Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten or Reception Year?

One of the biggest realisations of 20th century education was that a child that is behind in their early years will remain behind throughout their schooling.  The emphasis towards early years education had begun, but conversely there was a move away from spending time with mother at home towards nurseries and childminders.  So how can parents be sure that their child has acquired the rudimentary skills necessary to achieve their best in kindergarten or reception year, and beyond?

With the youngest children getting ready for that all important first year at school, how can you help them achieve their potential?  After all, it's not all about stocking up on uniform, newly-sharpened pencils and colourful lunch bags!

An important study on kindergarten readiness from the late 1990s, reported that "before children can read, write, or calculate, they must acquire rudimentary skills that serve as stepping stones toward mastery of the more advanced and complex skills" (Snow, Burns, and Griffin 1998).  For literacy, these rudimentary skills include:

  • becoming familiar with the conventions of print (reading from left to right, top to bottom)
  • learning to recognize letters by name
  • associating sounds with letters or letter combinations
  • understanding the meaning of many spoken words and phrases

Along with these key literacy skills, there are other aspects of academic readiness that will make kindergarten/reception year easier and help your child achieve their potential throughout their school life:

  • Attentively listening to stories
  • Recognizing rhyming words
  • Speaking in complete sentences of five to six words
  • Making up stories from images or using pictures as prompts
  • Hearing individual sounds in words
  • Recognizing and naming some letters in the alphabet
  • Having an interest in books
  • Recognizing some common words like “stop”
  • Understanding that words you can say can also be written using letters from the alphabet
  • Counting to ten
  • Recognizing colours

Offering all these skills in an interesting and stimulating package, Learn With Homer is the number one Learn-to-Read app in the US.  Why not get your child ahead of the pack with the most reliable and effective programme for teaching children how to read?

Perfect for using at home on the laptop, or on the go on a portable device, 15 minutes a day of Learn With Homer has been shown to increase early reading scores by as much as 74%!

Designed by teachers and experts, Learn With Homer has a library of more than 200 stories and songs and thousands of hours of learning, all in one place.

So how did we find it?

Lara and Sophia love Homer!  Having tried a few online schemes and resources, Learn With Homer really appealed to the girls from the very start.  They love the fun interface, and the different sections are clearly defined and easy to navigate.

We've been using the web app on the laptop and all three girls have crowded round to join in the music, nursery rhymes and stories.  I have also spent one-to-one time with Lara and Sophia going through some of the lessons.  We love the learn to read lessons which are straightforward and just the right length to engage and challenge but not to labour the point too much.  The plethora of print outs available is handy for going back over the different learning points in the following days for practice and reinforcement.

Sophia is 4 and would be starting Reception year this September, so this is perfect timing for her, and the impact it is already having on her literacy skills is obvious.  She already loves books, but the joy in discovering that she can decipher some words and patterns is palpable.  The way each lesson builds on the previous ones is so well thought out, you can see a teacher is behind the programme!  As a parent and ex-teacher, I love how supportive the programme is, there's no 'wrong!', it's a nurturing, gentle 'try again' with hints to boost confidence and encourage learning.  This cute congratulations message was a nice surprise in the e-mail.

Lara is 6 and she loves the more extensive learning opportunities Learn With Homer offers, such as geography, science and history.  She is very interested in George Washington, so is currently working through the materials on him for her project, and we love that the resources on Homer have opened up the bigger picture of the other presidents etc.  The science content is of interest to both girls, and they have been happily flicking through, asking Steve and I to clarify points and explain things as they go, but even with limited reading skills, the bright, colourful pictures and diagrams are easy to understand.  For girls who constantly ask 'how does that work', 'what's this', 'why does that happen', this is brilliant!

With the ability to track each child's progress (you can have up yo 4 kids per account), content that is guaranteed kid-safe and advert-free, all parent concerns are covered.  Homer even won a coveted Mom's Choice Award and a Teacher's Choice Award!

You can see more about how it all works here:

Dr. Susan B. Neuman, former U.S. Asst. Secretary of Education, and Professor of Early Childhood Literacy, New York University, found:

"In just six weeks, with no intervention from teachers, students who used Learn with Homer for 15 minutes per day improved the key skills most highly correlated with future reading success. That’s a big deal."

You can get started on Learn With Homer for FREE, and after that it's just $7.95 a month - cancel any time, no hassles.  Or Attachment Mummy readers can sign up for a year today and get a 50% discount!

Help your child cultivate a Love of Reading today.
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