Parents are often confused about preschoolers and the basics of learning letters, numbers, and shapes. Once they realize that their child’s first exposure to language is through them, they often freak out. Many of us don’t remember how we learned our ABCs! We can’t recall a time where we didn’t know how to count! Therefore, trying to plan a curriculum for a child to begin learning these things can seem daunting and rather impossible. And it’s so much pressure! But have no fear: LEAP is here! Our educators and curriculum are here to help you get started with your preschoolers and the basics.
Don’t Start Them Too Early
There is a certain time that preschoolers should begin actively learning each different skill- writing, reading, and recognition. Some parents want to jump the gun and begin practicing hand too early, or become frustrated when their children can’t read simple words like it and cat. It’s important to note that starting your children too early can be just as detrimental to their education as not starting them at all. When children are simply too young to comprehend the material being given to them, they can develop bad learning habits that could negatively affect them for years to come. The best time to develop writing skills is around 3 years old…. but hold on! That’s doesn’t mean you can hand them a pencil and tracing pad just yet. First, you’ll need to prepare them for using their hands to communicate what’s in their minds!
Develop Motor Skills and Dexterity
Before you begin working with students on handwriting and learning their letters, it’s a good idea to start with learning basic shapes and how to draw them. Learning letters and developing handwriting is all about muscle memory, so the better your child can handle a pencil and trace lines and shapes, the better they will be at writing their letters! The best ways to improve a child’s dexterity are by:
- Having them trace shapes with pencil or crayon
- Instructing them to draw you a picture of a common object, like a car or a tree
- Playing catch or rolling a ball to one another
- Teaching them clapping games
Read, Read, Read!
Once their dexterity is improving, it is time to introduce them to the alphabet. As always, teach them the catchy song first, but don’t rely solely at that to teach your kids their letters. The best thing you can do to educate them is read. ALL THE TIME. Research suggests that students who read 1000 books with their parents before Kindergarten have a better grasp of language, reading, and writing, as well as better reading comprehension. Be sure to select diverse, age-appropriate books that focus on the child’s interests, like nature, sports, or art. Ask them questions throughout the reading to engage them with the text. Be patient with them and watch them learn to love to read!
Find The Right Pace– And Go!
Ideally, preschoolers will start with learning their shapes, then move on to counting those shapes, and eventually tracing and writing their letters. Once you get your footing, it will all come naturally to you and your preschooler! However, some parents are simply too busy to engage with their child as much as they need to. In this case, it’s a good idea to reach out to a local preschool or tutoring service to assist your child in developing their basic cognitive and foundational language skills. LEAP Education’s PreSCHOLAR tutoring program emphasizes the needs of the individual child, beginning at their own base line and developing fun, engaging material that is as educational as it is fun! Talk to our Tutoring Placement Specialist today to discuss how LEAP could help bridge the gap between your preschoolers and the basics of language learning!