Often times we look to teachers, their formal schooling and expertise in teaching our children to read. The problem here is that we often miss the opportunities we have in the early years to foster a love for reading and writing in our children.
One of the many and most important ways to encourage literacy in your home is to create a literate environment. Would you learn to scuba dive in the desert? Nope! Therefore, learning to read at home is nearly impossible without a literate environment. So what does that mean, exactly?
It simply means this …
- READ! Mom and dad, read with your children and around them. Let them SEE you reading … more importantly, let them see you enjoying the act of reading. Set aside 30 minutes every night when everyone reads … either together, or individually … beware… this can and probably will become a time you and your children love!
- Leave literature EVERYWHERE! In the bathroom, by the couch, in the car, on the kitchen counter or cabinets. These can be magazines, newspapers, books, comic strips, take-out menus … the list is endless.
- Set up a writing station. Leave paper, markers, crayons, pencils, etc in a designated area and let your child write daily … even if it’s just a scribble. By practicing writing the letters of their name, jotting a thought down, making a list, etc, your child learns that writing is a daily part of life and can be enjoyable!
- Alphabet Awareness … place letters in specific areas of your home for your child to interact with. Magnets on the fridge, foam letters in the bathtub, the possibilities go on. Children love to “write” their name … give them the opportunity to! The more they interact with letters, putting them together and taking them apart, the more confident they will grow in their approach to learning to read!
These are just a few ways that you can bring literacy into your home. The exact manner in which you provide a literacy rich environment is not necessarily of importance, it’s more that you care enough to try! WHen you show your child that literacy is important, they will believe that also, and begin a lifelong journey into a love of reading and writing!