Before using any method to teach reading and writing skills, it’s important to highlight that preparation is the stage that prepares the kid for the process, taking into account his or her personality, traits, age, development, social and family conditions, cognitive level, and other important elements.
Preparation starts at elementary school, and should continue for a whole year, since it is an evolutionary process that depends on each child’s individual skills. At this stage kids acquire different abilities and skills throughout the year, and maybe even during the following year.
The reasons for preparation to last the whole year are the following:
- For those kids that are less developed in one or more respects.
- For those that kids that encounter difficulties along the year because of a slower learning pace, or because of having less aptitudes, and even because of family or health issues which may cause non-attendance.
Preparation focuses on other topics as well, and not only on language; kids are prepared to acquire concepts on numbering, relation, position in time and space and comparison. Working the visual and psycho motor aspects, as well as others that develop different abilities and skills.
Up until the age of six, the child perceives the world globally, without interest for details or particular analysis, perceiving everything as a whole, and not by parts; for instance, when the child draws the human body, he or she will first give it a general form, and only when the child grows older and starts observing details he or she will give it a real shape.
Language development follows the same path; first the child expresses only words, which reference whole sentences or concepts; for instance when the child says “bread” meaning “mom, I’m hungry”, or “mom, I want to eat”. Once introduced to the preparation stage, the learning process begins by using card-boards with different experiences written down.
The Global Method is one of the most widely used and most effective methods for the acquisition of reading and writing skills; the reason for this is that it works with vocabulary that relates to the child’s surrounding environment and because it’s also based on the children’s experience inside the classroom, where they can create sentences for themselves, which the teacher can then write on the board for them to recognize and fix on their memory, without having to do complicated analysis.
Once they go over these sentences, they can recognize the common element, and illustrate it with a personal drawing, which not only fixes the meaning to a visual concept, but also encourages their imagination and motor skills by using different colors and shapes.