Studies show that there is a correlation between preschool literacy and a child's reading success.

Children from poverty are more likely to be at risk to have an achievement gap. When sophisticated language is used in informal conversations with preschoolers,it was reflected in their reading comprehension by 4th grade.

What is the parent's responsibility to the preschooler/s? It means that the oral language, or spoken word, that a parent uses with babies and toddlers will make a difference. Oral language is very important to the future success of the child.

For a list of developmental delays that are red flags that your child may be at risk for a learning disability or a learning difficulty, click here.

A rich language environment is the first step to preschool literacy. Phonemic awareness is part of this first step. Phonemic awareness means being aware of the sounds around us.

Alphabetic principal is the second step of this rich language environment. This is the stage where children learn the alphabet and the sounds that the letters make. This is often done in preschool literacy programs like Head Start and in many preschool programs.


Future reading success depends on the students early acquisition of other very important language development in early childhood besides phonemic awareness and the alphabetic principal. These would include but are not limited to:

  • rhyming
  • combining words with prefixes or suffixes
  • blending letter sounds together to make a word
  • child's vocabulary
  • rapid naming of letters and objects
  • sentence memory
  • counting and recognizing numbers
  • social-emotional well being; cooperation
  • listening and following directions
  • visual memory; ability to follow multi-step directions

These skills should be apparent in preschool (3-5 years old). Of course not all children develop at the same rate so these are only guidelines. For instance, a 3 year old is not going to be using words that have a prefix or suffix. However, a 5 year old would use words like "untie" or "playing.


Doing reading readiness activities with your child can help with the acquisition of literacy in childhood. The more time a parent can spend doing early childhood education activities with their child, the more success that child will experience.

If you are homeschooling older children, then you probably have a room set aside as your classroom. To help accommodate a preschooler or kindergartner, I would suggest having some activity centers for him to use while you are instructing the older children.

Activity centers are a great way for your child to explore and ask questions. When your child asks questions, you will be increasing their knowledge base as well as their vocabulary.

Children learn best through play. At Rasmussen College and at Fun Learning for Kids you will find ideas for several different activity centers, games and crafts for science, math and for the alphabet.  These hands-on activities help your preschooler explore their environment while helping them to acquire learning skills that set the foundation for future learning.

Many parents assume that the child "just picks up" necessary skills. About 25% of children are gifted in that way, but 50% of kids are "normal" and need to be taught. The other 25% of the children are on the border and take more repetition to learn something than the average Jane or Joe. These children are usually the ones that learn best through hands-on activities.

As parents we have the responsibility to see that we provide a rich language environment for our child and not depend totally on the school. Also we should make sure that a rich language environment doesn't stop once the child enters school.

We can't assume that the school administration, teachers or others will provide the rich language that will help our children to be successful.

For a free download as to what your child should be learning in a preschool, click here. The Preschool sequence is first listed. If you have older children, you may also want to download the K-8 Core Knowledge curriculum sequence. These are broken down by grade so that you don't have to download every grade.

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