As parents or caregivers we want the best for our kids. We teach them so many different skills over the course of childhood. Practicing self-care, how to tie shoes, safety, and more. It is only natural that we also want to prepare them for school and the knowledge they will need to succeed when they walk through those double doors into kindergarten. Reading is no different, yet I often see parents looking for DVD’s, flashcards, Apps, and computer programs to shore up literacy skills. In this post I will show you low-tech, low-cost methods to build future readers.
As parents we foster independence
Why don’t apps, TV and computer programs work?
TV and technology aren’t the evil articles and click-bait posts would have you believe, yet, there is a time and a place for media. As a tool for pre-literacy learning, the research shows children are better served playing, reading, talking, and singing.
TV puts all of our brains in a passive state. While we watch, it is almost like a dream. Our brains are not engaged as they would be when we are reading or playing. Research shows that children who watch two or more hours of television a day can have a delay in speech, trouble hearing the different parts of a word, and are more likely to develop ADHD and other attention disorders. (http://unitedwayfd.org/reading-view-page.php?page=effects-on-reading)
We help our kids make sense of the world
What does work?
Talking, singing, reading and playing. These are the foundational blocks for early reading success. Conversation and play creates a learning environment where children build vocabularies and explore the world around them through their senses.
We provide a space space for our children to explore
Any normal, every day activity is an opportunity to learn. Going to the grocery store? Set up a scavenger hunt grocery list. Your child might not be able to read the words on the page, but you can have them find an item you tell them and when you get to that section you can show how the word on the page is the same as the word on the product. The same for driving in the car on the way to pick up a sibling from school or going into a store. There are words all around us and it is a great way to engage our kids in a text-rich environment.
Where is the proof?
Show me how?
Reading Rockets is a fantastic sight for educators and parents. They have helpful videos, parent tips and more. Below is a video on how to help your child recognize letters.
Building Future Readers is here to help
Would you like tailored reading plans and activities made just for your child? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and see how I can help build your child into a future reader.
The pre-literacy skills Building Future Readers activities are based on