It is important to promote literacy at home. A school day is jammed packed with studies; however, as parents it is important to support their learning and discovery. Students who come from a rich literacy home are able to learn more at school and have higher test scores. Now I know test scores are not like the most important thing to a kid but being a successful adult does. With any career a person must be able to read so it is important to help develop reading skills at home to help them succeed later in life. Here are some helpful tips to promote literacy at home.
Books Books and More Books!
The best way to promote literacy skills at home is to have a rich library. Don’t own a lot of books? No problem! Just take a trip to your local library. By reading with your child or having them read to you they will learn more vocabulary words, establish fluency skills, and continue to comprehend text. These are all important skills to help students grow with their reading ability.
Taking turns reading with your child or even reading the same words together will tremendously help their fluency skills. Take turn reading different pages, read each page together, or just listening to your child read will make an impact on their overall reading ability.
While they are reading take time to ask questions before, during, and after reading. This will help students think and read also known as comprehend. Now comprehension is the ultimate goal in reading and by asking questions you will be able to help them comprehend the text. If your child is unable to answer a question help them by going back and rereading the text an discussing it. By practicing this skill together kids will know that in school they can go back and reread a text to find the answer and that it is okay to do that!
For younger students it is important for them to develop experiences with letters. One way to do this is by labeling items around your house. Kids will know the names of these items and labeling exposes them to the written form. As they learn more about phonics rules they will begin to see these word patterns in your labeled items in your house. For example, my child has bins full of toys. I have labeled them with what goes into each bin. As my child grows and learns about the phonics rules she will begin to see them in all of these labels.
Letter blocks, ABC puzzles, letter games, and activities are great ways to expose children to graphemes. Children will begin to make connections between the written forms and the sounds they make through fun activities and games. For some fun resources click here!
Writing is often overlooked as a literacy skill. However, to be a successful adult, kids will need to learn how to write too. Reading and writing go hand-in-hand and play off of each other. Now your kid doesn’t need to write you paragraphs and essays at home! But they can help you by writing your grocery list (invented spelling is fine). Allow them to sound out the words and write down the sounds they hear. Encourage them to stretch out words and write down all the letter sounds.
You can also set up a little area for writing in your house with different types of paper and writing tools. Allow them to go to this area and be creative with writing and drawing. Encourage your child to write at home but don’t force it on them. This will turn them away from writing. Keep it fun and light at home.
The Biggest Tip
The biggest influencer in reading and writing skills is YOU! If you read and write yourself your child will be more inclined to participate in reading and writing activities. They love you; they want to be like you, and by reading and writing in your daily routine your child will see that and want to do it just like you. You are not expected to write novels and essays either but switch it up and write letters to family members, grocery lists, packing list for the upcoming trip, and to-do lists. Read magazines and books to show your child that reading is important to you too.
Show them how important reading and writing is in our daily lives, and encourage them to take apart in it.