can we teach your preschooler to read?

October 2, 2016 | Published by St. Paul Barnabas House Preschool Teachers

At St. Paul’s Barnabas House Preschool, we hear parents express their desire for their children to begin reading before Kindergarten. Early reading may be possible for only a few preschoolers, aged 4 – 5 years. However, please be assured we are teaching ‘reading’ to your early learners. Parents and other caregivers can, just as importantly, teach your little ones Phonological Awareness. The only thing complicated about this is the name. It’s really all about helping your child become aware that sounds make up words (b-a-t, bat & rrr-o-ck, rock). 

Many articles and resources state that “Phonological Awareness Is Child’s Play!” The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) believes that, “for young children, developmentally appropriate phonological awareness activities are a form of play. Riddles, games, singing, and dramatization will bring on laughter, silliness, and experimentation.” (click here

The fun part is what makes learning so worthwhile to children and what we strive for at Barnabas House. For adults, knowing that phonological awareness is highly related to later success in reading and spelling can be very motivating to start ‘playing’ these early reading activities with your children. 

A good video is available online to demonstrate just how easy it is to incorporate phonological awareness into your child’s learning. The U.S. Department of Education has a detailed eight-minute video that includes practical suggestions and examples. Click here for the video.  

If you would like to hear the correct pronunciation of all the English phonemos (letter sounds), please refer to the following five-minute video. Click here for the video.  

A great way to get started is to read aloud some of the listed books that play with sounds and language. 

Books in English: 

  • Altoona Baboona, by J. Bynum. 1999. San Diego: Harcourt. 
  • Cock-a-doodle-Moo! by B. Most. 1996. San Diego, CA: Harcourt. 
  • Llama Llama Red Pajama, by A. Dewdney. 2005. New York: Viking. 
  • Tanka Tanka Skunk, by S. Webb. 2004. New York: Orchard
  • There’s a Wocket in My Pocket, by Dr. Seuss. 1974. New York: Random House

Books in Spanish:

  • Mother Goose on the Rio Grande, by F. Alexander. 1997. Lincolnwood, IL: Passport
  • Los niños alfabeticos, by L. Ayala & M. Isona-Rodriguez. 1995. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge
  • Tortillitas para Mama, by M.C. Griego, B.L. Bucks, S.S. Gilbert, & L.H. Kimball. 1981. New York: Henry Holt.

At St. Paul’s Barnabas House Preschool, we love learning to read!

 - Your Barnabas House Preschool Teachers: Mrs. Arrowood, Mrs. Seal, Mrs. Castle, & Mrs. Stinson (pictured left to right)