Today’s parents are very concerned about giving their children learning advantages long before it's time for the children to start their formal education. Early learning begins as early as infancy in some instances. Many experts (and parents) feel that academic success is enhanced when kids take part in early learning literacy programs. Early learning generally occurs in the home environment; setting up routines to encourage early learning are the keys to success with early literacy. Here are 8 ways to promote early reading.
Read to your children every day. Keep a good supply of age appropriate books on hand for your children to look at. Encourage them to look at books and ask questions about what they see. Explore books together; focus their attention on the story. Ask them what they think the characters may have been feeling in the story; ask them to find certain letters or numbers on a page or perhaps a favorite color in a picture. Teach them to think about what you are reading to them and what they see in pictures.
2. Environmental Enrichment
Expose your kids to numbers and letters at an early age. Magnetic numbers and alphabetic letters are perfect for sticking on the fridge door; spell out your child’s name on the fridge and soon he or she will begin to recognize the letters as their very own name. The more frequently a child sees numbers and letters the simpler it is for them to learn to write and read them.
Kids love to identify their belongings on their own. Put labels on their belongings and on toy bins. The more a child sees their name spelled out, the quicker they will learn to recognize it.
Provide your kids with frequent opportunities to draw with color crayons, markers or pencils. Drawing is a critical element in literacy growth; kids learn to hold the writing tool properly and how to make it write. They learn to draw lines and shapes, the precursors of letters. Drawing is a great way to encourage creativity and imagination in your kids.
Literacy relies on the processes involved in making a complete story. Storytelling involves the notion of a beginning, middle and end. Encouraging your child to tell complete stories helps them with literacy skills they will need later in life.
6. Turn off the TV
Resist the temptation to use the TV as a babysitter for your kids. Don’t let your kids plug in to the TV and watch it for hours on end. Set aside certain times every day for turning off the TV and getting out the books.
7. Power down
As with TV, turn off the computer and read with your children. Although there is much to be gained from computer access for kids off all ages, nothing compares to time spent reading and interacting with your kids.
8. Be a Role Model
Kids learn from their parents and siblings. If the little ones see the rest of the family curled up with a good book, they will want to do the same. Avid readers commonly come from families of avid readers.
Early literacy is a great method for giving your child a head start on the road to academic success. Would you undertake early literacy with your children? If so, which of these tips would you, or have you, used?
Top Photo Credit: rabbitrabbit002