Five Important Tips for Building Reading Skills in Pre-Kindergarten Age Students this Summer

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Interactive reading programs like StudyDog help kids learn by using games to make learning fun.


More than 2 million kids have learned to read using interactive reading programs from StudyDog.

It’s important for parents of four-year-olds to realize that now is the time to start thinking about kindergarten and to begin building confidence in your child by helping them with their pre-reading skills.

Before kindergarten starts next fall, experts say parents should be actively preparing this summer for their child’s transition into school.

“It’s important for parents of four-year-olds to realize that now is the time to start thinking about kindergarten and to begin building confidence in your child by helping them with their pre-reading skills,” said Deme Clainos, a spokesman for StudyDog, an online reading program for pre-kindergarten through third grade.

Learning programs vary by school, but some basic reading goals for students prior to entering kindergarten are:

  • Being able to recognize and write the letters of the alphabet.
  • Ability to write first and last name.
  • Using basic consonants and vowel sounds.
  • Being able to repeat a story and put the events from it in order.
  • Starting to identify words by sight and write them in a basic sentence.

Here are five tips from StudyDog to help parents prepare young learners for the first day of kindergarten by building the reading skills they need.

1.) Learn Letters

Associate letters with items in the child’s surroundings, for example, if the child is eating an apple point out that it starts with the letter “a.” Make a letter scrapbook by writing capital and lowercase letters on individual pages. Cut out pictures together from magazines with things starting with that letter and glue them on the page. Include photos of friends and family members whose names begin with the letter.

2.) Work on Comprehension Skills

Help children learn by going beyond just reading the story. Make it an interactive experience by asking questions, talking about the story as it is read and making plot predictions. When finished, ask the child to repeat the story, have them act out scenes from the book with puppets or costumes, draw pictures or take a field trip to a place that relates to the book. For example, you could visit a natural history museum if the book is about dinosaurs.

3.) Incorporate Interactive Learning Programs

Using an online reading program is a great way for kids to improve reading skills because they are playing while learning at the same time. Children learn to read with the help of animated games geared to the child’s learning level. Good programs allow parents to track their kid’s progress and focus on concepts that they may be struggling with. One online program that has been proven effective is StudyDog’s kindergarten learning program, which includes linking sounds and letters with phonics.

4.) Practice Sight Words

Work on recognizing words by sight by focusing on words a child uses regularly. One of the first words they might recognize by sight is their own name. From there practice with flash cards and words in everyday surroundings, such as road signs.

5.) Writing and Print Recognition

Letter magnets, chalkboards and fun writing materials are a good way to get your four-year-old interested in practicing their writing skills. Practicing writing goes hand in hand with learning to read. Giving a child a box full of fun supplies is one way to get them excited about writing and practicing letters.

“There are many resources available for early education that can help introduce young learners to reading fundamentals,” Clainos said. “The key is to start early so they are comfortable and even ahead of their peers when they start school in the fall.”

About StudyDog

As a proven leader in helping children quickly learn to read, StudyDog has helped more than 2 million kids master the basics. The company creates interactive reading programs specially designed for early readers pre-kindergarten through first grade. Children who struggle with reading especially benefit from StudyDog’s learning software. Launched in 2002, schools began using StudyDog in 2006. Computerworld named StudyDog to its Honors Program, recognizing the company as one of the best at helping children learn to read; and AOL has called StudyDog one of the top reading programs of its kind. For more information, visit or call 1-866-643-4449.

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