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: Narrate Your Daily Life
You spend the whole day with your child and whether you know it or not, they take a great interest in the things you do to make up that day. Why not put their attention to good use and tell them all about the things you’re doing and, by doing so, help get them ready to read.
Take time with your child and talk about the things you are doing, while you are doing them. Even the most mundane task can be fascinating to your child and telling them about it, helps them better understand what you’re doing. These comprehension skills are very important as your child takes this understanding and applies it to what they are reading.
As you talk about your day with your child, make sure you use the most descriptive language possible; words that will stimulate all five of your child’s senses. Also, make your narration as interactive as possible. Ask your child what they think you are doing and what they think you might do next. Some of the answers you get will be not only enlightening but hilarious as well. Including your child by asking them what they are doing and asking them to describe it for you will also help make the experience more interactive and inclusive.
The time you spend with your child is important for them and important for you. Make sure you make the most of that time by talking to your child and letting them know all the things that make up both of your days together.