Early literacy – it’s all over the news. It’s a focus of countless studies and endless research. It’s a vital issue for our children. Their future depends on it.
In fact, studies have shown that every one dollar invested in early childhood education saves taxpayers as much as thirteen dollars in future costs. But that’s not the point.
Our children – all children – deserve the undeniable opportunity to build for themselves a bright, happy, and successful future. We must ensure that no child fails. Several corporations have donated millions of dollars to help improve programs. Many organizations and agencies devote valuable time and resources to serve lower-income children. The fact is we can all do something. We can start in our own homes.
Early literacy begins with language skills. The research is unequivocal that language skills are the foundation for school readiness. And children best learn language skills through play. Children need play! It is through play that they learn to navigate the world. It is when adults become involved with children through play that the most effective learning, and early literacy, takes place.
Of course, children should have some uninterrupted time to learn and explore, but we need to engage our children in order to encourage their thinking and extend their learning, which in turn facilitates the building blocks for early literacy. Ask questions, ask their point of view, value their opinions, facilitate critical thinking skills, and especially provide them with rich, sophisticated words to enhance their vocabulary.
According to the National Early Literacy Panel (NELP), the following six early literacy skills are good predictors of later literacy achievement:
1. Alphabet knowledge
2. Phonological awareness
3. Rapid automatic naming of letters or digits
4. Rapid automatic naming of objects or colors
5. Writing or writing name
6. Phonological memory
It is not difficult to equip children with effective early literacy skills. All it takes is a conscious, consistent effort and a maybe a little creativity. Although learning to read is a very complex process, the fact is parents can help their children learn to read as they go about the normal routines of everyday life. It’s a big, beautiful world out there, and there really is so much to talk about!
As parents engage in meaningful conversations, children hear new and familiar words, thereby growing literacy skills. So, whatever routine activities are taking up your time, therein lies an opportunity to build literacy. Whether you are doing household chores, cooking meals, or riding in the car, use these everyday occasions to talk with your child. Encourage their active participation. In this manner, you will build and instill early literacy. It really is that easy.
Make reading a part of your child’s everyday life. Make it fun. Make it special. Talk about the stories and the characters. Be excited. It’s a special time. It’s fleeting. Your child’s future depends on it!
As you teach the alphabet to your child, it does not have to be boring, merely reciting the sounds that each letter makes. Alphabet Anatomy, for example, brings the letters to life and gives them characters of their own. It unveils the mystery of their shapes and sounds. See why Alphabet Anatomy is not your typical alphabet book and why it’s one of the best ways to teach early literacy and the alphabet.
Linda Jones was born in Albany, New York, and resides in Arizona with the loves of her life: a firefighter/husband and 4 extraordinary sons. Her desire to equip her boys with a solid learning foundation, fused together with her writing talent, led to the creation of Alphabet Anatomy, a PAL Award winner. A scrapbooking enthusiast, many of her poetry titles were sold in that market. She knows words are magical, and is certain that hers will make you smile! Jones, through Alphabet Anatomy shows How to Bring the Alphabet to Life and Give Your Child A Learning Advantage.