When you look at our past, any of our pasts, we’ve all had something happen in our lives early on, when we were these wide eyed innocent children, just full of love and full of self expression and everything was possible and everything was new and every moment… and then something came along in our lives whether it be our first relationships, our first heartbreak, our first angry words from a parent, whatever it may be… Something shut us down. And then there was a series of those events that happened. And you start to realized that that experience you had around that wound was so severe that you naturally in your young developing mind, you say that you never want to experience that again in your natural born life.
Here are things that parents and early childhood educators can do to promote early literacy skills in young children
* Talk to your child. Sounds simple but many parents don’t do it. Reading is nothing more than oral language written down so children need to have a solid sense of oral language. Talk about what is happening when you change her diaper. Describe all of the things you see on your walk. Talk. Talk. Talk.
* Read to your child. I know that this sounds like another no brainer. But it’s a crucial step in learning to read. Reading to your child often is just part of the process. Read with emotion. Point to some of the words in the book to help children make the connection between written and spoken words. Choose books with interesting pictures, rhythmic texts, and predictable plots.
* Sing…..sing a song. Music has been proven to have a positive effect on the ability to learn. Music exposes children to language, patterns, and rhythms all of which are related to reading! For early childhood song suggestions, visit Songs for Teaching.
* Visit the library or connect with friends to find new books. Look for books that are sturdy and durable (like board books) so that babies can touch, hold, and manipulate the books. Baby books can be expensive so visit the library or swap books with friends/neighbors!
* Recognize that children learn from repetition so even though you should look for new books often, never abandon the favorites because children will want to hear them over and over and over. Early strides towards reading start with some imitation and memorization so read those favorites often. Your baby will let you know what their favorites are!
* Point out words and letters in the environment when it is appropriate. If toddlers can recognize the McDonald’s logo then we know that they can recognize other letters. They learned the McDonald’s logo probably because they see it often or because the place has something that they enjoy. So use environmental print whenever the opportunity presents itself: the box of Cheerios on the breakfast table, the K on the K-Mart bag, headlines in the newspaper, etc… print is all around us and we don’t have to pay $200 for the fancy packaging!
* Provide your child with rich and varied experiences. I suspect that at least part of the reason why these type of programs work is because they require parents to spend a certain amount of time providing planned experiences with their child. So, why not do that anyway without the fancy kit? Take a walk, join a play group, go to the zoo, blow bubbles, paint a picture, make a tent, do a puppet show, find wonders in the world!!!! Remember things that are old news to us (a lemon, a butterfly, an empty box) are NEW to babies and toddlers!!!!
* Remember that children are rapidly growing in all areas of development. It is important to expose your child to activities that will promote the overall growth:
Social Development Do you really want a child who can read but doesn’t know how to take turns or say please?)
Physical Development: (Obesity is a huge problem among today’s children.
Learning to navigate the environment is important for infants and toddlers.
Problem Solving Skills are important areas that parents and teachers must not ignore. (So, your toddler can read but can’t figure out how to put together a three-piece puzzle)
I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong
I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to solve
I asked for prosperity and God gave me brawn and brain to work
I asked for courage and God gave me dangers to overcome
I asked for patience God placed me in situations where I was forced to wait
I asked for love and God gave me troubled people to help
I asked for favors and God gave me opportunities
I received nothing I wanted I received everything I needed
My Prayer Has Been Answered.