I had the opportunity to attend a wonderful workshop at my local library on Early Literacy. Early Literacy is what children know before they can actually read and write! Here are the important highlights every parent should know!
Six Pre-Reading Skills
1. Print Motivation- being interested in and enjoying books.
- Pick the best time (a time when you and child are in a good mood
- Share a book with your child every day! Even if it is just a few minutes.
2. Vocabulary- knowing the names of things.
- Say the names of objects you are interacting with
- Talk to the smallest of babies from the start
3. Print Awareness- Noticing print, knowing how to handle a book and knowing how to follow the words on a page (early on it might be a small child who opens the book and babbles along as if he/she is reading).
- Sometimes when reading, underline the words with your finger as you go along
- Act like you are going to read the book upside down...let your child correct you
4. Letter Knowledge- Knowing letters are different from each other, knowing their names and sounds and recognizing letters everywhere.
- The first letter every child should learn should have meaning to them: The first letter of his/her name. G is for Graham!
- Use sidewalk chalk to draw the letter and have your child walk it or use a large sheet of paper and have your child trace the letter with his/her finger
5. Phonological Awareness- Being able to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words (Car-rot...Carrot!).
- Sound some words out of every day objects
- If they don't have the "vocabulary" (item #2) this will be difficult
6. Narrative Skills- Being able to describe things and events and tell stories.
- Ask questions during the story (What will happen next, How many sheep can fit in that jeep?, etc.)
Here is a point I found interesting: By the age of three 85% of your child's brain is developed! That means what you are doing from birth to 3 is extremely crucial!
Here are a few recommended books broken down by age:
0-6 months: Click HERE
6-12 Months: Click HERE
12-18 Months: Click HERE
18 Months-3Years: Click HERE
4-7 Years: Click HERE
Source: Every Child Ready to Read @ your library/ Public Library Association and Association for Library Service to Children