out every holiday.
Your teacher will be happy to give you ideas to help your child.