Pre-primary prepares a child for school and reading readiness.
During the early childhood years, vocabulary and personal interaction are critical for brain development. Using symbols, stories, songs and rhymes sparks neuron activity and helps develop neural networks in the brain. Grades RR and R help improve cognitive ability, language skill, and expand vocabulary in preparing learners to learn how to read.
Did you know that the brain is the only organ that continues to develop after birth? By the age of six, a child’s brain is at 90% of its adult weight. One million new neural connections are formed per second in the young child. Personal interaction with the child during these early years helps develop neuron activity and cognitive ability in the brain.
“To learn to read is to light a fire;
every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.”
– Victor Hugo
Building a strong vocabulary in the early childhood years plays a larger role than gender, race, culture or the economic environment in which the child is raised. The more words a child is exposed to, and the more these words are repeated, the greater the vocabulary of the young child. Dr Brenda Fitzgerald mentioned in the video Improving early child development with words that if a word is not repeated, the neuron dies. She expands on language nutrition for the young child and how a strong vocabulary at a young age have long term benefits for the child’s future education and overall development.
“The higher the number of words used in the earlier years,
the greater the effect on their future development.”
Reading out loud to a child from birth helps develop literacy skill. The Department of Education emphasizes this fact: “Reading is, without doubt, the most important linguistic skill that needs to be developed in young children. Reading serves as a building block upon which all other learning takes place. Reading can also be fun. By developing a love for reading in young children, we will be giving them one of the greatest gifts of life, namely, life-long learning.”
Reading is not only fundamental to learning, but it also supplies the young child the necessary words for self-expression. The World Economic Forum has an insightful article on how reading out loud to your children can boost their vocabulary.
From birth, early childhood development rests primarily on parents and caregivers. Reading is but one of the many activities that help cognitive development in the young child’s life. From four years of age, organized learning can play an important role in optimising the child’s capacity for learning. Playing the game peekaboo with a baby helps build the early foundation for memory and self-control. Playing games which promote imagination and role-playing also helps build children’s executive function skills. You can download the PDF infographic What is Executive Function? for other practical child development ideas.
The United Nations describes the importance of the pre-primary phase in a child’s life as follows: “Early childhood is a critical period for a child’s cognitive development. Organized learning before the official start of primary school has been shown to boost a child’s social, emotional and intellectual development and support readiness for primary education and future learning.”
“Pre-primary education is, in fact, considered an important part
of a holistic and robust educational system.”
– Sustainable Development Goal Four – Education
At Charis Christian School we continue the early childhood development of the young child. We offer two foundational years to help prepare children for school and learning how to read. Grade RR builds on the importance of social interaction, communication and building vocabulary. During Grade R learners follow the Reading Readiness Programme reinforcing phonetics. Stories, pictures, poems and songs are used to develop the literacy skill of the young child.
Early childhood development programmes:
Grade RR Step-by-Step for Tiny Tots
Grade R Kindergarten with Ace and Christi – Reading Readiness
Grade 1 ABC with Ace and Christi – Learning to Read
Passing the Reading Readiness pre-test allows learners to start with the Learning to Read Programme in Grade 1. Our article on the benefits of private education and the ACE curriculum also looks at how the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) programme benefits character building.
Parents are the major role-players in a child’s life, and we all know that children learn best through examples. The benefits of reading stretch across all ages. We encourage parents to build a habit of reading for 15 minutes a day. An article by the World Economic Forum states that by reading a book you can live longer. A survey found non-readers more likely to report feelings of depression. Readers who read 20 minutes a week feel less lonely and more satisfied with their lives.
Here are some of the benefits of reading:
- People who read shows stronger cognitive abilities;
- Learning new words helps build new neural connections;
- Reading is fundamental to education;
- The ability to read is an essential career tool;
- Reading expands vocabulary which in turn improves communication skills;
- The love for reading is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give a child;
- Reading to or with your child is much more than just building literacy skills, it is a time for bonding and personal interaction too;
- Reading can take you on an adventure exploring new places, people and cultures without the cost of buying an aeroplane ticket.
For more information on the Reading Readiness Program or to join the Charis family: Visit our website for more information or contact the school office at 012 543 0518 during school hours. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.