What children need to know about reading and writing before they can read or write is called early literacy.
As your child’s caregiver, you are their first teacher. The greatest amount of brain growth occurs between birth and age five, a time your child spends with you. By age three, 85% of the brain’s core structure is formed. As a child ages, the brain gets rid of weaker synaptic connections in favor of stronger ones. We can improve the strength of synaptic connections with experiences that reinforce learning that has already occurred.
In our Building Blocks to Early Literacy series, we will share early literacy tips for you to do at home to help your child get ready to learn to read.
Today’s Early Literacy Tip is: Follow your child’s reading interests.
One of the most important things you can do to encourage your child to read is to find out what they actually WANT to read and feed that interest.
Children have a natural desire to explore and understand the world around them, and if they are drawn to a particular part of or subject in that world then they are going to be more inclined to read and enjoy material about that subject. It is that enjoyment of reading that will help propel them into becoming skilled readers.
Whether they enjoy big trucks, dinosaurs or car brochures (my own son’s particular reading passion when he was little) or even if they love a particular character from TV, feed that interest and encourage that enjoyment of reading.
And you don’t have to worry about material being available because a) the library will be able to help you find whatever it is your child is interested in, and b) your child’s interests will probably change and move onto something new relatively quickly.
Since their interests may literally cover the entire library, there is no way to give you a list of helpful authors. However, as always, you can check our online catalog and Libby, or even your librarian for both fiction and non-fiction materials no matter what your child’s interests may be.