Discovering the Written Word
Most kindergartners are on the threshold of becoming readers. At this stage, children typically read by looking at the printed word, but they often rely on their memory of the story and on the pictures. Kindergarten teachers immerse children in the world of the printed word so that many read some simple books by the end of the year. At home, you can extend your child's budding literacy skills by reading and writing together as much as possible, by encouraging your child to read, by playing language and letter games, and by introducing new words when talking together.

In just 5 years, the typical kindergartner has learned to understand all of the grammatical structures in her native language. She can listen to and tell complex stories. She can play with language by rhyming and listing words that begin with the same sound. Kindergartners begin to explore the relationships between listening and speaking and reading and writing. They learn which letters and sounds go together, recognize some common words, remember and create stories, and use all of these skills to read simple books and write simple messages.

Weaving language and literacy into everyday activities at home helps your kindergartner develop as a reader and writer. Simple projects like writing a grocery list together, making words with magnetic refrigerator letters, or just talking about what you see as you ride the bus can become important moments in your child's literacy development. Learn more ways you can support and inspire your kindergartner as he inches towards literacy.

For more information, visit PBS.