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Why is Literacy so important?

 

  • Literacy is essential to any learning we do throughout our life.
  • By developing early literacy skills with your child you set them up to learn and continue learning throughout their life.
  • Literacy development will set them up for success at school.

 

Benefits to you and your child.

 

  • Having a good grasp on early literacy skills builds confidence in your child.
  • It makes them eager to learn other things.
  • It prepares them for formal learning.

 

Good Literacy Skills to have before Prep

 

  • Basic book knowledge: books tell us stories or information, which way to hold it, the print runs from left to right, you read the words, where to start etc.
  • An understanding of directional language such as up, down, next, after, before.
  • Hand to eye coordination. Tracking skills.
  • Knowledge of some letters: what they look like, what sound it makes (don’t just limit to the most common sound) and the name of the letter.
  • Knowledge that print conveys meaning. It tells a story.

 

How to encourage literacy learning at home

 

This is a list of practical things to do with your child. Some of them are possibly things you do or know already but our goal is that this inspires you to make literacy learning a part of your everyday lives.

 

Things to do with your child

 

  • Read, read, read lots of books to them.
  • Talk, talk, talk about everything. Use rich interesting language, expose children to new words and their meanings.
  • Show what words mean using actions.
  • Read poems and books with rhyme.
  • Use picture books and magazines for your child to ‘tell’ you the story based on what they see.
  • Listen to music and sing lots of songs, nursery rhymes and fingerplays.
  • Point out letters and words when you are out and about.
  • Cook together, look at the recipe, talk while you’re cooking.
  • Do things with your kids, take them places eg: grocery shopping, doctor, city, beach, museum, park, bush, state library, art gallery, on the train; bus; city cat.
  • After you have been somewhere ask them what they liked best.
  • Get the kids to retell what they have done at the end of the day.
  • Watch educational TV shows.
  • Play simple games eg: eye spy, alphabet snap, counting, initial letter games, rhyming games, bingo, listening for letter sounds in words.
  • Make a plan for the day and write down what you are going to do at each time of the day.
  • Have a calendar (weekly or monthly) to write activities on. Use words like now, later, this week, next week, tomorrow yesterday, weekend, month, year etc.
  • Question your children when you are playing together.
  • Use things they really love doing as an opportunity to teach them things.
  • WHY? Turn it back around to them. Then give your answer.
  • Deliberately give a wrong answer to a question and see if they pick it up, or say…’Does that sound right?’
  • Ask them how they feel in situations and why.

 

Modeling

  • Model writing to your children eg: shopping lists, birthday cards, notes, messages, emails, postcards, letters etc.
  • Let the children see you reading.
  • Talk about what you have been reading, or your favorite books.
  • Talk about how you feel in situations.

 

Helpful websites:

 

https://raisingchildren.net.au/preschoolers/play-learning/literacy-reading-stories/developing-literacy

https://www.qld.gov.au/recreation/health/get-active/kids-teenagers  (active alphabet and let’s get moving)

https://www.starfall.com/

https://readingeggs.com.au/

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