Early Years Education: Literacy
Early years education lays the foundation that your child will need before they enter school in key stage 1. Early years education teaches children literacy by developing their understanding of letters and sounds and through teaching them nursery rhymes. You could continue such early years education at home to give your child a solid foundation before they begin key stage 1.
Letters and Sounds
When your child begins reception, teachers will be focusing on linking letters and sounds. Early years education is heavily based on teaching children phonics. By the end of reception, children should know the sound that each letter makes. They should also know the capital and lower case form of all the letters of the alphabet. This is important for developing your child’s reading skills.
You could support this aspect of early years education at home. There are lots of fun ways to familiarise you child with letters and sounds. For example, you could sing alphabet sings with your children. Alternatively, you could have a floating alphabet in the bath and ask your child to grab the letter you call out. You could give them a mini-white board and stencils to help them practice writing the letters of the alphabet. These techniques will help your child to match the written form of a letter to the sound it makes.
Nursery Rhymes are another big part of early years education as they are very useful for teaching your child important English rules. Teachers find them helpful because when children join in, they are practicing stringing words together to form sentences.
Rhyming words teaches children about the segments that make up words. Therefore, a child will be able to put together new words that rhyme with words that they already know. For example, when a child knows that “man” rhymes with “van” they have also learnt the segment “an”. This helps them to read and figure out spellings of words. If a child hears the word “can”, they may be able to say it themselves and spell it without copying it, because of the nursery rhymes they’ve learnt. Singing nursery rhymes at home can help your child to develop their language skills.
Early Years Education Resources
Providing your children with lots of educational toys is a great way to support and continue early years education at home. Additionally, these free worksheets may help you to support your child’s English language development.
Letters and sounds worksheet: Your children could colour in or trace the alphabet to help them become familiar with both the upper case and lower case versions of a letter. You could also encourage your child to say the sound that each letter makes, helping them to pair letters and sounds together.
Nursery rhymes: Here are some fun and popular nursery rhymes that you can sing with your children at home.