All parts of literacy (listening, talking, reading, and writing) are connected. In order to foster an interest and love for reading and writing, first present your child with many opportunities to hear and understand spoken language. This helps them to be aware and understand all the different sounds that language can make.
After that, they should start becoming familiar with print, letters, and words seen in books, at home, and around their community. This will pique their interest and encourage it to grow further.
To nurture the love of reading and writing in young children, it’s important to start small. For example, if your child is drawing a picture, ask her to describe it to you while you write the words she states on the back of the paper. This helps her associate letters and words to their meanings.
A Love of Literacy
Nurturing a love of reading and writing involves incorporating it into your child’s everyday routine. Here are a few ways that you can make that happen organically:
Talk and listen—a lot!
Holding meaningful and thought-provoking conversations with your child will get their mind working and make them want to participate. Talk about what she finds interesting, and she’ll be more likely to find joy in conversation. Listen and respond to what your child is saying and, along the way, introduce new words and expand on what she says.
Read aloud together.
Reading aloud is one of the most important activities that you and your child can do to nurture a love of reading and writing. Read aloud at least once per day, and don’t feel disheartened if your child picks the same book every time—this is actually a good thing! The same story allows her to become familiar with the words, their meanings, and the expectation of what comes next.
If you need suggestions about new books to try, you can always ask her teacher or a librarian.
Explore language sounds.
Having fun with words and sounds can be a great way to help your child love literacy. Make up games, stories, poems, songs, and use your imagination to play with rhymes, alliteration, and sound/letter connections.
Provide alphabet activities.
Your child can start to recognize letters of the alphabet by using ABC books, magnetic letters, alphabet blocks, and more. These are great tools that your child can put to use while she plays.
Support your reader and writer.
Give your child space to explore reading and writing on her own. To do this, create a reading and writing nook in your home filled with the appropriate tools and supplies, designate a space where you and your child can leave notes for each other, and make reading and writing a part of play.
You can also incorporate all different kinds of books to feed your child’s interest. Make sure to incorporate books with beautiful illustrations, books centered around your family’s unique culture, books with detailed plots, classic books, and new books too.
Provide writing material.
In order for children to build their writing skills, they need lots of supplies at their disposal. Even if they’re just scribbling or grouping random letters, you can help your child by providing a basket full of writing materials.
Explain how books and print work.
When you introduce new books, magazines, or other written works, explain how print works by pointing to words as you read them, noticing differences between images and words, and making note of sentences read from left to right and top to bottom.
A Love of Literacy and Learning
Literacy is a huge part of life, and children are equipped with a natural advantage if they learn to love it while at home. If you have a child who is interested in reading and writing, utilize these tips to encourage them to build on that love and turn it into a valuable skill.
At Austin Children’s Academy, we place reading and writing at high value. To learn more about us or schedule a tour, contact us today.