August 06, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
ST. LOUIS (August 6, 2007) – August is Get Ready for Kindergarten Month and Parents as Teachers reminds parents that learning to read starts well before kindergarten. According to early childhood specialists, children who know sounds and names of letters before entering kindergarten are 20 times more likely to read simple words by the end of kindergarten. Poor reading skills stay with children throughout their educational careers as they continually fall behind their peers.

Literacy development for children begins at birth. Early literacy develops from real-life situations that are meaningful and functional. It is acquired over time from the child’s everyday exposure to reading, speaking, listening, writing and understanding, and children learn best when actively engaged in these components.

Here are five tips offered by experts at Parents as Teachers National Center to prepare your child for kindergarten:

1. From the time your child is born, talk to her often. The sounds of language allow the brain to organize pathways for language learning.
2. Read to your child every day. Children’s vocabulary increases as they hear more words, further preparing them to be successful upon entering kindergarten.
3. Actively engage your child in open-ended questions that require conversation, as opposed to yes or no questions.
4. Give your child many opportunities to solve problems. This gives him the opportunity to learn relationships and strategies needed to solve problems in reading and writing later on.
5. Sit together as a family at mealtime. This encourages turn-talking, an important skill your child will need when entering kindergarten.

For more information on this topic or other child development and parenting information, visit

About Parents as Teachers National Center
Based in St. Louis, Parents as Teachers National Center is the resource base and backbone of Parents as Teachers, a parent education and early childhood development program serving parents throughout pregnancy until their child enters kindergarten, usually age 5. The nonprofit National Center oversees approximately 3,000 programs offering Parents as Teachers services nationwide as well as in several other countries. For more information about Parents as Teachers, visit