Part 1 – Preparing children for school

In this section there is parental guidance for helping pre-school children develop skills that are needed for learning to read and write.

Part 1: Preparing children for school

One of the aims of this website is to enable parents to have a better understanding of synthetic phonics and the teaching of reading and writing. The hope is that this will enable parents to support their children more effectively, understand the problems that might occur, and ensure that their children do not develop serious reading problems. Naturally, the first thing most parents want to do is to make sure that their children are well prepared for school.

Reading bedtime stories

Traditionally, the reading of bedtime stories has been normal in households for many years and is best started as early as possible in a child’s life. Not only does it give children a love of stories, it develops their language and vocabulary, as well as giving enormous pleasure. Although these experiences may lead to a few children cracking the code and teaching themselves to read, the vast majority need to be taught exactly how to do it.

Encouraging children to talk

It is well known that meaningful conversations and discussions with children at home and in school improve their ability to speak in sentences, use a wider range of words, think logically, socialise well and become more confident. This really does prepare the children well for school.

Teaching children to read before starting school 

On the whole, I think it is best to prepare children well for school and to leave the serious teaching of reading and writing until they start school. Most children are not so keen on their parents teaching them, apart from incidental learning through stories, games and conversations. However, if I was not satisfied that good teaching methods were being used at the school my children were due to attend, and I was not able to choose another school, I would be tempted to teach them beforehand. It is relatively simple to do this using synthetic phonics and, if delivered in an interesting and fun way, it is extremely effective and rewarding. The downside is that the children have to spend some time waiting for the other children to catch up, but at least they have no serious reading problems.



  • Part 2 – Choosing a school

    In this section parents are encouraged to find out how reading and writing…

  • Part 3 – Parental support and understanding

    Parents are able to closely watch their children’s reading progress. This section provides…

  • Part 4 – Conclusion

    The conclusion in this section offers guidance to parents who wish to support…

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