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The Importance of Building Reading and Writing Skills in Preschool Children

Reading and writing skills are important factors in your child’s success in school, work, and later in life. In fact, a child’s reading and writing level is a crucial determinant in how well they will perform in school and later participate in society. While reading and writing skills continuously develop throughout life, the early childhood years—birth through eight—are the most significant years for literacy development. A bonus is that reading is a fun activity that stretches a child’s imagination, opening doors to all kinds of new worlds for them.


Children experience language acquisition from the moment they are born. As children grow, their speech and language skills continue to advance by expressing ideas, thoughts, and feelings, and communicating with others. Known as the emergent literacy stage, which lasts through the preschool years, children acquire skills that are crucial to the development of literacy.

Children interact with print media, such as books and magazines daily…long before they enter elementary school. They begin to recognize rhyming words, familiar street signs, and can even identify some letters of the alphabet. As children combine all this knowledge, they are preparing to learn to read and write.

The connection between spoken language and literacy is vital to a child’s acquisition of reading and writing skills. Talking and listening experiences during the preschool years prepare children for reading and writing development once they begin elementary school. A child who enters elementary school with weak verbal skills will likely have a tougher time mastering literacy skills versus those with strong verbal skills.

How Can Parents Help?

Parents play a significant role in helping their children develop literacy skills. A few of the practices parents can implement at home include:

  • Talk to your child, identifying objects, people, and activities in the everyday environment.
  • Engage in singing, rhyming games, and nursery rhymes.
  • Teach by example.  If a child sees a parent interacting with books and magazines, they identify that the parent values reading, which encourages them to model that behavior.
  • Read together.  Reading provides an opportunity to discuss the book, promoting a language-rich environment at home.

Building reading and writing skills is critical during the preschool years as it sets the foundation for a child’s future success.

January 3rd, 2018

Posted In: Montessori Education

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