Early Literacy

Believe it or not, children actually know a lot about reading before they pick up a book for the first time. This article examines children's early literacy skills and offers tips on how a parent can raise an avid reader.

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A child's knowledge of, and preconceived notions about reading before they are old enough to read themselves is known as emergent literacy. Children must understand many concepts related to reading before they can start the actual process of reading on their own. There are three main skills that every child should possess before they begin their eduction in reading as well as other subjects.

  • Communication: Children should be familiar with oral language and be able to communicate with others verbally.
  • Alphabet: Children should have also learned the concept of letters and should be able to name each letter of the alphabet.
  • Exposure to the Written Word: Before school, children should be exposed to a variety of books and stories, because it will motivate them to learn how to read.

Developing Early Literacy

Parents can help their child become a reader as soon as they are born by spending time reading aloud every day. Choose books with simple stories and colorful pages to help stimulate your young child's mind. When you read aloud make sure to use plenty of expression and emotion in your voice. It also helps to tell the story in your own words to make it sound more like a natural conversation. Choose a time in the day when both you and your child will be relaxed. If your child is tired, wait to read until he or she has taken a nap so they will get the most out of the reading time.

You can also let babies play with books to get them to interact with the colors and words on the pages. Exposing a child to language as much as possible will help to develop his or her communication skills and vocabulary.

Once your child is a toddler, start repeating nursery rhymes together. This will help to strengthen their communication and memorization skills. You can also help your child to develop emergent literacy through trips to the library and by reading his or her favorite stories over and over again.

You can also implement a technique known as dialogic reading where you ask open-ended questions about the story while reading. For example, you can ask your child what he or she thinks will happen next or what images they see in their mind's eye.

Brainstorm with other parents to find out what other activities work well with children learning to read. The more time you spend exposing a child to reading and other communication skills, the more likely it will be that he or she possesses the concepts necessary to successfully learn reading in school.

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