Well-thought-out kids' yoga classes can assist in developing literacy skills. Learning to read is a key skill acquired between the ages of 4 and 7 years old. Most academic and career accomplishments depend on success in building a solid reading foundation in Grades 1-3. A children’s yoga class can facilitate this process in numerous ways thereby supporting lifelong reading competency.
Build Phonemic Awareness
Phonemic awareness is the ability to distinguish sounds (phonemes) in spoken language and is an essential auditory process for emergent readers. Incorporating segmenting, alliteration and rhyming into kids yoga classes are easy ways to facilitate phonemic awareness. Using music and nursery rhymes when teaching poses also develops sound appreciation. One such example is: when practicing Bridge pose, you may include the instructions “Build a bridge, bring your bottom to the sky” (alliteration) or sing London Bridge Is Falling Down.
Increase Vocabulary & Comprehension
Kids yoga classes contribute to the background of real world experience. Children are exposed to a wide range of vocabulary while following instructions to complete poses, discussing themes and participating in guided visualizations. This exposure, combined with movement and relaxation, builds neural systems and improves comprehension which carries over into the classroom.
Enhance Self Esteem & Self Regulation
How a child feels about themselves impacts their ability to learn. Yoga teaches self-acceptance, kindness and discipline in a non-competitive environment where children are encouraged to learn about their bodies, their minds and their emotions. Breathing exercises and visualizations teach focus, relaxation and body awareness. In addition, meditation and mindfulness techniques improve self-regulation which has been linked to the development of reading competence as children mature.
Teacher Training in Yoga for Literacy
Well trained kids' yoga instructors will incorporate reading readiness strategies into their classes for children. Yogainmyschool.com offers teacher training on Yoga for Literacy; please contact [email protected] for more information.