Reading programmes for kids abound in Singapore, but what is the best age for kids to start learning how to read?
New research from Washington University in St. Louis has reported that “children as young as 3 are already beginning to recognise and follow important rules and patterns governing how letters in the English language fit together to make words.”
Starting a reading programme at age 3 is a natural progression of the language environment that many children are immersed in since birth.
For instance, if you already read books to your children at home and talk to them at an early age, they can further build upon their listening, reading comprehension, and vocabulary skills by joining a reading programme to ignite their passion for reading.
Reading programmes for kids at an early age
A developmentally appropriate reading programme for 3-year-olds should provide a foundation for reading through plenty of activities that are multi-sensorial, creativity-building and fun.
In MindChamps Reading’s Joey Programme (beginner level), children experience the four key essentials of language development – reading, pre-writing, speaking, and listening.
Phonemic awareness is developed through songs, rhymes, and poems, while pre-writing is practised through pattern making and preformation of letters.
Even at a young age, kids benefit from being exposed to rich literature. But just being able read to isn’t enough.
They can develop better understanding through a series of verbal comprehension questions afterward. And they can even become competent storytellers themselves too, learning how to tell and re-tell stories confidently.
The Joey Programme introduces letters and sounds of the alphabet. As kids’ interest in reading increases, they will also participate in guided penmanship and practice writing their own names along with simple 3- and 4-letter words.
Research findings show that exposure to written words starting from age 3 can be key in getting kids off to a successful start with their reading, writing, and spelling skills.
Never too late to improve reading comprehension
Some children love being read to. Others are unable to sit down for a book and run off before you can even finish. Either way, all children can benefit from joining reading programmes.
Why? Because reading programmes for kids improve reading comprehension, and they also increase interest.
The MindChamps Reading Programme is specially geared for 3 to7-year-olds, ensuring that children master the reading skills that are essential for the MOE curriculum.
In the Panda Cubs (intermediate level) and Dolphin Calves (advanced level) programmes, kids grow braver and take more risks in their literacy journey. Not only do they expand their written and spoken vocabulary, but they also receive solid phonics foundations and are exposed to a wide range of text formats.
Reading programmes for kids at any age should actively engage your child to develop the love for reading and writing.
They can read by themselves with active understanding, use correct punctuation marks and grammar, and even write their own stories comprising of simple sentences.
“Once the foundation for reading is established, the ability to write naturally follows. The success of all future learning rests on your child’s ability to read,” said Heather McCloud, Senior Manager, MindChamps Reading & Writing.
An added benefit of reading programmes for kids is that they stimulate creative thinking. At any age, from as early as 3 years, improved literacy opens up the floodgate for your child’s imagination. As our little readers gain confidence in expressing their thoughts and feelings in verbal and written form, their creativity will reach new heights – giving them a better chance at becoming leaders of the modern world.