Why would kids need a program like this before they start school? Isn’t that what school is for?
Research has proven that ‘adjustment to school is supported when children have basic literacy and numeracy skills and the support of sensitive adults’ (Associate Professor Kay Margetts - Lecturer in Early Childhood and Primary Teacher Education). Research has also shown that kids who participate in literacy programs BEFORE they start school reap benefits throughout all of their schooling, not just in the first year.
The other thing to consider is not every school teaches phonics explicitly. That’s fine for some kids, but other kids (up to 30%) will struggle to learn to read if the correct foundations are not laid early. If a child is struggling with reading at school it is often not picked up until grade one, and by that stage the student will have large knowledge gaps and often a negative association with reading. The Clever Kiddies program is a way of helping the transition to school, which can often be quite stressful for kids.
Does my child need to know how to read before they go to school?
Starting school with confidence is really important. The demands, both socially and academically, are huge in the first year of school.
Learning to read is not easy or natural. It is a complex process. Oral language and pre-literacy, phonological awareness skills support early reading and writing development. Skilled readers have good decoding skills (word recognition); understand what they read (comprehension) and read with fluency.
A child’s level of phonological awareness (ability to identify sounds and sound patterns in language) is an important predictor of their later reading development.
We believe that if your child begins school knowing something about sounds, reading and writing, it can make a significant difference to how they feel as a learner and how easily they settle into that new school routine and expectations.
Will my child be bored in Prep if they have attended the Clever Kiddies program?
Not at all. We do not teach the children everything they will learn in Prep. We help the children develop the skills that will assist them with their transition into school. If anything, it helps them, as they will feel confident and want to excel when they come across these concepts at school.
My child has a speech &/or language delay, will this program help them?
YES! Children with speech and language delays often have difficulty with literacy skills as well. Children who have difficulty pronouncing or understanding certain speech sounds may have difficulty with reading and writing those sounds as well. This can lead to trouble decoding and sounding out words.
Children with language delays may not fully understand all parts of language, such as grammar, syntax, vocabulary, etc. This can lead to problems understanding text or putting ideas into writing in a logical manner.
Before children are ready to read, write, and spell, they develop phonological awareness skills. These skills help them understand how words are made up of sounds and that sounds are represented by letters. These skills are essential for reading and are often impaired in children with speech disorders, especially phonological disorders.
We help your child develop phonological awareness skills by incorporating the following in their play-based activities:
- Alliteration (same beginning sounds)
- Letter-sound correspondences
- Manipulating sounds in words
- Identifying sounds at the beginning, middle and end of words.