As with all learning, some children will find it harder to read than others. Below is a simple checklist to help you determine the readiness of your students.
1. Can they sit still and be attentive 10 - 15 minutes and stay focused? - ie play with a toy, draw, listen to two songs, listen to you reading a short story and stay focused
2. Can they repeat a sentence of 5 or 6 words? - eg. I went shopping on Saturday, The car is big and black.
3. Are they interested in books? Do they know what a book is, how it works?
4. Can they see properly? If there is any doubt arrange for an eye test.
5. Can they hear properly? A quick test for a 5 year old is to get them to stand 1 metre away from you and repeat the following 7 sounds. (use a normal soft voice) - ah, oo, sh, ss, mm, ee, or.
Repeat this from 3 metres away with a different order to these sounds eg. ss, ee, ah, oo, ss, mm, sh. If they can't repeat these sounds and you have a sense that they are not hearing you it may pay to get a formal check.
6. Can they clap a rhythm? (sound break)clap a simple pattern and note the children’s ability to copy it OR clap sound breaks with names eg. Ben (1 clap), Jenny (2), Angela (3), Anthony (3)
7. Can they Rhyme
If your student can pass most of these assessments from the above checklist then they are ready to begin their reading journey. If not then you have identified some areas to develop.