If your 5 year old cannot read, there is a myriad of factors to consider before enrolling him into a reading programme. Preschoolers usually start reading on their own around the ages of three and four.
If your child exhibits some difficulty around this time, academic solutions are aplenty. However, the multitude of choices might be inundating for parents seeking to help their children.
Are Reading Programmes for Kids a Necessity?
Pace your expectations of your child, and be patient if he or she is not learning as fast as others. “Every child is different and each progresses at a different learning pace,” advises Heather McCloud, Senior Manager, MindChamps Reading & Writing. McCloud shares that parents often drill or scold their child if he or she happens to be a slow learner, or worse yet, they sometimes lose interest in being a part in their child’s learning journey. She shares,
Some common challenges encountered by children include the inability to comprehend content, a home environment that does not encourage linguistic improvement, an irregularity in use of the language, a lack of self-confidence and a poor personal mindset.
Find Out At Which Stage Is Your Child
McCloud is a strong proponent of MindChamps’ reading curriculum, which is segmented into three stages. Built upon eight essential skills of reading based on the MOE’s (Ministry of Education) curriculum, this preparation course of confidence and higher order thinking is meant to generate interest and a desire to read within the child, as well as teach children to give clear phonics instructions.
Not only do attendees of this reading programme exhibit heightened listening and reading comprehension, they are also assisted, corrected and encouraged by regular feedback, as well as bolstered by eBooks for comfortable home learning.
Further reading: Creative Writing for Kids: 5 Superb Ways to Encourage Expressiveness
The Beginner Level
The first of the three segments is the Joey Programme, whose objective is to build a firm linguistic foundation in a cosy, safe and happy way.
The four key essentials of language development – reading, pre-writing, speaking and listening – are presented in a variety of techniques, via multi-sensorial activities, which is meant to help preschoolers recognise letters and sounds of the alphabet, as well as develop comprehension skills through multi-sensorial experiences.
Students of the Joey Programme are also taught to expand their use of spoken vocabulary, tell and re-tell stories confidently, write their own names and simple words in guided penmanship, as well as understand the fundamental concepts of print, such as the usage of capital letters and punctuation.
The Intermediate Level
Named after the inquisitive panda cub, the second segment called the Panda Programme is strategised to strengthen the progression of preschoolers’ learning curves.
Participants have their creativity and thought processes stimulated through reading, writing and listening to an array of text formats.
This course also encourages preschoolers to read stories by themselves, as well as talk and write about what they have read. Besides having further expanded their vocabulary and deepened their grasp of correct grammar and punctuation marks, preschoolers who have been through the Panda Programme can also better identify digraphs, appreciate and narrate stories in their own words, respond to questions and participate in discussions confidently, and exhibit strong comprehension skills.
An Advanced Level
At an advanced level, the Dolphin Programme nurtures “dolphin calves” to express their thoughts and feelings in verbal and written form.
By being guided in the expression of their connections and ideas, students learn to read comprehension passages at a higher level, as well as use better punctuation marks, grammar structures, pronouns, conjunctions and adverbial phases.
Notably, graduates of this programme have showcased talent in penning down ideas, feelings and information, composing their own stories comprising of simple sentences as well as reading confidently with active understanding.
“In MindChamps’ Reading Programme, we want to ensure that the Champs have the right foundation right from the start. Learning to read is perhaps the most important of all skills for children,” comments McCloud.
“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.
That is why it is important for parents to be actively engaged in their children’s learning process of reading and writing.
We believe that reading is a journey that is best taken with both parent and child, so we encourage all our parents to make their homes literacy-rich environments, read with their children at an early age, engage in activities with their children that involve reading, ensure that their children observe them reading, as well as be actively involved in their children’s reading and writing journeys.”
To find out more about reading programmes and how well your child is reading and writing: