What is Early Literacy?
Early literacy is everything children know about reading and writing before they can actually read and write. Early literacy is a baby who chews on a book or seems to know which way the book should be held or how to turn the pages from right to left, a toddler who wants his favourite book read over and over, and a preschooler who "reads" a familiar story to you from memory.
Early literacy skills begin to develop in the first 5 years of life. Your child's likelihood for success in school depends on how much he or she has learned about reading before entering school. Your child's early experiences with books and language lay the foundation for success in learning to read.
Early literacy is not the "teaching of reading."
“You are your child’s first and most important teacher” but the most important thing a parent can do to foster early literacy is provide an atmosphere that's fun, verbal and stimulating, not school-like. The focus should not be on teaching, but on the fun you're having with your child - offer your child plenty of opportunities to talk and be listened to, to read and be read to, and to sing and be sung to.
No rote memorization, no flashcards, no workbooks and no drills are necessary. Children who are exposed to interactive literacy-rich environments, full of fun opportunities to learn language, develop early literacy skills.
As parents you are the key to your child's success in learning to read. When you read, talk or play with your child, you're stimulating the growth of your child's brain and building the connections that will become the building blocks for reading. Brain development research shows that reading aloud to your child every day increases their brain's capacity for language and literacy skills and is the most important thing you can do to prepare them for learning to read.
“If parents understood the huge educational benefits and intense happiness brought about by reading aloud to their children, and if every parent…and every adult caring for a child…read aloud a minimum of three stories a day to the children in their lives, we could probably wipe out illiteracy within one generation.” (Fox, M. 2001. Reading Magic)
For more information contact-Kristy Lachance, Early Literacy FacilitatorOur Lady of Lourdes School, Room 19Manitouwadge, ON P0T 2C0Phone: 807-826-2629 Fax: 807-826-2880
“Rhymers will be readers…if children know eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they are four years old they’re usually among the best readers by the time they’re eight.” (Fox, M. 2001. Reading Magic)
For some fun activities and websites to enhance what you are doing at home click on this literacy tab http://www.yourbeststart.ca/literacy.