By the time your child gets to third grade, they will start to read with the intention to learn. This is why literacy needs to start as early in your child’s life as possible, because early literacy from infant stages sets the tone of your child’s ability to cope with reading skills in preschool. Early literacy can come in various forms, not only words, and in this article, you will discover not only why it is important for preschool class, but also how to promote early literacy in your child.
Why Early Literacy Is Important
Early literacy is crucial for the development of your baby’s ability to develop their cognitive- and problem-solving skills to help with reading later on in preschool. Though your child can most certainly not be expected to read words yet, he or she needs to have visual stimulation in order to practice their ability to connect pictures with words, or rather with the meaning of the pictures. Early literacy will:
- Help your toddler cope with reading later on in preschool class. Toddlers who have been exposed to a literacy rich environment when they were infants have a better chance of become more successful readers in preschool. So, when your bundle of joy enters preschool, they will be a happier and more confident pre-schooler equipped to cope with the reading materials.
- Set the foundation for your child’s academic journey throughout their life. Not only will early literacy have an impact on your child in their preschool years, but your child will also be able to read with the intention of learning much better, which in turn makes for a happier and more secure scholar. This may even open the door to university applications, if we want to think that far ahead. Being prudent with the development of your child is a crucial investment that you should make.
- If your child doesn’t get the benefits of early literacy before preschool, they will struggle to learn and cope in preschool. Children who were exposed to literacy from a very early age have better memories and learn quicker than those who had minimal literacy stimulation. It is thus imperative that you equip your child early on so that they can keep up and excel at preschool and beyond.
- Finally, your child will be able to cope with information overload at later grades and will be a more secure scholar for that reason. At preschool age, children are still learning to read instead of actually reading for the sake of learning. When you encourage literacy and books from an early age, children develop not only better literacy skills, but their emotional and social skills are also strengthened. Beyond preschool, at around the third grade, reading will be used as a tool to learn. If your child was not equipped with the right literacy weapons early on in life, they will struggle to make the transition from learning to read, to reading for the sake of learning – these are two very different things. And because their social and problem-solving skills will also have been affected, they may struggle even more.
How You Can Promote Early Literacy
Promoting early literacy is fun and stimulating for both baby and parents. Infant literacy should be done by way of pictures and objects, and attaching words to those pictures and objects. Get picture books and look at these with your infant. Talk to them about what you’re seeing, being sure to name every object out loud. Interact with your child and be sure to talk to them a lot. Encourage your infant to point at the picture while you’re verbally identifying the picture. If they are starting to talk you can even encourage them to say the word after you as well. This doesn’t have to be done with store books only – you can also make a scrap- or picture book by using family photos, or taking child-friendly pictures from a magazine and pasting them in an empty notebook. You can do the same thing with toddlers, but this time encourage more engagement from your child. Point to the pictures and have your child identify them first before you do. Try to create a theme if you are creating a picture book yourself, then have your child talk about how the picture relates to the story or theme.
Remember to also fill the nursery and home with pictures and toys which encourages engagement throughout their development. A home that is alive with early literacy is healthy for parents and toddlers alike. If you need more help as to why early literacy is important, get in touch with Providence Children’s Academy.