Helping support your child's literacy efforts before school starts

Education & Development Blog

If you are looking to support your child's literacy before they head into formal schooling there are many important things you can do at home from the moment your precious baby is born. 

Talk as much as you can

Before children learn to read they need to understand the rules of literacy including ideas such as 'doing words' (verbs), describing words ('adjectives) and knowing nouns ('names'). Children can pick up these rules by immersion, hearing words and phrases such as "We'll walk to the park" and "Let's drive to the shops and buy milk". It's also useful to talk to them to give them immersion into names such as relatives and friends, as they won't hear the same terms through books and TV programs. 

Read as much as you can

While TV and natural conversation provide exposure to a lot of language, some vocabulary and concepts don't naturally slip into chat with young children, such as concepts like invisibility or changes in the shape of the moon. These ideas can come up more often in books and reading exercises, and can prompt you as a parent to slip some new terms into your day-to-day vocabulary by building some less commonly used words into your child's vocabulary. 

Reading can also help children reinforce ideas such as similar sounds at the start of words or end of words. Rhyming patterns and letter patterns can be a great way to get children accustomed to the sounds that sound similar or opposite before your child starts formally linking written sounds with sounds they have heard. 

Mix it up (with your learning styles)

Children have a range of learning styles. Not every child will learn from listening to other people or practising written instructions. Some children have a more active, or kinesthetic, style where they learn through dance or forming words in playdough. Adapting your parenting to their preferred learning styles helps maximise your child's learning.

Relax as a parent

Parents can face a lot of pressure with regard to the ages that their children are not meeting early literacy goals. However, it's important to remember that identifying any issues early can help your child to get early assistance to achieve their literacy schools.  A high-quality childcare environment can help expose children to a range of language opportunities. 

Children learn pre-literacy skills from a range of activities from reading with their parents to getting some narration of their day-to-day activities. If you want to stimulate your child's literacy from an early age, the best thing you can so is to expose them to a language-rich environment, such as a high-quality childcare centre. Contact a school like Hopskotch Kindergarten to learn more about early childhood education programs.


25 March 2016

Helping gifted children blossom

My children are so smart that I struggle to deal with their questions. Having gifted and talented children brings a whole new range of challenges to parenting so I am starting a blog to connect to other parents with gifted and talented children. I want to talk about how we can stimulate their thirst for learning in and out of the school environment, as well as talking about the particular challenges for Australian parents of gifted and talented children navigating the school system. We can all learn from each other and help to make sure the education system works for our children too.