Reading Hows... : Print Awareness

Updated: May 16, 2020

Alright guys, the thought of teaching your little human beings how to read is daunting. You have big dreams for them, and you don’t want to mess this up. Well, first of all, relax. No matter what they’ll be scarred in life…

Okay, that took a dark turn.

What I’m trying to say is, you don’t need to worry. Children naturally absorb information and reenact what they see pretty easily. So, when it comes to print awareness, which is the first step in the reading process, they’ll pick up skills without you even trying. But! We want your little ones to love reading and to be well equipped for kindergarten. Think of print awareness as pre-reading training. The stronger your human is in this area is the stronger they’ll be in reading.

At Pravis Ed we like to make things quick, accurate, and valuable. So let’s get to the point. Parents need to keep three things in mind:

1. Know what the different parts of print awareness entail.

2. Create an environment that will encourage print awareness.

3. Be consistent.

So, what is print awareness?

Print Awareness is a child’s earliest understanding that those squiggly lines on a page, otherwise known as written language, carry a meaning.

What are the components of print awareness?

Print awareness requires your child to know that books have a back cover and a front cover, that they are read from left to right, that the pages are numbered, that books have authors and illustrators, and that the purpose of a reading is to gain meaning. All of this is known as book handling. But there is one more task that your little one must master and that is word awareness. This means they must be able to identify letters, individual words, capital and lowercase letters, where a sentence begins, and where it ends.

Now here is the big one.

How do we promote a print awareness environment? We have a couple of suggestions below.

1. Read-out loud a lot, like - obsessively. Read from easy to read, predictably worded large print books. And while doing that, make sure that you point to each word of the page.

2. Make an effort to point out print everywhere, so that they can see different examples. Point to the labels in grocery stores, the words on stop signs, and at the titles on movies in the movie theater. I’d even go as far as labeling some items in their rooms and pointing to the label when you’re about to use the item.

3. Did I mention reading to your little one incessantly? Yeah - do that more, and read the title of the book and the name of the author every time.

4. Encourage pretend play. Have them create their own grocery list or make their own stop sign and have them write what they want to say on every birthday and Christmas card.

5. And finally, Read some more. Talk about the book with your child Encourage them to tell you what they think about the pictures, and have them tell you what’s happened in the story so far.

I know there is a lot to take in life-giver, but you can do this! Just take it one day at a time, one book at a time. We believe in you.

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