So you swear that you have a little genius and you want him to stay ahead of the class. You begin to wonder, what can I do to teach him at home.
The most important thing I must emphasize is to never NEVER force a child to learn academically. Learning needs to be fun and interesting. Forcing a child who is not ready or willing, will create resentment and cause many problems in life. Remember learning comes in many ways, and children are using learning skills when they are trying to socialize and assimilating to the school experience. These are all valid skills and should not be ignored. If your little genius is ready, then how will you know?
A child who is ready to read is expressing interest in words. He is asking what the letters are that he sees and continually wanting you to read the same stories over and over. Part of every parents ritual should be reading a minimum of fifteen minutes to a child each day. By showing that you think reading is important your child will grow to love it as well. Soon your child will be picking up the stories and retelling them to you relying on memory and pictures. You may even hear him mimicking your own voice intonation.
The first step is to review the alphabet. One of t he best ways to introduce the alphabet is to introduce a child to his name. It gets them to understand that letters have meaning because it relates to them. With each letter of his name go over the sound it makes. This will get him to understand that letters have sounds. After reviewing the sounds in the name start with each letter of the alphabet ( one every few days) and go over the sounds and word associations with that sound. You should also create index cards with your child. Place index cards around your house with a word, and a picture drawn by your child next to real items ( i.e. write the word window have your child draw a picture of a window scribbling is fine and place it next to the window). This will also help him to understand that words are full of meaning.
If your child expresses an interest in writing start with purchasing the large pencils or pencil grippers. This will help your child understand the correct way to hold a pencil. You can also purchase some writing paper that has dotted lines in the middle. This helps children understand where the writing line is and where words go. Start with creating dots and having your child connect the dots. This will help your child gain confidence. NEVER make your child erase his work or tell them that they are wrong. Remember they are preschoolers and there is plenty of time for correction . You do not want to frustrate your child or make them think they can’t do something. They will then stop trying and you will have to wait. Once your child can connect the dots with ease start with writing the stick letters (b,p,d,,t) These are the easiest to write. Then go on to rounder letters (a,g,j,c). From their you can write the rest of the alphabet and then go on to simple two letter words etc. Remember these things take time. Connecting the dots of his name may take your child all year and that is fine! Your child needs to work at their own pace!
Remember reading and writing go hand in hand. You cannot teach one without the other. Make learning fun. You can play letter games, sound games, have fun reading times, read books about what your child is interested in, and even pick out learning materials together. Don’t use this time as time to get your child ahead of his class. Use it as bonding time, giving your child special memories that your child will have forever. Remember your child is a little genius no matter what because he is yours. So teach away!