Although your child is in their second year of school, it is important for you to have realistic expectations of what and how they learn at this still early stage of schooling. Here are some common concerns and some responses that may be helpful for you. If you have any more, please email me.
"My child looks at the pictures when they 'read'. Is this okay?"
Absolutely. This is a good strategy for early readers. The pictures provide valuable visual clues that help readers work out what is happening in the story, and what the written text says. In time children will rely less on the pictures and draw upon their word and letter knowledge to read.
"My child is reading their book, but I think they memorised it!"
Early readers need to experience success to develop confidence in their reading. Memorising the text is a good sign ... the child has been engaged with the text, and obviously enjoyed it if it is memorable. Books with patterns and predictable text encourages children to read with success and over time they will start to recognise more words and gain a deeper understanding of the text.
"My child is having trouble holding their pencil correctly"
Some children may still be having difficulty holding their pencil in a 'tripod grip' ...
There are a few things you can very easily do to assist your child to develop the fine motor skills required to hold their pencil correctly:
• Encourage your child to use a 'crocodile' grip (their fingers become the crocodile mouth);
• Put a dot on their tall finger, thumb and pointing fingers in the positions shown in the image above. The idea being that the child will cover each dot if they are holding their pencil correctly;
Think of activities which might help your child developing the small muscles in their fingers that they need to use to write ... picking up very small items one by one (such as spilt rice or small bits of lego), screwing up pieces of newsprint (using only the one hand) and tossing them into a bin ...